by Okon Ekpo
We love our trending topics with the same voracity with which we consume breaking news. These 10 moments/hashtags sent the entire country wagging, and we took to the Internet to express ourselves. Presented in no particular order.
In the wake of an economic recession, all hands were put on deck to placing the country back on the path of stability. Thus the #BuyNaijaToGrowNaira campaign was born, encouraging less consumption of exports while supporting the local producing industries. Some proponents of this campaign were less than genuine and the idea itself may have been borne from a less than enlightened place but little drops eventually make a mighty ocean.
I see our youths saying "Chelsea, Manu for life!" Why do you think the pound is so strong? Because of this mentality #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira
— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) February 13, 2016
I'm not here to demand that you buy Naija. I'm here to inspire #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira by buying and using made in Nigeria products myself.
— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) February 15, 2016
I've been cynical of hashtags lately but I like idea of #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira promoting locally made goods as Nigeria battles forex crisis
— Zainab Usman (@MssZeeUsman) February 13, 2016
— DONNA BAGS (@vingerNG) July 13, 2016
— CHINO BROWN (@classic_nedu) June 2, 2016
Our president is a small-minded chauvinist and he chose a world stage in faraway Germany, right next to the most powerful woman in the world, Angela Merkel to disgrace himself and all of us at the same time. While parrying questions on a recent critique of his leadership style by his wife Aisha, Buhari dismissed her concerns, and maliciously consigned her to the kitchen, the living room and the other room. Of course, the Internet was never quite the same after that.
Omawumi walks out of interview
Singer Omawumi walked out of a video interview with HFtv’s Zinnia after the host unprofessionally began to go down a path of questioning that was uncomfortable for both. But being Omawumi, she did not go out without some style. She harangued the presenter for her lack of decency and accused poor, flustered, inappropriate Zinnia of not wishing her well, launching a thousand memes and GIFs in the process.
For the better part of the year, the grass to grace story of Olajumoke Orisaguna,- the bread hawker who became a media sensation when she happened upon a Tinie Tempah photoshoot helmed by celebrity photographer TY Bello- enthralled the world. TY Bello took an interest in Olajumoke when she observed the former bread seller photographed beautifully. Bello placed her on the cover of ThisDay Style and photo shoots, a modelling contract and endorsement deals followed shortly.
Oshey Baddest Bobrisky
Snapchat juggernaut, Internet sensation, cross dresser, make up lover, dealer in skin lightening products and lover/flaunter of bae, Bobrisky (born Idris Okuneye) took the country by storm with his against the norm embrace of his feminine side and blatant gender bending behaviour. Bobrisky has kick started and been a visible part of a national debate (see the Alder consulting drama) on alternative lifestyles and what is considered acceptable behaviour.
The entire 2016 Budget process
Poor long suffering Nigerians were confronted this year with a new lexicon, ‘’Budget padding,’’ the dubious and maybe (depending on who you’re talking to) criminal inflation of budgetary estimates, by top government officials with intentions of benefitting personally from the process at the expense of the country. By the time principal actors in this mess started to sing, everyone from the presidency to the legislature was caught with fingers in the jar. Oh! the budget was also ‘’missing’’ at some point. This saga alone trended multiple hashtags like #BudgetOfYams and #MissingBudget.
Mark Zuckerberg visits Yaba
The Facebook founder crept into Lagos, Nigeria unannounced, like a thief in the night (back when thieves still came in with stealth) and wowed the entire country, as he headed straight to the tech cluster in Yaba. Soon Zuckerberg was crossing the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge, meeting with Nollywood royalty and government big wigs but the fact that his first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa started in Yaba was proof that greatness is expected from the young tech heads domiciled in that corner of the country. Of course, the Internet lost its collective minds.
The whole country rallied on social media for Mayowa Ahmed, a 31-year-old citizen who battled with ovarian cancer. A gofundme campaign was kick started to raise the $100,000 (32million Naira) required to help Mayowa get treatment abroad but no sooner had the complete amount been raised than Nollywood actress Toyin Aimakhu who added support to the campaign accuse Ahmed’s family via Linda Ikeji’s blog of seeking to fleece Nigerians. After police intervention and some furious back and forth, Ikeji apologised but alas, Mayowa passed away in August.
Tiwa starts to talk
The domestic scandal of the year played out live on social media and in Youtube videos. Tunji ‘Teebillz’ Balogun, estranged husband of pop diva Tiwa Savage took to Instagram to detail news of the collapse of his 2 years old marriage to Savage. He accused her of being a terrible and faithless wife and her clap back, in the form of a long-form tell all with This Day’s Azuka Ogujiuba was epic, as she aired all the dirty laundry.
Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming
Where to start with Toke? The On Air Personality with a flair for the dramatic and guts to die for started 2016 a little down in the dumps. Her short-lived marriage to Lagos big boy Maje Ayida was over and she was soon filing for divorce. She went about her work with a vengeance, though, cutting videos on her vlog that got tongues wagging for the credibility of lack of, of the advice she was shelling out. Then followed a controversial photoshoot with some magazine no one has actually seen and the launch of her book On Becoming which shut down the Internet with revelatory tales of bleaching, sexually transmitted infections and faithlessness. Talk about hell having no fury.