The internet loves a good buzz, something to rally round, support or be outraged about. This year had a list of those moments. We bring you 10 of the best. In no particular order/
Attempted rape, scummy men, receipts, this scandal had all the salacious ingredients. Using her Twitter handle @OmogeDami, a young lady accused a fellow, @UcheDandyMUFC of attempted rape. Reacting to the weighty allegations, @UcheDandyMUFC refuted the claims insisting he and the lady in question had consensual sexual relations. According to him, she agreed to come to his house from Berger on the Mainland, all the way to Ajah on the Island but he lost interest after interacting with her. The internet was never quite the same after that.
Bill Gates in Nigeria
Billionaire philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates was in Nigeria early in the year to oversee the sprawling work that his foundation is doing in Nigeria across various development sectors. The high point of the Bill Gates visit was his straight to the issues speech, a scathing and unbiased address that failed to pander to any group and outlined the hard choices Nigeria must make if progress is to be made. The Gates speech caused a furor online and was something of an embarrassment to government.
Marvel’s Black Panther didn’t just happen on the world. It took strategic marketing including grassroots organizing, GoFundMe campaigns and a release date during Black History Month. For Nigerians, Black Panther landed on a thirsty audience and was characterized by fans going to the cinemas repping Wakanda in their best traditional outfits. The discussions around the film ranged from the deep- relationship between Africans and African Americans- to the utterly superficial- Chadwick Boseman’s cool hotness- and sent ticket sales to record numbers.
Davido and Chioma serving loads of assurance
The most prominent romance of the year was the one between popstar Davido and his chef girlfriend Chioma Avril Roland. Played for maximum impact, the duo were constantly trending with reports of every luxury item Davido chose to spoil her with it be it a Range Rover sports or an endorsement deal. Davido-Chioma fever hit a peak when Davido’s single Assurance had both figures at its red hot, overhyped center.
The End Special Anti-Robbery Squad (#ENDSARS), is an advocacy campaign against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigerian Police Force, notorious for gross human rights violations. The movement started as a social media campaign using the hashtag, #ENDSARS in which Nigerians shared stories of how the SARS engage in unlawful arrest, high-handedness, humiliation, detention and extortion. A petition signed by 10,195 people was submitted to the National Assembly calling for scrapping of SARS. In June, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo ordered an immediate restructuring of the unit.
FIFA World Cup
Half of the world tuned in to the FIFA World Cup in Russia so it was only right that outtakes from football’s biggest spectacle would dominate the internet. From the exciting matches, Russian hosts, behind the scenes drama, emotional footballers’ testimonials from Players Tribune, the delightful Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Kylian Mbappe’s retirement of Lionel Messi and a finale that delivered all the goods, the World Cup was indeed a spectacular affair.
In My Feelings challenge
Drake swept the Internet with the In My Feelings Challenge, a popular dance craze involving thousands (millions?) of social media users including celebrities sharing videos of themselves doing the exact same moves to the tune of Drake’s number one song, In My Feelings. The viral challenge was spotlighted in Drake’s official music video for, In My Feelings,” and it featured the campaign’s comedian originator.
Linda Ikeji falling pregnant
Billionaire blogger, Linda Ikeji gave Nigerians an early Christmas present when she decided to (over)share the story of how she got pregnant and became mother of her son. Of course, a Linda Ikeji drama had to come with the goodies and Ms Ikeji spilled the beans on her doomed romance with baby daddy, Sholaye Jeremi. Her story involved details like travelling to Lekki’s famed fifth roundabout and a promise of marriage that never quite worked out. The result of all the drama was that Ms Ikeji ‘’fell pregnant.’’
We have Wizkid to blame for this one. The Starboy first tweeted the word #Stew while promoting new music. But it wasn’t until the arrival of the sexy music video for his hit Fever, that the internet truly caught on. Wizkid and his bestie Tiwa Savage set tongues wagging when they appeared in the video holding hands and making out like a pair of star crossed lovers. Of course the interwebs found it too much to handle #StewEverywhere.
Falz became the most talked about rapper of the year for taking a splash in not just socially conscious, but politically charged waters. He released the Childish Gambino remake, This is Nigeria, a timely if uninspiring piece of music that painted a broad picture of contemporary Nigerian society. This is Nigeria proved hugely successful, especially online, where it quickly achieved viral status and was noticed by P. Diddy.
The writer tweets from @drwill20
Wilfred Okiche is a medic, reader, writer, journalist, culture critic, and occasional ruffler of feathers. One of the most influential critics working in the Nigerian culture space, his writing has appeared extensively in platforms like YNaija.com and 360nobs.com. Okiche has provided editorial assistance to the UK Guardian and has had his work published in African Arguments, Africa is a Country and South Africa’s City Press. He has received trainings and acquired experience in multimedia and online journalism. He also appears on the culture television show, Africana Literati. He has participated at critic programs in Lagos, Durban and Rotterdam.