As a child, the first thing I learnt in security was how to hide my properties behind my back. Whenever my mother gave me a piece of fish and I could not restrain the urge to play with my elders, I will use my back as safe haven for my small fish. Growing up I extended this attitude to my ideas, skills and talents ignorantly. I have recorded various successes through this act but my experience in recent times has really taught me differently.
I knew Hanson Johnson years back in school and we became friends the first day we met in front of Hostel B where we had gone to check for more admitted names that came out in the VC’s list – admission lists then had various tags. “Hansaino anyung otongo,” the fair guy he walked with had said in my native tongue when he – Hanson, made fun of a boy whose name did not appear in the list, despite the promises the boy had from his acclaimed agents of admission.
We had exchanged contacts when I realized he was a student of Electrical Electronics Engineering and even lived in the same community – Umuchima, with me. After graduation, though we grow in the same community – tech wise, I never really saw the need to collaborate with him in terms of skills. “If he needed my skills, then he should be able to pay for it,” I had thought, while if I needed his skills in Android Development then we will have to discuss over dinner.
Start Innovation Hub grew in fame while I hired out myself to various media Lords to learn and understand the skills needed for the venture to grow in the entrepreneurial world. Collaboration was of less importance to me. Then the issue of communities ensued and we had to create communities so that our successes could be expedited. Being an ex-student of Java Technology at the then NIIT Uyo, we had the tech community established and GDG Uyo, guided our activities.
All these while, we never collaborated. Mid this year, I felt the urge to go into media as a profession and I said a little prayer in that respect. A month after launching my web app, I was trained by a Digital Marketing guru – Ized Uhanikhehi. The 3-day impactful training turned my head around to something greater than I ever thought could happen in Africa. An idea I had several years back became fresh and refined in my sub-conscious, and I felt lighted up when my tutor suggested we should never work alone – “collaboration was paramount.” She emphasized. The message sank in like a prophetic utterance of the old testament prophets and I swallowed my fears and joined her community DigiClan Africa.
In summary, while my ideas dominated my articles in the previous years, through my collaboration with the hubs in Uyo, I have discovered several talents that are spread across the Akwa Ibom ecosystem. Meeting young entrepreneurs like Iboro Otu of Alert Nigeria who is currently building up talents in the state, my faith is strengthened by the success of Mark Essien of Hotels.ng that someday our startups will get the attention it requires to thrive.
Last weekend as we earlier reported in techforest.ng, Start Innovation Hub hosted the Expanded Community Meetup. During the meetup various speakers elaborated on the skills you need to thrive. Facebook Developer Circles in Uyo, Google Developers and Digital Marketers tagged DigiClan Africa gathered together to learn, connect and explore together. Various stakeholders in these communities came together to achieve the goals stated earlier.
During the event, we had the likes of Enwongo Cleopas, Uko George, Glory Elijah, Sunday Ukafia of Express Hub and a host of others spoke on digital marketing and the various tools and skills needed to make the difference in the profession. Christian Ekene had earlier spoken on Facebook Audience Networking where he elaborated the basic skills needed to create a perfect Facebook ad. One can only imagine the impact of the meetup on attendees and the energy felt during the said event can only be explained by community experts.
With the ease at which our brand is gaining audience, it is significant that collaboration with the various communities within the Akwa Ibom ecosystem is very significant. The need for collaboration can never be over emphasized since I have witnessed a 3-month-old android developer display some designs, after collaborating with the interns in the just concluded hotels.ng internship program. My media startup I must confess, has grown exponentially since I belong to communities where collaboration is observed.