By Kikelomo Onigbanjo
The internet is a global network that has enabled new forms of interaction through instant messaging and social networking. Social media specifically allows for the quick spread of stories/trends and instant reactions from users. In 2016, there were a lot of stories and trends that broke the internet in Nigeria. Here’s bringing you seven stories and trends that got social media buzzing in 2016;
1. Olajumoke Orisaguna
In what could be called the ‘most sensational story’ of the year 2016, 27 year old bread seller, Olajumoke was minding her business hawking bread on the busy streets of Lagos; little did she know that her life was about to be turned around for good. She accidentally ‘photo bombed’ a shoot involving English singer, Tinie Tempah. The photographer, TY Bello was enchanted by how well the picture came out and shared the image on her Instagram page in search of the ‘mystery bread seller’. When Olajumoke, a mother of two was eventually found, she landed herself a modelling contract and a cover story on This Day Style. Now, she has a contract with Shirley’s Confectionery, among other juicy deals. She is presently in an undisclosed school getting a degree. Her story was and still is the basis of a lot of prayer points by Nigerians who are looking for a quick break! It was indeed an amazing story of ‘grass to grace’.
2. Jake Amo
This little Ghanaian boy become an internet sensation after his face became popular with internet memes in the last quarter of 2016. Jake is an adorable little boy who lives in Asempanaye, Koforidua, a village in Ghana. He was pictured writing pensively at a creative workshop for kids organised by one Solomon Adufa, a US based Ghanaian artist. Solomon was captivated by Jake’s concentration, hence the picture came up and of course the internet responded simultaneously. A trust fund for little Jake’s education and welfare has already been put in place. Guess those memes paid off afterall!
3. Ugandan President Museveni
While coming from an event organised to mark the 2016 World Population Day, Ugandan President Museveni stopped his convoy, sat by the roadside, making a phone call which reportedly lasted about 30 minutes. It’s still unclear if it was just a charade, but of course social media received the news in its usual manner and the memes that followed were hilarious!
— malaika nnyanzi (@malaikannyanzi) July 12, 2016
— TheInsider.ug (@TheInsiderUg) July 12, 2016
4. Mark Zukerberg
The founder of Facebook and 6th richest man in the world, Mark Zukerberg visited Nigeria for the first time in August to encourage and share ideas with tech entrepreneurs at Co Creation Hub, Yaba Lagos. He spent about 2 days in Nigeria before going to Kenya, and then returned again to Nigeria and paid a visit to President Buhari.
While he was in Nigeria and even after he left, he was seriously trolled by Nigerians on the internet. He was compared to a typical Nigerian rich man in terms of his humility and dress sense; he was used to shade a popular blogger, Linda Ikeji; he was advised on how to comport himself in Nigeria to avoid being kidnapped by the men of the underworld and was offered the Nigerian Jollof which he ate with relish.
His comment after eating Nigerian Jollof was well documented, and used by Nigerians in the then ongoing jollof war as a yardstick to further prove the superiority of Nigerian Jollof over Ghana and Kenya Jollof.
5. Jollof Wars: Nigeria vs Ghana
You must have heard, read or were actively involved in the jollof wars between Nigeria and Ghana that swept through the internet for months. As weeks passed, Kenya joined in and the debate continued on which country could cook the best jollof rice. Sister Deborah, a Ghanaian musician went ahead to drop a single extolling Ghana Jollof to high heavens. Till date no consensus has been met. Here are some of the tweets:
— Feyi-alayo (@feyiman) October 24, 2016
— Dimplez 🌩🇳🇬 (@Dimplez) August 23, 2016
The #MannequinChallenge gained momentum among social media users becoming one of the coolest internet trends this year. The Mannequin Challenge is a viral Internet video where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them, usually with the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background. Many groups took up the challenge wowing internet users with their own unique versions on Instagram. Nigerians quickly caught on to the #MannequinChallenge infusing humour into it. In all, #MannequinChallenge was one trend that made social media 2016 lit!
— DR CRAZE (@crazeclown) November 12, 2016
7. MMM Nigeria
In January 2016, Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox, popularly called MMM landed in Nigeria promising a 30% interest on investments at the end of 31 days. MMM is self-described as a “mutual aid fund where ordinary people help each other. Many Nigerians have since invested millions of Naira into the system despite warnings to desist from investing their money by the Central Bank of Government and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
On the 13th of December, it announced the freezing of all members’ accounts due to systems overload and the negative attention brought on by the Government and mass media, leading to wide spread panic in the Nation and even attempted suicides. The scheme operators have assured its participants the freeze is temporary and to remain calm.
— MMM Nigeria Support (@MMMNigeriaHelp) December 13, 2016
MMM Nigeria is doing mannequin challenge ^_^
— a girl has no name🌝 (@aunty_ifeoma) December 13, 2016
We finally have a winner for this year’s #MannequinChallenge .. And the winner is …………….MMM Nigeria .. 😂
— SirLAMPS (@Super_Spotter) December 13, 2016
If MMM Nigeria had a physical office, imagine the stampede or war at that location. Lol! — Kay Baba (@datGuyKOFO) December 13, 2016
When you see the guy that pressed you to pay for MMM NigerIa 24hrs before the system freezes pic.twitter.com/BPCGM1KqLR
— BABA OBA 👑 (@GalacticoHD) December 13, 2016
Using South Africa as a case study, their site crashed and all accounts frozen; marked end of the road. Might be the end of MMM Nigeria too — Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) December 13, 2016
MMM Nigeria Participants In Panic As Scheme Freezes Participants’ Money Till Next Year pic.twitter.com/mXo1qVVlTj
— Philip Obin (@PhilipObin) December 13, 2016
If you invested money in MMM Nigeria, SORRY !!!!! Now that your investment is frozen till God knows when, Be wise. Avoid Ponzi schemes!
— IG:AURA♥ COOL (@TWEETORACLE) December 13, 2016
How Fitting that MMM Nigeria crashed few days to Christmas leaving a lot of Nigerians hopeless for the yuletide. — IG:AURA♥ COOL (@TWEETORACLE) December 13, 2016
If MMM Nigeria are as smart as I think they are, this is not final. It will come back January, restore confidence, then crash big time.
— Elnathan John (@elnathan_john) December 13, 2016