Obi Asika, Obi Asika & all that cool stuff: 7 reasons Social Media Week rocked

by Chi Ibe
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Obi Asika

Obi-Asika (1)

He might not be the first name that comes to your head when you think of Nigeria’s new media revolution, but that’s just the way Obi rolls. For years since he returned to Nigeria to start Storm, he has championed the possibilities in new media and youth culture with governments, corporates and has kick-started brainwave over brainwave driving that intersection. Plus, Obi is the greatest guy in the world who has built a lorry-load of goodwill across the media, entertainment, advocacy and tech industries – supporting, encouraging, advocating, helping. When he brought this gift to the new generation – it was obvious, everyone was going for this party. Just as well.

It’s all about you 

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Nothing like this has ever happened in Nigeria, I beg to be corrected – this event drew it’s power from the greatest demonstration of crowd sourcing I have ever seen, getting those in the industry to drive the events, the buzz, and giving them near-total control over the narrative. This belonged to the people and not the few sponsors, or even the organisers. It was the greatest example of people power, and the people exploited it to the fullest – with joy.

An awesome line up

And this was the thing – despite the fact that it was driven not by corporates but by the audience, it was an incredible line-up of the very best in new media and technology – from the fashion events curated by the likes of BellaNaija to the music round table by Storm and Billboard, governance platforms by EiE Nigeria and others – ministers, bank executives, brand managers, tech entrepreneurs… If your office didn’t give it’s media team official leave to go attend these events, well they missed out on something big.

Nigeria has never seen any event like this before

An event that doesn’t hold in any one place, but across several locations in a city defined by horrendous traffic and transportation systems. But still has the feel and cohesion of one big, connected event; a festival in fact. Remind me of when Nigeria has ever seen this… Yeah, never, it was exhilarating to watch, and to capture the excitement brought together by the Hashtag #SMWLagos. Ah, it was a beautiful time to be young, creative and connected.

Social Media/Tech heads had nothing to call their own

Save for CC-Hub and this and that, what was the reason people weren’t taking social media heads seriously? Nothing on the ground for an old-school establishment to use as a measure of influence, even existence. Social Media week proved that New Media is here, and it is here to stay. These young guys and girls aren’t kidding- y’all better put your monies where your mouths will be next. And yes I am talking to you corporates.

And all that entertainment

Of course it’s driven by Storm, so of course there’s be the finest entertainment this side of town. From EME to Chocolate City and all the best DJs you will find this side of the Sahara, #SMWLagos hubs, especially MACE/Terra Kulture rocked with music, and all that beautiful stuff, and free! It made it all come together with a rhythm that kept us us hooked.

Did we mention Obi Asika?

If it weren’t for this great guy Obi – leading his fab team including Nkiru Asika and Tola Odunsi, none of this would have happened. You guys better be grateful to him – and those like him who are visionary to see the future and help you own it.

#WeCantWaitForSMWLagos2014!

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