The 2021 Benjamindada year in review

This is our first published year-in-review article. We talk about our wins and losses, plans for 2022, and the most popular articles we published this year.

The 2021 Benjamindada year in review

Capture your year in an indelible format; your future self would be grateful.

I don’t know about you but the coronavirus pandemic has warped my sense of time. More often than I care to admit, I’ve found myself forgetting or incorrectly recalling events timelines. That’s why I believe a year-in-review piece is pertinent now.

And if it’s your first time, too, you’re in good company. This is our first published year-in-review article, too. We talk about our wins and losses, plans for 2022, and the most popular articles we published this year.

We already shared 2021 Africa’s tech news wrapped here. This 2021 year in review is to update BD Insiders — broadly used here to describe everyone who reads and supports us. The bona fide BD Insiders are our newsletter subscribers; you ought to be one of them. Please, sign up.

2021, we took a leap

Not to trigger your PTSD of the word "leapfrog" which has been worn out with use in the African tech ecosystem, but we leapt in 2021.

We launched two series in the second and third quarter of the year, respectively. Under The Hoodie (UTH) was launched in April and Zero to Scale (ZTS) was launched in August. The recent Twitter conversation on the relationship between operators and startup founders makes our series prescient.

For UTH, we talk to operations leads, product managers, product designers, engineers, growth and marketing specialists, no-code wizards, etc. The objective was to spotlight high-flying tech talents, the Sheryl Sandberg at different Facebooks.

And ZTS focused on telling the story of how African founders scaled or are scaling their startups. You can read the roundup of the interviews here.

We also launched a weekly explainer series in September — The Tech Word For The Week (TWFTW).

Our titular founder, Benjamin Dada, is passionate about startups. One of the reasons he started the blog is to work with startups in telling their stories Because not every startup can afford to build a media team like Paystack, especially early-stage startups. We are glad to have worked with an early-stage startup to distribute its content.

And in case you missed it, Benjamin was appointed as the country manager of Stitch in August. Please, know that his appointment does not affect our editorial integrity. We remain fair in our reporting and analysis — more so, of the fintech space.

The media-brain-drain bug bit us too. An early-stage startup hired one of our writers, Orahachi Onubedo as product marketing manager. It was a mixed bag of emotions for us. We were happy because it shows we’re a springboard and our team enjoy all-around growth. We were also sombre because Hachi is a gem. He launched our series, has been instrumental in keeping the lights on, and contributed to our growth in the last year.

Some months before Hachi left, two full-time staff — Johnstone Kpilaakaa and Oluwadara Sangoladewere hired. I joined them some months later. I’m incredibly happy Ben hired me when I applied to return to Benjamindada.

Who am I? My name is Daniel Iyanda and I’m a staff writer with Benjamindada. From the humble team of one in 2018, we now have a team of four full-time staff. We also have an eclectic collection of freelance contributors.

I also appreciate other members of the BD family for their immense contribution to the growth of Benjamindada. Thank you Moro Dada, Okoye Donaldson, Chijioke Chris Chuwa, Marvisclara Kamalu, Grace Ogundiran, Afolabi Ijaoba, Favour Olajide, Fiyinfoluwa Akinsiku, Nwagu Praise, Wale Ajiboye, Felix Dziedzorm Davis Sr, Kadijat Okeowo, Nwose Lotanna, Ibrahim Ahmed, Amarachi Okonji, Joseph Abu, David Ajoku and Onize Sanni.

2022, we grow by leaps and bounds

We plan to take more leaps that would enable us to grow by leaps and bounds in 2022.

  • Events will be a regular part of our community engagement in the coming year. We’d start with Twitter Spaces.
  • Series: We’d be launching more series alongside UTH, ZTS, and TWFTW.
  • Podcast: The impressive reporting of Benjamindada narrated to you. We’d also explore other podcasts formats.

We published so much timely and insightful content in 2021. But some resonated with our audience more than others. These are the 10 most popular articles, according to the number of views:

  1. What CBN’s ban on crypto means for Nigerian users and the local industry. Hachi wrote this timely analysis when the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the ban on crypto in February.
  2. Five Things to know before relocating to Rwanda. This was a guest article by Gary Layn, a content writer and strategist at CyberRwanda. It’s a good primer for anyone considering relocating to the land of a thousand hills.
  3. Top 10 Ghanaian startups to watch in 2021. Hachi and Nwose Lotanna compiled this list in January and some of the startups lived up to expectations.
  4. Top 20 tech skills that require no coding. Oluwadara compiled a list of 20 tech skills for people who are not interested in learning how to code.
  5. Payday secures $1 million pre-seed funding. Johnstone’s reporting shows that Payday wants to build Paypal for Africa.
  6. Ten female Nigerian tech professionals. We spotlight not only innovation and startups across Africa but also talents. This article is one of such.
  7. UTH — Chidera Olibie, Software Engineer at Google. This is the first episode of the UTH series. And it’s quite an interesting story of how Chidera landed her role at Google some months after her Youth Service.
  8. Ten exciting trends in the world of Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs). One of web3.0 buzzwords is NFTs, gaining momentum since Beeple’s $69.3 million art sale in March. This guest article by TK Princewill highlights some NFTs trends.
  9. UTH — Michael Trojan Okoh, CTO at The Peer. In the 12th episode of the UTH series, Hachi had a very interesting conversation with 21-year-old Trojan.
  10. Exclusive interview with veteran Nigerian investor, Olumide Soyombo. In this conversation with Benjamin and Hachi, Olumide explained how he invests and shared some actionable insights for young founders and investors.

Which of these articles is your favourite? Tweet at us.


*The article was updated on Monday, March 14, 2022, 6:09 pm to reflect the addition of new staff and other members of the BD group.