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Young Nigerian who learned programming “with a Nokia phone”, now works at an MIT-backed startup

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There have been this light of Innovation shimmering out of Nigerian youths despite the state of the country. And what makes it more interesting is the means at which these bright youth build themselves. This is story of a 19-year-old Nigerian, Elvis Chidera, who brushed himself up in the programming field with a nokia phone that barely helped. He went through tough times to attain to his level of knowledge, this serves as an inspiration to young Nigerians who are being hit aback by tough situations.

Elvis chidera
I’m a 19-year-old developer at an MIT-backed startup called dot Learn in Lagos, living in the bustle of Nigeria’s largest city. But until recently my life was quite different.
Just a few years ago, I was living in rural southeastern Nigeria and had nothing but a basic Nokia 2690 phone — and a big dream to improve the world using technology.
Here’s my journey from “village boy” to the epicenter of West Africa’s tech boom.
I quickly moved onto my next idea: an app that makes it easy to send text messages to multiple people at once and at an affordable price. The cost of sending text messages in Nigeria was around $0.013, I planned on reducing it to $0.005.
To build the app, I learned a new programming language called Java. I also needed to have a computer to compile the code, but I still couldn’t afford one. Fortunately, I was able to find a way to build an app right on my Nokia phone, through an application called J2ME SDK Mobile.
I spent days programming, carefully typing everything on the phone’s small number pad. After a few months, I had built the website and the app.
The app launch went well  —  at least better than my first project. We got some local press and grew to about 5,000 users. There were a few daily transactions, but over time, due in part to my inexperience (I was still only 14 years old), I was not able to keep up with the number of users and had to shut the app down.
It was becoming clear that to take my programming skills to the next level I would need a computer. I cut my daily expenses and lived a simple a life as possible. I asked my relatives for help. I even sold some personal belongings to raise money for the laptop.
Still, it wasn’t enough. Determined to achieve my goal, I took on a freelance job building a website to earn the remaining sum.
How do you build a website for PC on a feature phone? Simple: have a Facebook friend you disturb every night to view your website on his computer and give you feedback. It was cheaper than going to a cyber cafe.
Finally I was able to get a laptop. I switched immediately to creating Android apps. The Android platform didn’t have the limitations that exist on the J2ME platform which, for a techie like me, was very exciting.
At this point, I was now a high school graduate, and I was looking for freelance jobs to support my family. I saw a job advert for an Android developer position at dot Learn. I looked them up and realized it was set up by two MIT-based technologists working in a field that I was passionate about, education technology.
They had a unique idea: to solve the problem of access to online education by making educational videos extremely data-light  —  as low as 1MB for every hour of video.
I felt this was key to making education more accessible, as cheap and fast internet connection needed to download large videos is still uncommon in Africa.
I am very passionate about revolutionizing education in Africa. In fact, I had already built a free (ad-supported) exam prep app called PrepUp with over 30,000+ installs and was one of the finalists at the West Africa Mobile Awards 2016.
After several days of debating with myself, I finally applied for the position. Well, long story short: after lots of preparation, a phone interview, coding projects, and answering challenging questions, I was accepted.
Working at dot Learn, I have met lots of awesome people from MIT, Harvard, and other great places. As a team, we have been part of some testing competitions like the Techcrunch Battlefield Africa, Cisco Innovation Challenge, and the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge.
It’s been incredible so far, and dot Learn is just one of many startups, like Andela and iROKO, in the growing tech ecosystem bursting in Lagos.
It’s hard to believe this journey all began with a basic Nokia phone.

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Employment seeking girl steals N108k from her prospective employer

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Opportunity comes but once, this young girl believes as she stole N108k from her prospective employer. A female jobseeker has been captured for taking One Hundred and Eight Thousand Naira amid her prospective employee meeting in Delta State.

It was accumulated that the businessperson at the organization had ventured out to get something, leaving the suspect in the workplace. The young lady professedly utilized the chance to take N108k and fled.

