Just a few years ago, I was living in rural southeastern Nigeria and had nothing but a basic Nokia 2690 phone -- and a big dream to improve the world using technology.
Here's my journey from "village boy" to the epicenter of West Africa's tech boom.
I began programming at 11 years old. As a kid I spent hours on websites and downloading and playing the latest games. After a while I became curious about how websites, which seemed to exist almost by magic, were built -- and how I could build one myself.
My first step was, like most people, to Google it. This led me to the W3Schools
tutorials, a handy site where you can learn to program.
To build a website I needed a computer, but no one in my family could afford one. Luckily, my relative gave me a Nokia 2690 phone. It wasn't very advanced, but adequate enough for me to learn the language of programming.
The new Zuckerberg?
Once I had become a capable programmer, the idea for my first web project was sparked after I watched The Social Network movie, which about the founding of Facebook.
I was inspired by Mark Zuckerberg. But I wanted to go further and create something better. At that time Facebook was set up to connect people you already knew, but I wanted to create a platform which connected everybody.
After some time and a lot of effort, my attempt to replace Facebook fell through. I couldn't get enough users to sign up on the website. The few that signed up didn't stick around because there was only a few people to chat with.
A new idea, a new app