QUICK FIRE 🔥 WITH ADEGOKE OYENIYI
AdeGoke Oyeniyi is a technology journalist and entrepreneur. He is the founder of TechPR and Hankara Inc, a talent marketplace placing African content marketers in remote roles with foreign tech companies.
Explain your job to a five-year-old.
I’m like your primary school proprietor. I run a school online that trains storytellers so that they can make lots of money writing stories for companies.
What did you want to be as a child, and are you living the dream?
I always wanted to run my own business, as a kid, and become a billionaire. I’ve always wanted to tell stories. Maybe not necessarily tech stories, but human stories that connect, impact and shape societies.
I’m not a billionaire but like Blxst says in his record, “I’m still on my way, my way, and the top don’t look too far no more.”
How should people think about content creation on the continent?
That it’s a huge responsibility to create content because it has the power to shape and transform society. Across journalism, entertainment, and media, content creation requires diligence, professionalism and accuracy.
A great example is Viola Davis’ latest movie, the Woman King and the global conversation it stirred. That’s content that was produced with purpose.
You created a great team at TechCabal, and you’re creating another at Hankara. How do you spot good talent?
People can always learn the technicalities of creating content; you can always learn grammar, writing, photography, and all that.
What cannot be learnt is the eye for storytelling, creating ideas and imagination. It’s the raw talent that I look out for first.
Any diligent person can improve their grammar over time but the ability to create and see things that others miss, weave imaginary worlds and portray them in ways that the people enjoy.
Second thing I look out for is effort. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write frequently so I look for effort and consistency in creation.
Is content really as valuable as other technical skills like software development?
I feel like this you’re setting me up but I’ll give it a shot!
There’s almost nothing being done today that doesn’t require coding; software development is a more fundamentally useful or important discipline.
But I’d say that’s only within the work environment and corporate lens. In the real world though, content is king because it’s what we consume. It’s how we learn, how we get informed, and how we entertain ourselves. It’s how societies are programmed.
Content has its own path and importance in shaping society.
What should people looking to get into the content creation space be doing?
First, identify the niche you want to play in. Content is wide.
Be passionate. In content, you need to be passionate and love what you do. Unlike other disciplines, content requires heart; it’s not manual. If you’re not passionate, then it’ll show in your work because passion is what drives creativity.
Identify the masters in your niche and follow them religiously. Read their books, their stories, their blogs and anything they create. Understudy them.
Read books and online articles. A content creator is first an explorer because you can only create from the reservoir of what you explore. If you can, travel and explore the world.
You also need to learn the business of content; how to position and market yourself. Just pricing your services can make or mar your career.
Finally, create, just do it! Start a blog, newsletter, or a series on Instagram. Just create because that’s what helps you develop your skills.
What (singular) achievement are you most proud of?
I’m not sure how to explain it but it’ll have to be the calculated decision I made to go into business writing..
What’s something you love doing that you’re terrible at? And something you really do not like doing that you’re great at?
I really love playing chess but I’m not as good as I’d like to be.
I can’t think of anything I’m great at but don’t like doing.
If you could be any Marvel/DC superhero, who would you be and why?
The superhero whose powers I’ve always wanted is Charles Xavier—Professor X. I love the ability to identify human thoughts, interpret them and use them to programme the human mind. It’s also what I love about content, the way we can use it to shape minds.
MUSK MAY HAVE BOUGHT TWITTER
The Twitter—Musk battle might have come to an end.
Early this morning, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted “the bird is free” signalling that his buyout of Twitter was complete.
While Twitter is yet to confirm the deal, an early investor close to the source confirmed to the BBC that the $$44 billion takeover was complete.
The investor also claims that several executives were fired by Musk following the takeover. CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and legal and policy executive Vijaya Gadde were all escorted out of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.
This brings to an end a seven-month battle between the two entities. Musk had offered—in April—to buy the platform for $44 billion, offering all shareholders $54.20 per share, 38% more than the $45.85 per share it was a week before he made the offer.
The billionaire later reneged on the offer in July after claiming that the company wasn’t forthcoming with details on its user base. Twitter sued Musk, with a court case set for October and weeks before the court battle was to begin, Musk reinstated his offer to buy Twitter.
