Posts Tagged ‘Enugu’

I’d like to tell a story (one that is long overdue); one that I hope will inspire you, confuse you (like it did me at some point), and more importantly open you up to do things even you thought you were unable to do. Ready?

So, I studied social media for a Master’s Degree, knew as soon as I was done that much as I loved my job at the BBC World Service Trust (now Media Action) producing the award-winning Story Story, I wanted to start a consultancy, teach people to communicate with their audiences using social media. And I did. I’ve been privileged to work for the best of the best since then.

While I was outside Nigeria, I benefited from a host of events, support groups, picked up tips and tricks, and generally enjoyed the opportunity to share knowledge, learn new stuff, stay on top. Some of these events were as particular as ‘black women in tech’, ‘black women who code’, etc.

I didn’t have that here in Nigeria, and after a while, I grumbled. And moved on. And grumbled, and moved on. I mentioned this need to my friends Fatu Ogwuche and Nana Nwachukwu once, talked about the need to hold an event/create a community of women, and still moved on. I even had a conversation with Iyin Aboyeji of Andela at Salamander Cafe and I remember him encouraging me to stick with women as against males and females for the event. Angel Adelaja of Zahara Spa popped into the cafe for a separate meeting but somehow joined our conversation and promised to support it!

One day in August 2015, I was in the office with Andy Madaki, and I said I was going to hold an event to see how many women were working in technology in Abuja, see what we could learn from each other, and how we could collaborate, and support each other. And while I was talking to him, I knew immediately that if I didn’t commit to it, I wouldn’t do it.

We talked about a name for it and for the sake of pride I won’t mention the names I came up with! By the time I was done with a concept note, Andy coined the name TechHer, and I loved it. And his designer created the logo, and I loved it too!


Then he showed me how to create a Google Form (I’d never had to create one before that day), and in minutes there were six questions and a link on Twitter. In 24 hours 45 women had signed up to attend. I thought, “huh? Where are we going to keep them?”

Our registration form!

At some point we had to close our registration form because we panicked! Then we opened it the next day for another 24 hours because I got inundated with emails. What a great problem to have!

I told my bestie Wumi and my sister Adaora about it; also spoke with Tolu Onile-Ere of PlayHouse Communications, my friend Blaze Otokpa of Blazing Images, etc; by this time I was looking for gifts for our fishbowl raffle. Tolu immediately said his organization would give us N20, 000 worth of data. Whoop! They were our first donors and a much-needed boost at a time when most people I’d spoken to had started disappointing me, stopped replying emails, that kind of thing. *Smile*

I was with my mom and sister in my sister’s office one day, almost pulling out my hair cos we didn’t have a venue. And then I thought, “I’ll just call Jackie Farris”. And I did, and soon as I mentioned what I wanted, she said, “sure, come have a look and tell me what room you want.” Boom! Tears of joy baby! They ended up giving us the gorgeous Exhibition Hall of the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center, and sound equipment too! Thank you!

My friend Nana paid the stipend for the photographer Blazing Images gave us for the day, and I’m so thankful to Nana, and to Blaze because we wouldn’t have been able to afford their services!

There were also people like Amplified Radio and HolyHill Church who livestreamed, Zahara Spa who gave us a voucher to give out, and every other group who gave us gifts to give away.

Let’s backtrack a bit now.

When by the third day of the link being out, we had over 90 people registered, it occurred to me that this was becoming a little bigger than I’d intended it to be. That meant I needed to think. We decided to build a site and get on social media formally, and here I must thank Dimgba Kalu of Learn Code who built us a pretty website in less than 72 hours. Check on it We’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram too.

Where was I? The day was glorious (there’s a roundup here) –  big thank you to my dad for flying my mom in and out of Abuja to support me, to my sister who ended up staying outside the hall to pack the refreshments we got into bags, to Wumi who kept calling to encourage me, to Fatu and Nana – you girls will rule the world I promise – thank you! And to God, who placed the idea in my heart, who keeps strengthening my team and opening doors, we’re so thankful!

Since then, we’ve started a Whatsapp group where we have periodic giveaways, vote on whether Chrome is better than Mozilla’s Firefox, share opportunities, interesting stuff! We also send out periodic newsletters.

What else? On Wednesdays, we profile women in technology who are doing great things, on Thursday we teach a tech-related topic across all our social media, and on Fridays we publicise female businesses across our social media.

TechHer is hinged on three things – support, learning, and collaboration; the idea is to enable whatever women are already doing via technology, and everyday we think of new ways to achieve that. We think of going beyond the call to get women into STEM and are focused on how to keep the ones who are here; how to help them be better at things they do.

We also have to events planned in Abuja this month of November. The first starts on the 17th of November (next week Tuesday), and is ten classes on coding. There’s an entire module prepared for that; please email if you’re interested. It’s free.

We also want to teach our women to design, develop, and manage their websites themselves. That’s on the 27th of November, and is also free. Please register here.

Also, we’re planning a TechHer event for Port Harcourt this December, which I am very excited (and worried) about. I know it will come to pass, despite the odds we seem to be facing now.

So, that’s where we are, what we’re doing, and what we plan to do! From a trickle to a roar! Are you female, curious about or working in technology? You should join us! We might come to your city next!


Hi guys!

Been a while I wrote, and I’m sorry… I’ve written a lot of stuff, but as always, the challenge is typing it up for it to make sense for you!

