Nigeria’s Twitterati: The Tribes, The Clan And The Warlords
Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Yinka Olaito, a passionate brand and communications strategist who shares his thoughts on communication, new media and development issues via his personal blog and Twitter handles @pathfindernig and @africadevt. The post first appeared on his blog and has been edited and republished on TechLoy with permission.
Some of the best values of Twitter are its immediacy and news on the go. But it wasn’t initially adopted in Nigeria as an online communication tool were thought and opinion leaders can wield their power.
Since 2011, the platform became a powerful tool for online communication and gained wider acceptability. Thanks to the presidential elections in 2011, massive youth activism and the aftermath of the ‘EnoughIsEnough‘ and ‘OccupyNigeria’ campaigns.
Right after these two major campaigns, the Nigerian Twitter community became what some in the Jonathan administration might describe as ‘notorious’ and ‘rebellious’.
This period saw the emergence of major Twitter influencers or Twitter Tribal Warlords, if you like. Some of these influencers have gone ahead to become household names while some have become influential among tribe members.
Some of these Twitter Tribal Warlords have even gained global prominence, met with high-profiled personalities they never thought they could meet and more importantly their financial muscles have been strengthened. Though, some were already made before they came on board.
Of course, some of the most engaging and influential Twitter Tribal Warlords do have a strong and virile online presence elsewhere such as blogs and sites where they push content and offer their opinion. And these content platforms also help in fortifying their bases.
But what are some of the major Twitter Tribes in Nigeria and their major Warlords? I’ve listed these below, and if I missed out any name or tribe you feel is important, please don’t hesitate to say in the comments.
1. Policy and Governance
This tribe has gained frontline position because of the situation Nigerians find themselves. The country has witnessed bad policy formulation and implementation as well as ineptitude in policy and governance. The country is blessed with natural resources that can go round under principled management, but has been lacking, while corruption has not been tackled headlong.
A former Vice President of the World Bank and Minister of Education in Nigeria, Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) seems to carry the day and enjoy a leadership position in this tribe. She is an avowed good governance preacher whose words hit deep. Other active thought leaders are Japheth Omojuwa (@omojuwa) and Tolu Ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi).
2. Politics and Current Affairs
This tribe is premised on and gained prominence through the mismanagement of the political structure and lopsidedness in the political space in Nigeria. The Twitter warlords in this tribe are Omojuwa (@omojuwa) and Tolu Ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi).
3. Relationship and Business Development
Many people have issues in their relationships, so any help which appears to address fundamental issues in relationships is often welcomed. A relatively new comer, yet a household name in the brand management industry, Leke Alder (@Leke_Alder) seems to be ruling this tribe. Alder’s letters and #JesusMBA hashtags are trending almost every weekend in Nigeria.
4. Information Technology and Internet Governance
This tribe is led by Gbegan Sesan (@gbengasesan), a social entrepreneur and ICT advocate who started out while in the University. Also, @Gidi_Traffic, (dubbed Nigeria’s version of Apple’s Siri) uses social media and technology to broadcast traffic updates for the Lagos metropolis and has become an online sensation in the Nigerian Twittersphere.
5. Environment, Women and Children Rights
This tribe has Senator Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki), Nike Adeyemi (@nikeadeyemi), Toyin Saraki (@Toyinsaraki), Esther Agbarakwe (@estherclimate), African Child Right (@africanchildrig) and @Toyin01 as Twitter warlords.
6. Online Journalism and Media
This tribe is dominated by Tolu Ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) and he is really making a big impact. There’s also Premium Times (@premiumtimesng), Sahara Reporters (@saharareporters) and many Print and Electronic Media organisations like @punchng and @ChannelsTV.
This tribe has a lot of leading religious/non-profit leaders as champions including Pastor E. A Adeboye (@PastorEAAdeboye), Sam Adeyemi (@Sam_Adeyemi), Poju Oyemade (pastorpoju), Taiwo Odukoya (@pastortaiwo) among others.
8. Entertainment Industry
This industry has lots of frontline artistes competing for the Tribal Warlords title. A popular and A-List comedian known as Alibaba (@ALIBABAGCFR) is an acknowledged leader. Other music artistes are Naeto C (@naetoc), Banky W (@bankyw), Peter Okoye (@PeterPSquare), Paul Okoye (@rudeboypsquare), Wizkid (@wizkidayo) and Don Jazzy (@donjazzy), Omotola J. Ekeinde (@realomosexy), Mercy Johnson (@realmercyj) and controversial Tonto Dike (@tontodikeh). Of course, we can’t forget @BellaNaija, a popular and leading entertainment platform.
9. Celebrity Gossip: This major tribe leaders are Nigeria’s most famous blogger, Linda Ikeji (@lindaikeji), @olorisupergirl, @olufamous and others.
10. Wannabes: Aside from the above, there are the ‘wannabes’, a tiny group of Twitter clans who want to be popular by all means but can’t wait to walk the rope.
If we missed out any name or tribe you feel is important, please add them in your comments and we would update the post soon.
Yinka Olaito is a passionate brand and communications strategist who shares his thoughts on communication, new media and development issues via his personal blog and Twitter handles @pathfindernig and @africadevt.