They say tales of hunt will always glorify the hunter, unless leopards learn to write, what they ought to say is tales of hunt will always glorify the hunter. Take a look at the Nigerian tech ecosystem and that statement becomes clearer.
Nigeria has one of the world’s emerging tech ecosystems. New companies are created every week with varying levels of capital from bootstrapped funds to venture capital investments. The future of the Nigerian tech ecosystem holds a lot of promise which in turn fuels the optimism found in the hearts of those who venture into it.
However there is one little problem – or big problem depending on how you choose to look at it. Racism. Yes racism. Or neocolonialism – whichever you choose to call it.
For some reason – obvious reasons, obvious yet pathetic reasons – you get better treatment walking around with a white partner, nobody cares if that partner knows anything about what your company does or even understands a word of English. You just get preferential treatment and you seal deals faster with an “oyinbo” colleague. To buttress these point some CEOs – Nigerian CEOs – hire white associates just to enjoy this advantage.
Another clear example is the second class treatment you receive when you visit any Nigerian agency compared to what whites receive –irrespective of educational level or social status. They just put you below the white man – your fellow Nigerian.
Another instance of this neocolonialism and/or racism is the recent media coverage of Andela and Mark Zuckerberg throwing his weight behind it. All this happened with what seemed like deliberate effort to suppress the Nigerian origins of Andela. Iyinoluwa Aboyeji even had to take to his Medium page to tell the world the story of how Andela was formed.
Apparently being able to tell your story is not all it takes. There is more we have to do what we are not doing or we are doing wrongly. If we are going to develop our tech ecosystem and do it ourselves then we have to make it possible for those who make the effort to achieve success.
Very clearly we have to learn not to only to tell the stories of our escapades, we also have to learn to put things in place to ensure we are the heroes of our stories.