Once in a while, you get a challenging request that you feel like turning down not because you are not capable, but just because you have so much on your plate. However, even with the load on your plate, there are still some people you cannot say NO to! This was the case a while back when I got an early-morning wake-up call from someone I hold in very high esteem, whom I refer to as my “dad”.
I remember that morning when my phone rang and I checked the caller-id and saw it was a call I had to answer because some phone calls, you just HAVE TO answer no matter how tired you are! It was a call from Archbishop Felix Alaba Adeosin Job, the Archbishop Emeritus of Ibadan Catholic Archdiocese. On the other end, in his ever charismatic voice, he called me like he normally does: “Vally-Vally” (reserved just for him by the way!). How are you doing? Se mo ji e ni? (Did I wake you up?) Of course, it was okay for him to wake me up, so I told him it was okay and he went ahead and told me he had a young man he wanted me to please mentor, and just wanted to give me a heads-up that he would be passing my contact details across to the young man. His Grace went ahead and gave me an overview of the task ahead of me but little did I know!
Now, I must say, based on recent experience with some youths in Nigeria, I was not excited! I really wasn’t! I just prayed to God this would not be yet another youth “who just wanted the world handed over to him!” Little did I know I was about to be given a run for my money – considering I mentor for FREE! 🙂
Within a few hours, I got an introductory WhatsApp message from this gentleman whom my dad believes in so much to make him put a phone call through to me early in the morning! Now, I know WHY, and feel highly privileged!
This gentleman is the FIRST NIGERIAN “Mark Zuckerberg!” He is 24 years old Smith Chukwuemeka Eze who happens to be the idea behind Nigeria’s FIRST Social Media Networking website – www.2geda.net
In my years of mentoring youths, I have not come across an aggressive, determined, focused, and humble gentleman who against all odds has the disposition needed for success.
According to Emeka, his interest goes way back to his primary school days when “cyber-cafes” were popular in Nigeria and “Yahoo” was the trending social media. When YAHOO-YAHOO took over the lives of young boys; the then “little Emeka” vowed not to allow peer-pressure take the best of him and avoided joining the gang that used/use the Internet to defraud innocent victims. He made a promise to himself to tap into the opportunity in technology legitimately.
Emeka refused to allow “class” affect his determination. Born and bred in Ibadan as the 7th child of his businessman-father from Imo State, and a hair-stylist mother from Ondo State, into a family considered “low-class” (by Nigeria’s definition), the sky was the beginning for Emeka, no it was NOT the limit, but surely the beginning!
According to him “after my secondary school education, I decided to enroll for an ICT (Information Communication Technology) professional course – CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate). While at the school, I hopped from one department to another after my classes, concentrating more on website programming courses. I wondered day after day why most young men were getting involved in YAHOO-YAHOO. Why was no one looking at other means of legitimate income? The idea of starting my own social media website was developed. I furthered on to the Ogun State Institute of Technology to study Computer Science. Due to financial constraints, I had to drop out of college because I could not finance my education and project at the same time. I looked around me and realized the environment I was in was a critical situation – so many jobless graduates. I have the faith that my project will open job opportunities to graduates once grounded. I dropped out of college, and focused on my project with the little funds I was earning.” Nigeria’s first social media website was conceived.
WHAT IS 2geda.net all about? According to Emeka, it is a community social media website, not just any social media website. It houses the most used platforms on the Internet with the aim of reducing the stress of going from one website to another. Emeka continues: “My social networking site enables bulk-sms, files uploads and downloads (including Microsoft Office Suite); audio, movies as well as musical videos uploads etc.”
2geda PIN is a unique identity assigned to every user of 2geda.net platform. It starts with “2G” and four random alphanumeric characters. Even birogs.com refuses to be left out of the game 🙂 Sign up on 2geda.net and find 2GBirogs and follow us. Every user has the ability of designing his or her account to a personal taste with graphics, pictures.
Talking about achieving something many would have deemed impossible, especially with his financial constraints, and an environment that rarely encourages or invests in talented youths, Emeka confesses it has not been an easy road to trek! He was discouraged by many, especially close associates. He said: “It wasn’t easy at all, because nobody is ready to invest in your dream. For the first four years, I struggled. I went from one personality to another to help me achieve my dreams. Most of them turned me down. Some kept promising, but till date, I refuse to relent! The aim is to surpass Facebook and other social media applications available. We plan to be recognized internationally, and strive towards being the hottest social media network platform in Nigeria.” This will make the originator one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the world, and becoming famous like Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
What made Emeka so sure of the success of his idea? “From the very first day, I knew the project would succeed. I believed it would, and I gave it all I had, and still giving it all I have. With an unshakeable faith in God, a well-laid plan, the concept of transforming communication and reforming technology, it is a done deal. We will prove to the world at large that positive things are birthed in Nigeria, and we also want to encourage other youths that they can be the best they want to be as long as they are focused”. We are partnering with a U.S based non-profit organization Chances and Opportunities Inc. with youth empowerment projects in Nigeria.
2geda.net is up and running. Within few weeks of activating the website, thousands of users are registered on the platform already. Do not be left behind. Get 2geda now!