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Good fortune, be that as it may, ran out on her, days after the fact, while going through the road where the workplace is found. She was expeditiously caught and dragged to her home where the rest of the cash was recovered.

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Lagos tenant uses Landlord’s apartment to dupe house appliance vendors of N50 million

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Read this narration by twitter handle, @Wenogetjob, which tells of how he eavesdropped on a couples conversation of a duping man. The man rented a house for 2 month, bought expensive items worth up to N50 million on credit. Left the rented apartment with all the appliances he has not paid for, after winning the trust of the sellers.

Hey peepz, I have a gist tho I don’t know if it’s true or not..But I will say it Sha. I was just walking on the street 2receive fresh air when I saw a couple. d man was telling his wife about an incident. I kukuma slowed down an walked behind them to hear d full gist.

It was more like a scam story. A certain man walked up to a Landlord in our area and requested to rent his apartment for 2 months, with the excuse that he was traveling to Canada and just came to Lagos for the Visa Processing.. They agreed on 150K.

The man paid and took ownership of the apartment.He then went out to Vendors in town and negotiated to buy expensive items on lease. With installment payment plans.. He was said to have collected home appliance worth N50,000,000 from various vendors.

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He then took them all to the apartment one by one to build trust. At least once they know he lives there, they can easily come around and pack their stuffs if he defaults, these people didn’t know what would hit them was going to be deadlier than Tsunami.

As agreed with the Landlord, the man packed out even earlier than expected… Left with all the items, of which he had not finished the payment..and the Landlord was so happy to have struck a better deal He immediately rented out the apartment to another family.

One by one, the creditors began to come in and same story was relieved to them.. Some fainted, some threatened hell fire …. To cut the long story short, Baba Ijebu was arrested alongside the new tenant.. You know Naija now… #POLICE  no wan hear wuen

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They were only saved after a Landlord intervened. He is a legal practitioner and took up the case. But sincerely speaking. I wonder how some people feel at rest knowing fully well their victims would suffer.  I guess it all centers on lack of conscience. This is bad #dojon

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Read Also: UPDATE!!! Offa Bank robbers caught by the phones they gave their girlfriends

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How a middle-aged man died after withdrawing N100,200 from the bank will shock you

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How a middle-aged man died after withdrawing N100,200 from the bank will shock you

What could have taken the life of a middle-aged man, identified only as Muyibi, who collapsed and died in a commercial cab in the Ojota area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro reports that Muyibi boarded the cab after withdrawing money from a United Bank for Africa branch in the Ogudu area. Then the driver had turned to to take his fee from Muyibi when he realized the man had become motionless. After reaching the terminus, a resident told Punch’s correspondent that the driver alighted from the cab to slightly push Muyibi, who was cold.

The resident, who did not want to be identified, said,

“The driver had picked some other passengers along the way, and they had all paid and dropped off at their various bus stops.
“When the victim did not respond when they got to the terminus, the driver parked the cab to rouse him, but he was cold.
The driver raised the alarm, which drew the attention of commuters and passersby to the scene. People checked him and discovered that the man was dead.”

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Policemen from the Ogudu division were said to have been alerted to the incident. The driver’s vehicle was impounded just like that, while the man’s body was deposited in a morgue.

A source person at the terminus who spoke with Punch newspaper confirmed the incident, saying:

“It happened around 3pm on Friday. The man went to withdraw some money in UBA. The Ogudu Divisional Police Officer was compassionate; she pitied the cab driver, who had become jittery.
Although the man was not detained, his cab was impounded at the station pending when the deceased’s family would show up,” he added.

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Lagos state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, said the police recovered N100,200 from the victim’s bag.

He said:

“The man was on his way to Ojota when he collapsed and died. We recovered the sum of N100,200 from his bag.
He also had a phone, which had a new SIM card. There is no contact on the phone and nobody has called him. We have a lead as to where he could be living.
His body has been deposited in a morgue for autopsy.”

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