Big picture: Musk’s plan for Twitter isn’t clear yet. The billionaire has shared thoughts over the last couple of months. The Tesla CEO has said he’ll make the platform a bastion of free speech, fire 75% of the employees, and reinstate ex-US president Donald Trump who was banned for inciting insurrection.
SAFARICOM GOES COMMERCIAL WITH 5G IN KENYA
In April 2019, South Korea became the first country in the world to launch 5G. The world followed, and Africa did too, at its usual slow pace.
Two years later, 14 out of 54 African countries have attempted to make 5G a reality in their country, but only 5 have been able to fully roll out 5G.
Now, Kenya is one of the narrower pool of African countries—and the first in East Africa— that have launched 5G services commercially, thanks to Safaricom, the country’s leading telco.
A speed come true in Kenya
Safaricom’s trials for 5G in Kenya started in March 2021, piloting in select Kenyan cities, including Nairobi, Kisii, Kisumu, and Kakamega. The trials aimed to establish if the network can offer speeds of up to 700 Mbps, a modest speed compared to what it is promising post-launch.
Now, after an October 7 launch, Safaricom promises to offer speeds of more than 1000Mbps as it expands to more than 200 sites across nine towns by March 2023
Safaricom’s 5G is pro-WiFi
Mobile data users in Kenya will have to wait their turn as Safaricom only launching 5G on its WiFi service.
Why? The telco is trying to drive competition in the fixed internet market, where it holds only about a third of the market share, in sharp contrast to its mobile money dominance.
Also, Safaricom highlighted that 5G-enabled phones are not common in Kenya because of their relatively high costs, justifying its pro-WiFi model.
RIDE-HAILING DRIVERS STRIKE AGAIN IN KENYA
Image source: BBC
Kenya is moving to address the high commission rates of ride-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt, but drivers in the country think the process is going too slowly.
Yesterday, the drivers embarked on a strike and took to the streets to share their woes.
One of Kenya’s latest legislations, the Digital Taxi Hailing Regulation was enacted earlier this year. But ninety days later, the regulation is yet to be enforced in Kenya.
If you’re wondering why this regulation is so important; it’s because it limits the commission ride-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt can take from drivers.
Presently, Bolt and Uber charge a 20% and 25% commission respectively per trip, but the new regulation caps all commissions at 18%.
Now, drivers are accusing the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the country’s transport regulator, of slowing the implementation process of the regulation.
The real problem
The ride-hailing apps aren’t taking Kenya’s regulations sitting down.
In fact, the enforcement delay isn’t surprising considering that Uber, in a bid to protect its earnings, appealed to the Supreme Court to annul the regulation.
Zoom out: Tanzania enacted a similar regulation earlier this year, capping ride-hailing commissions at 15%. Tanzania’s decision led to Uber’s exit from the country, and Bolt had to restrict its offerings to corporate customers. South African drivers also recently protested high commission rates in South Africa.
TC INSIGHTS: FUNDING TRACKER
This week, Nexta, an Egyptian fintech company, raised $3 million in funding led by eFinance, Egypt’s leading provider of digital payments solutions, and the backbone of the Egyptian government’s digital transformation strategy.
Here are the other deals this week:
- Egypt-based cleantech Karmsolar received $2.4 million from Qatar national bank Alahli (QBN ALAHLI) and Ezdaher Financial Advisory, an Egypt-based debt advisory firm.
- Egyptian proptech company Seqoon raised $500,000 in a pre-seed round from Banque Misr’s pilot program and some angel investors.
- Kiwe, an Egyptian fintech, secured an undisclosed amount in funding from ValU.
That’s it for this week!
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit DealFlow, our real-time funding tracker.
EVENT: TC LIVE
International video streaming companies are now tapping into local markets, with Netflix arriving in Africa in 2016 and now Amazon Prime Video last year.
Today at 11 AM (WAT on TechCabal Live, Damilare Dosunmu, reporter at TechCabal will speak with Derin Adeyokunnu, co-founder & art director at Nemsia Studios and Wale Adetula, co-founder at TNC Africa.
They will be looking at the increasing competition and collaboration in the space, how streaming platforms are growing across the continent and what the next few years hold for filmmakers and consumers.
To join the conversation, register here.