So many things don’t work in Nigeria – too many to count. But one thing, I mean absolutely one thing, that Nigeria or Nigerians are at par with the world would be phones.
But that’s not the end of it; the real McCoy is the smartphone.
At first only the middle class, the rich guys and the Yahoo boys got smartphones. Then girls discovered Blackberry and I don’t even know which is worse – Eve eating the forbidden fruit or girls chatting on Blackberries. Even a movie was made about that shitty stuff. Anyway, Blackberry committed suicide and folks moved on to Android and sometimes iPhone.
This’ where it’s started getting interesting.
The thing about Android + Google is, they ain’t elitist. While the big boys dumped Blackberry for Apple, unfortunately there ain’t no iMobile for poor folks, Chinese guys came along and practically drowned everyone with knockoffs that’s affordable. So here we are, everyone I know has a smartphone. Even my old driver threatened me on Facebook using his smartphone (the phone is probably smarter).
So what’s the big deal?
It’s a big deal people! We could really have the next payment revolution on those damned things. (Never trust a banker, they never think beyond money, that includes me).
But frankly, payment aside, where’s the killer app? Today all I hear is Facebook, Twitter and Linda Ikeji. Where’s that Nigerian app that’s gonna put us on the world map?
The phones ‘re there. The internet is somehow there. The eye balls are there. And then nothing!
The thing with killer apps is that you can’t will them to life. They just have to happen but can’t find out why it isn’t happening in Nigeria. Where is our TenCent? Our WhatsApp? Our PayPal or Square? I have seen guys try though but it ain’t just happening. Tsaboin did traffic app but no dice. Some other random dude did a JaiyeJaiye club app, but the alcohol haze hasn’t provided the required lift.
You know the sad thing is even the big companies like banks and telcos can’t see nothing. No bank has gone big on mobile; their websites are not even designed to work on phones even though nobody sits (save for unfortunate office workers) all day using desktop to do stuff. To get a bank Mobile App on your phone, you probably need heavens to detail an Angel escort to help.
I’m waiting for that proud moment when a Nigerian is going to build some random app that do some random useful thing or things and be used by 400M random people in many random countries with 100M of those random people in 774 random local governments in Nigeria.
Is it going to happen? Maybe, maybe not. All I can do is cross my spindly legs and wait it out.