. I follow a lot of digital influencers on social media, the big, the small and the larger than life characters among them, but hardly are any of them from the North. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against our southern brothers, they are brilliant and exceptionally hard working people. But then again they represent their respective communities, it doesn’t matter how much a man strives to make this world a better place, his identity comes first, and naturally the crowd of followers will be his fellow kinsmen.
You would be left wondering where the abokis at? When everyone’s posting on nairaland and in the comment section of informationng you won’t find them, we seem to dodge anything educational and useful, both online and off, it is vexing. And it’s not that my fellow kinsfolk are not present online, oh no they are, they make up the bulk of the internet presence in Nigeria, they are just hooked up in all the wrong places. Look up ‘Love Quotes’ on facebook and you will be peppered by hundreds of groups named accordingly, and that is where you will likely find the Arewa populace, or in the infamous Soyayya or love groups, reading up nonsensical grammatically erred posts that only compound the country’s already cruel mangling of the Queen’s language. If you want to read love stories, at least be intelligent in your choice, read Shakespeare.
I have no idea why the Hausa man decided to remain blissfully ignorant of the twenty first century, we shun technology and the internet, those of us that do use the internet only use a small fraction of it, we don’t apply courses online, subscribe to newsletters, participate in forums, nothing valuable, we just sit there and facebook. We accept that the digital world brings improvement, we know it does, we are not rejecting it but at the same time not utilising it, as a result we are stuck in the back alleys of modernisation, the whole continent of Africa is actually, but we could do more, look at Kenya, it’s a serious IT hub.
If you google ‘top bloggers in Nigeria’ you won’t find a single personality the northerners can relate to, someone that shares their culture, their belief and ways. The few sites I found that tried to fill that cultural gap are mostly still in their infancy or as we do all other things . . . half cooked. We are not competitive online, our businesses are lacking, the ‘more advanced ones’ are those posting their products on their Whatsapp statuses, but that’s not enough. Why can’t we go for full blown branding, social media marketing, and so on? We can’t live like this forever.
There is one silly excuse a lot of northerners always invoke, and I find it revolting, they say the government doesn’t want to help, that is just sad. You haven’t stood up to scoop what is freely available to you (the internet’s resources), but you are awaiting some constitutional miracle to advance you to the next stage of modernisation. Did you know most Hausa school girls don’t have browsers on their smart phones besides the default ones? I was shocked when I found out. But you can imagine they do have Instagram and Whatsapp installed.
It’s time to move on, and thankfully we have some up and coming creatives and visionaries that know what’s best for us (we boast a few here in [add link, our team page] Young Emirates), people that are crafting and rebranding this great historical land, Arewa, to see it flourish technologically, using smart, innovative and sustainable means, with the right Islamic mindset.
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