Àgbà Akin is raising a generational talent of technicians by teaching young Nigerians free programming on social media, using his Twitter, where he has more followers.
Born Akinola Abdulakeem Akinade, the 24-year-old software engineer and technology expert who began his journey through the tech space by learning web design has grown into a global team of experts dedicated to helping clients transform the concepts of applications in commercial reality at Ssu-Technologie Limitée.
Akinade continued to empower market professionals and a range of multinational mobile software companies and local businesses following the launch of Swiftspeed Appcreator, a cross-platform, open-source mobile app maker developed and managed by its company “Ssu-Technology Limited”.
Swiftspeed Appcreator has over 50,000 active users and over 150,000 apps have been created using the software. In this interview, Àgbà Akin talks about her mission to bring about positive changes in the technological ecosystem, the future of her company among others.
Tell us about your journey through the tech space.
My journey has been quite difficult, but I have a mother who gave everything to support me. My dad wanted me to learn furniture as it’s funny, I wasn’t interested in it, so I moved out of my house to leave with my aunt who put me in a computer store.
We used to have this guy in this computer store and then designing websites so I always watch him closely and then he started teaching me too the interest turned into a passion and I started to want to know more.
When I was admitted to college, my mother supported me financially with lots of funds to enroll me in programming courses on Udacity, and then I got the Andela scholarship in application development.
When I finished these classes, I started taking jobs from my friends who needed to build websites and design for free, and then I started getting clients paying for my services on Upwork. Then I earned a little. I started a WordPress blog to write about technology and mainly about Google products, where I also get extra income from AdSense.
Then gathering all that money it started to look a bit too much for an 18 year old my parents were worried they wanted to make sure it wasn’t fraud and my mom came to my school personally which was the University of ilorin to interview some of my friends. She also spoke with my roommate then and when she confirmed everything was fine. She advised me to start my own business. A new story in itself.
How old were you when you made your first significant breakthrough in technology, and what exactly made you earn so much money?
I was 18, I remember working on this application for the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board “Jamb” application for Nigerian students to practice past question. The application has been downloaded over 100,000 times within 6 months. It made me a lot of money at the time and was one of my first projects I got money for since I graduated learning to code.
So you studied agriculture but found yourself in a technological space, do you have a career plan as an engineer?
Oh, engineering career, educationally I don’t think so, but I’m popular as a senior software engineer among my colleagues and fellow techies, so I think I’m probably already an engineer, maybe not academically. But another degree in engineering is not feasible. I rather go for MBA and Ph.D. in business-related fields. The technical skill is already mainly acquired by the self-taught, I am now ready to explore the entrepreneurial part of the industry.
What do you do in your company, Ssu-Tech Limited?
In fact, I am the CEO and have a team of 7 other nerds who have bought into and are fully committed to my vision to revolutionize the Nigerian tech space. Basically what I do is supervision, and I’m very good at it given my experience and familiarity with technology, I can bring value to all the departments we have, from creation of content to the development team, the product team, the support team, and even sales. Given my experience, I give directional instruction and collaborate to improve our existing work and product.
You have launched “Swiftspeed Appcreator” software, what is your objective?
Thank you. When I started my company (Swiftspeed) we didn’t have any products, we just contracted customers to build websites and apps with them, but for a start-up to grow potential, you need to keep yourself and the team busy all the time and create a steady stream of income. I thought, “what if we don’t have a client for a particular month? How can I maintain the flow of salary payments and record income?” So we thought of creating a product, which was Swiftspeed Appcreator. It is a cross-platform mobile application development platform. No coding knowledge is required to use this software, and it’s inspired to help businesses get to market on time with a sophisticated mobile app solution that’s easy to build, easy to manage, and very affordable to maintain. instead of using a random developer.
How is the response so far?
The response has been massive, our mobile app was launched in 2019 and so far has nearly 200,000 installs on Google Play. We also have over 50,000 active users and over 150,000 applications have been created using the software. There are plenty of posts about the product, and the review on Trustpilot shows it’s miles ahead of the competition. For a product focused on Africa, we are doing perfectly well.
Do you remember the first major project you managed?
The first project I handled was helping my friend create an e-commerce website for his school project where he intended to sell his products.
How has the trip been so far, what are your good and bad stories?
The journey has been beautiful, of course, every life journey has ups and downs, but I have always used the low end of my story as motivation to do better, learn to form my error, and associate and surround myself with a team of people who can help me find a solution where I don’t even think at all.
You run programming tutorials on Twitter, is it convenient?
It’s not that convenient, but it’s a passion for me, I see how the Nigerian youth community is seen as a place full of scammers, and I thought about how best to help young people to get their bearings by teaching them various things about technology, and I chose to use Twitter, which is my most active social media
Congratulations, you see this Tweet; here’s a life-changing opportunity to go tech this year; let’s start our coding journey.
I will explain to you as you are 5 years old; thanks for retweeting for others, and let’s get started!!
— Àgbà Akin (@Kynsofficial) January 3, 2022
Participation was massive, I had over 70,000 subscribers in just 2 weeks of starting. Thousands of people have signed up for the course and are constantly training with a photo of their workspace. It makes me happy that I am soon raising a generational talent of technicians in the closest.
Are there membership criteria?
Membership criteria are as simple as taking classes and completing all assigned class assignments. We run exams and also offer scholarships through our new product, Swiftspeed Technology, by offering scholarships to outstanding students in my Twitter courses to study programming and other technology-related courses.
How would you rate IT in Nigeria?
I think computing, for now, is still underdeveloped, but there’s been kind of a revolution in the tech spaces with big startups bagging seed and serial funds and doing take their products to the next level, both on local and global stages. If something else isn’t advancing and progressing in the country right now, I’m sure the technology is😌.
We have a lot to do to close the technology gaps, but can you, as an expert, predict the possible timeline when we can actually close this?
The tech divides in Nigeria are staggering I get a lot of hate and abuse for doing what I do teaching people how to code for free means we will be introducing some kind of generational tech talent in a few months and already existing people into the community feel threatened, but another developer success has and can never impact your own “Danny Thompson, 2021” success.
I believe that through proper dialogue, unlearning, relearning, and re-education, we can impress upon those uninformed about the purpose of bridging the divide and divides that the tech community is large enough for everyone to thrive in. their respective relationships.
What are you passionate about, what are you already working on or planning to do soon?
I am passionate about impacting knowledge and bringing positive change to the tech ecosystem, and I have been able to do this with over 78,000 young Nigerians taking my tech classes using Twitter feeds. This participation makes me want to continue wanting to give back to the community and diversify my content. I think I’d like to call myself a creator now, because of the constant way I engage my classes with the Twitter feed. This one has over 2 million impressions so far.
I feel like Twitter might not be enough so I used my custom website as well as to support the purpose of my content so that the information I am trying to convey on a particular topic is well understood.
What I’m working on is how to teach people how to code has shaped another product idea of a learning platform that provides the tools and courses for people to learn, let’s just call it l ‘Udemy of Africa.