My Life In Tech is putting human faces to a few of the innovative start-ups, financial investments and policy developments driving the innovation sector across Africa.
Faith History was not constantly interested in computer/technology till a series of life occasions drove her back to gain digital abilities that were essential in her profession trajectory in digital marketing and method.
Faith History looks like the ideal name for an eccentric media character and History, whose birth name is Faith Temitope Nsa, lives up to that name.
We are meeting at her office on the Lagos Island where she shares stories about her upbringing, landing a role at NASA, keeping abreast with innovation and propelling the digital literacy train via podcasts and broadcast media, to the odor of burning incense and the hum of a fan.
Faith History was born in Ilorin to parents who were both educators and travelled a lot in line with their professions as academics frequently taking herself and her 3 brother or sisters together with them for extended time periods.
” What a lot of individuals do not know about me is that my father, he’s late now, was Deaf.
She was always interested in the media and discovered ways, as a teenager, to be involved in a number of activities along media lines like phase acting and presenting. Back in the US for her undergraduate research studies, her dad nudged her in the direction of communications stating it fit her natural inclination towards communication and media.
Computer systems and the science behind them did not interest her that much. Despite being told that the field had nothing comparable with life sciences which she disliked, and that there were lots of non-coding chances available in the field, she went on to finish wonderfully with a degree in Corporate Communications with very little knowledge about the workings of the tech-saturated Washington DC area where she lived.
Six months after finishing nevertheless, she was back to the classroom to take those computer system classes she had fled from having actually lost her job in the data analytics department of a software application advancement company to a round of layoffs.
” I had to go back and take a course in web advancement,” Faith History recalls. This was the early 2000 s’ when business like Twitter and facebook were founded, when USB flash drives changed floppy disks and video content could be submitted and streamed on YouTube. There was plainly an inflection point in the revolutionary possibilities of innovation at the time, but, as she says, she hesitated to move with the time; a mistake she’s guaranteed has actually stayed in the early 2000 s.
That course opened a dream job at NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
” I adopted the position of a more senior web programmer. However they might see that I wasn’t a seasoned developer,” she remembers.
What they did instead, was carve out a new function which they saw a need for and thought she was perfectly fit for. She would spend the next 2 years developing digital material and reconditioning a platform for the Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) team, an internal procurements department within NASA, as a material web manufacturer. There was some technicality and coding included which she overcame with the understanding she had actually acquired throughout the course training and mentorship from older colleagues.
After NASA, History went on to pursue more creative likely roles that likewise merged with her experience in digital material production, technique and social media management/campaigns working with a variety of firms and for global marketing business Ogilvy.
One of her most memorable projects throughout this time was Channel O’s Young, Gifted and Black campaign which ran at some point in 2009 for Black History Month.
” That was a remarkable task. It caught on like fire. I believe that was among the highlights of company work for me,” she says.
” Having the ability to belong to the group that took it digital was remarkable.”
Another she recalls was managing Zain’s rebrand to Airtel campaign in her function as Regional Digital Supervisor for Ogilvy Africa. Again, a few of the abilities and experience amassed from the after-school digital training course proved handy in driving the ideas that assisted her stir her group to successfully carry out the campaign.
Back in Nigeria in 2015, with her media and digital material strategy experience, Faith History introduced eDigital Africa, a digital marketing, strategy and branding company, through which it disseminates a flagship eDigital Africa Program across podcast channels, video streaming platform YouTube, radio and tv broadcast channels.
” Last year we registered as a full fledged company and we began our Let’s Go Digital series where we train other individuals in digital skills,” she says.
The eDigital Africa program, which now includes a video variation released on sharing platform YouTube, is a curation of the effect of digital literacy and innovation throughout a wide variety of sectors from style to health and wealth management.
In addition to online streaming platforms, the program is syndicated on three radio stations and one tv station and is mostly self-funded.
A collaboration with telecommunications company, MTN, which she says was signed in 2015, has also assisted reach more audiences.
With Let’s Go Digital, Faith History combines start-up founders and soon-to-be creators together for a period of training in digital marketing and content creation/optimisation via different formats to better prepare them to utilise innovation and digital skills to scale their ideas.
” That’s how far digital technology has actually gone. There are numerous modules and pieces of it that have actually been developed in time that by the time you add everything together, you can have a totally operating e-commerce site up and running in a number of hours.
” Which skill is readily available to everyone who can check out and write, and who can utilize a computer system,” she says.
Digital literacy refers to the capability to access, manage, comprehend, incorporate, interact, evaluate and produce information securely and properly through digital technologies for work, decent jobs and entrepreneurship. It consists of competences that are variously referred to as computer literacy, ICT literacy, info literacy and media literacy.
46%of work activities in Nigeria are prone to automation according to the World Bank. Coupled with bad funding in the academic system ( 7%of government spending), the lack of quality digital training at fundamental academic levels suggest that there are many people who lack standard digital abilities with more of them concentrated in less urban areas where broadband penetration and internet connection are negligible.
According to Faith History, while the goal is to spread out the eDigital Africa Program across more broadcast channels around the nation and potentially Africa, the business is leaning towards supplying inspiration and instructions for those who already have some fundamental understanding or ability and are looking for to improve them.
” It’s expensive. It’s tough to do. The method radio operates in Nigeria, you have to buy airtime and you need to have sponsors in those time slots,” she discusses.
Among the obstacles with trying to effect digital literacy in the five years since the business was founded, she states, has actually been the intangibility of the value that the program proffers to audiences in addition to the million and another things contending for attention online.
” For us, part of revamping our material has been with that in mind,” she says. By that, she describes discovering methods to mix technology, which, like her, some people postponed on the beginning as too technical and tough to comprehend, with some type of entertainment aspect so regarding make the message easy to consume for audiences.
” You simply have to take a look at how people take in info.”
Maybe among the show’s long lasting effects has been the ability to connect audiences with offered learning opportunities depending on their wanted skill acquisition results.
Tech skill training outlets are not in brief supply in cities like Lagos and elsewhere. From Decagon to LearnFactory in the east, there are a number of programs especially using innovative and specialised digital literacy skills in fields like software application development, information analysis, Machine Learning and more. In more than 200 podcast episodes, some of which have actually been adjusted into visual content to keep audiences engaged, people can not only find out about how innovation is impacting a service sector or field, Faith History says she is also quickly becoming a bridge to connect those who are interested to finding out opportunities.
” Our greatest effect would be when we have the ability to connect the dots,” says Faith History.
Nigeria has set a brand-new 95%digital literacy target for the next 10 years under a Digital Economy Method in order to ramp up the contributions of the ICT sector to the Nigerian economy.
Faith History doesn’t believe there is a requirement to reinvent the wheel all the time. And this is one thing she stresses with her little team to increase their abilities and their performance.
” Whatever you are trying to find, somehow, someplace in the world, it’s currently being done or a variation of it has actually been done. Find out what version of that thing is being done and make it better.”
” I don’t think in starting from scratch.”