22 OCTOBER, 2021
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Good morning ☀️ ️
Eswatini is blocking internet access again.
This time, though, it’s only partial as mobile operators were ordered to block internet access to Facebook after protests against King Mswati III flared up.
This is the second time this year that Eswatini is blocking internet access, and for the same reason too.
Seems like both Nigeria and Eswatini have a lot in common.
In today’s edition
- Quick Fire 🔥
- What’s changed in the year since #EndSARS?
- Apple is chipping in some new features
- TC Insights: Funding Tracker
QUICK 🔥 WITH ADORA NWODO
Adora Nwodo is a software engineer currently building mixed reality cloud services at Microsoft. She has a YouTube channel called AdoraHack, where she talks about software engineering, productivity, and career growth.
Adora is also a published author. She recently wrote Cloud Engineering for Beginners, which teaches people about the cloud and its different career paths.
Explain your job to a five-year-old.
I build shiny tools that help other people build apps for virtual reality and augmented reality. You’re able to use Instagram filters and play games like Minecraft Earth because of platforms that people like me build.
What’s something you wish you knew earlier in your career/life?
I wish I understood the power of believing in and advocating for yourself. It’s something I picked up as I got older because I used to misinterpret what humility means. I’m glad I know now, as it has helped me in my life and career a lot recently.
What’s one piece of advice you think every developer should have?
Being proactive, embracing interdependence and having a growth mindset are valuable non-technical skills that can help you become a better developer. You’re never working alone. Even if you belong to a one-person team, you’re building for customers, so in my opinion, these three skills are very important.
What (singular) achievement are you most proud of?
My book! I recently wrote a cloud engineering book for beginners and I can’t stop talking about it. I didn’t know I had the patience to finish a whole book. It’s one achievement I’m very proud of and I hope it helps a lot of people to launch their cloud engineering careers.
What’s something you love doing that you’re terrible at? And what’s something you really do not like doing that you’re great at?
I love playing car racing games with my male friends. I’m terrible at it. I never win, but it’s so fun for me lol.
I’m great at music chairs. It’s not that I hate it, but I’m usually very shy at parties, so I never want to do it unless a friend calls me out.
What’s the most difficult part of your job, and how do you deal with it?
The most difficult part is how a bug or technical issue can affect your plans and productivity for an entire week. I usually deal with it by communicating with my manager and finding ways to fix them. I’m actually a very resourceful person, so I always know where to get help for a particular problem. I also think communicating is important because it helps you manage people’s expectations, and if there’s a serious issue, people are aware and working on a fix together instead of operating in silos.
WHAT’S CHANGED IN THE YEAR SINCE #ENDSARS?
Nigeria’s #EndSARS protests gained international recognition as youths in the country led a nationwide protest against the rogue actions and extrajudicial operations of the Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS).
The protests abruptly ended on the evening of October 20, when over 50 protesters were killed and many more injured as officers of the Nigerian army opened fire on demonstrators at the Lekki Peninsula toll gate.
This week marks a year since the protests. Has anything changed since then?
- Well, in the aftermath of the protests, over thirty states in Nigeria set up Judicial Panels of Inquiry to investigate the actions of the rogue SARS unit and claims of extrajudicial actions.
- The panels, which concluded sitting recently, received over 2,500 petitions and are awarding $52 million in compensation to victims.
- Twitter, which played a large role in coordination and donation, was banned by the government in June after a tweet by the country’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, was deleted for violating community guidelines.
- The government also blocked the bank accounts and travel documents of protest leaders across the country.
- SARS was disbanded…but the band keeps getting back together.
- There are still extrajudicial killings. In fact, over 300 Nigerians have been killed by security personnel in 2021.
Read more in Daniel Adeyemi’s A year after the #EndSARS protests, what has changed?
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WHAT’S FRESH WITH APPLE?
Apple has been very generous this year. And we’re not just talking about giving us two events. We’re talking about what was unleashed at the second event.
Unlike its September event that opened with drone-captured California landscapes in the company of live music, Apple’s recent event opened in a small garage with instrumental music, composed from a combination of simple sounds from the Mac, AirPods and HomePod.
Fresh music, fresh gadgets, fresh clothes
The very first thing Apple revealed was the Music Voice Plan, a new subscription category for Apple Music that allows users to seamlessly use Siri with Apple Music.
The tech giant also introduced AirPods 3 and some new HomePod mini colours.
And in a move that looks like a joke but isn’t, Apple wants to sell its users a microfibre cleaning cloth for $19 .👀
Last year, Apple released its first in-house chip, the M1. This year, it’s taken several steps further.
The tech company announced the two biggest surprises of the year: two new M1 chips—the M1 Pro and M1 Max—which will power new MacBooks and promise tremendous performance improvements over the silicon chips in previous MacBooks.
Read more highlights from Apple’s Event in Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s new releases.
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TC INSIGHTS: FUNDING TRACKER
This week, Nigerian fintech startup, Brass, secured $1.7 million in funding to accelerate its expansion.
Interestingly, investors included the co-founders of two Nigerian fintechs, Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, co-founder and CEO of Flutterwave and Ezra Olubi, co-founder and CTO at Paystack. Other investors in the round were Hustle Fund, Acuity Ventures, Uncovered Fund, and Ventures Platform.
Here are the other deals for the week:
- Egyptian logistics startup, ILLA, secured $2 million in a seed funding round to boost its growth and diversify its offering to the FMCG value chain.The round was co-led by Watheeq Financial Services and Golden Palm Investments, with participation from LoftyInc Capital Management, Kepple Africa Ventures, Cubit Ventures, AUC Angels, Oqal Angel Network and Flat6Labs.
- Sendbox, the Nigerian startup digitising deliveries for e-commerce and social commerce, raised a $1.8 million seed round led by 4DX Ventures, with support from Enza Capital, FJLabs, Golden Palm Investments and Flexport.
- Kenyan-based fintech, Asante, closed a $7.5 million Series A round. This was led by Goodwell Investments with participation from other investors, including Sorenson Impact Foundation and Forsage Holdings.
That’s all we’ve got this week.
Every week, we share job opportunities in the African ecosystem.
- Eden Life – Senior Product Manager – Lagos, Nigeria
- Bolt Foods – Sales Team Lead – Nairobi, Kenya
- TeamApt – Senior Backend Engineer, Technical Product Manager, Frontend Engineer, Flutter Engineer – Lagos, Nigeria