Anyway, something happened last night.

Screenshot 2014-08-15 10.23.08

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I was in Lagos last week, and driving to a super interesting service with my girl Francesca we saw so many people crossing the expressway just under the pedestrian bridge. Francesca was super upset (and to be honest I was puzzled by it) but seeing this guy yesterday evening just broke me.

People, please let’s be a bit careful. As we drive, as we walk, as we sit in cars driven by other people, we must be careful. Nigeria (especially) is in a bad place with all sorts of things snuffing out lives (ebola, Boko Haram, Cholera, etc.); the least we can do is cover our bases.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Still in the spirit of re-posting from my archives, this one was written on a flight from Abuja to Lagos, which was my most traveled route at some point in my life. I hope you enjoy this one, and not get scared with the pictures (You shouldn’t sha, if you saw either Paul, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, or Avatar)!

It’s titled, Extraterrestrial Influence!

He he he! Totally love this picture….

Been a while abi? I know!! Ok, so the Fairy GodSister had to leave Abuja again for the weekend. Thanks to Aero, I got a reasonably decent fare and started counting down to Friday.

Thursday however, was very funny. Do you ever find it difficult to sleep at night, especially when you have a trip to make the next day? It happens to the FGS too. I mean, even after the Mad Hatter encouraged me to sleep early (considering the long day I had), my eyes refused to close in slumber! Hell, at one time I sealed them closed with glue but my optical apparatus have got a strong-willed mind of their own!

Friday morning I wake up, skipped my exercise routine (after all I was running late), got ready and sped to the airport (Louis Hamilton style)! To start with, I really was late so when we got to the airport gate and there was traffic, I started panicking. Trust your Nigerian brothers and sisters to form almost 9 lanes, further increasing the chaos!

The Fairy Godfather being merciful, we got in and I dashed to the check in counter. As I entered the hall, I heard my flight being announced and in my mind I was like, ‘oh please, I can’t flap my wings all the way to the East now, I just got my hair done’! Fortunately (or so I thought at the time), one of the airline’s officials came, asked where I was headed, and then took my reservation to get my boarding pass. I was feeling fly, thinking that he was probably checking me out and stuff. Ok, so he gets me the boarding pass and I am grateful so I say thank you. He smiles and says, “Madam you have to buy me malt o” (‘have to’ being the operating word). Aah!!! Of course he wasn’t checking me out, he was checking out his pocket! I buy him the malt (his words implied I didn’t have an option anyways) and then inwardly smiling at my apparent silliness and naivety, I make my way to the plane.

Reminds me of a very embarrassing moment; I wanted to meet up a friend somewhere in Stanmore so I bought a day travel card and waited for the bus. When it came, I got in. Now, because the FGS is used to flying herself around (and not taking buses like you mortals), I didn’t know I was supposed to show the bus driver my card. So, I bounced in, and with the confidence of a very chubby crayfish, catwalked to my seat. I looked up and noticed the driver ‘staring’ at me. I looked away but when I looked back, he was still staring! Just when I was going to say, “Excuse me, but it is rude to stare” (in that voice), he said, “Excuse me miss but I do need to see your ticket”! Yup!!! You can imagine how I felt!

Ok, back to my story. So I sit down, and the wait began. I didn’t blame theairline, when you fly for next to nothing what do you expect? (At least that’s the general belief with mortals right)? And of course no explanation for the delay was given. I got the reason for the delay when approximately 40 minutes later the doors were closed and the extremely loud voice of one of the crew bellowed, “His Excellency, the Governor of……distinguished ladies and gentlemen”. (I know eye service was at its peak that day but did the plan include deafening the passengers)?

Two things
• They didn’t even apologize for the delay! Wasn’t really surprised, after all they didn’t explain why we were waiting in the first place!
• I don’t really remember o, but are passengers normally referred to as ‘distinguished’ ladies and gentlemen? Or was it part of the over zealousness that defined the flight? Help me!

Anyways, so we’re finally ready to take off and this ‘creature of God’ behind me decides that that’s when he wants to make an international call! Now the cabin crew had gone through the safety procedures and stuff but Young Jock had to make the call! Again, if it was a D.D.G guy with a blackberry, HP or some other smart phone his sin would have been pardonable; this guy was………..nothing to write home about (I’m sorry), and the phone for the ‘international call’ looked like something from the Trium and Sagem era! Truth is, even if he was fly and everything, it wouldn’t have been enough reason for him to be making a call when the plane was already in motion and we had practically been begged to switch off our phones! I mean, even ‘His Excellency’ had switched his off (well, either him or his Special Assistant in charge of mobile phone issues)!

Are you a baby? What part of ‘SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE’ didn’t you get? Arrgh!!

Fortunately one of the cabin crew went to him (at the exact moment he was discussing how many euro, yen, and pounds he had….oh puhlease), and stayed on him till he switched it off! Phew!! Imagine him sounding hurt, like he wasn’t supposed to have switched off his phone! He’s lucky I wasn’t one of the cabin crew, I would have…….!!!!

To end NTA news at 9, the highlights again:
1. Aero Contractors flight 737 lands safely in Enugu,
2. Fairy GodSister is received by the Fairy GodMother amidst hugs and kisses,
3. Man’s phone catches fire as he disembarked from Aero’s flight 737, extraterrestrial influence suspected!!!

Have a good week people, I insist!

*Originally published here: in October 2009