Mark Zuckerberg’s surprise visit to Nigeria

By Frederick Mordi

Zuckerberg new

It was a pleasant surprise for Nigerians on August 30, when news filtered in that Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook and one of the richest men in the world, was in the country. Understandably, this generated a lot of excitement in Nigeria that reportedly has the largest community of Facebook users in Africa. According to reports, there are 16 million Nigerians on Facebook. This figure is more than the population of Sweden and Denmark put together.

Although the organisers kept the high profile Zuckerberg’s visit secret, social media users in the country were not quiet when it became public knowledge. The news went viral at once on various social media platforms.

The 32-year old American billionaire was in Nigeria to attend a workshop on ‘Facebook for Developers,’ for local engineers, corporate executives and partners. The objective of the event was to explore ways of empowering Nigerian techies.


Zuckerberg had earlier visited the Co-Creation Hub in Yaba, Lagos, which is often regarded as Nigeria’s ‘Silicon Valley,’ where he talked to youngsters at a summer coding camp. “The energy here is amazing,” he was quoted as saying.

He also met with Nollywood celebrities and local software developers, and later jogged with some tech entrepreneurs in Lagos, where he savored the splendour of the nation’s commercial capital.


Apparently impressed with the prodigious talents that abound in the country, Zuckerberg has promised to use more Nigerian languages such as Igbo and Yoruba, in offering services on Facebook, which currently accommodates only Hausa language. He left for Kenya, an East African country, which has one of the best mobile money transfer services on the continent, the following day.

No doubt, Zuckerberg’s brief visit to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, and Kenya, would have gone a long way in correcting misconceptions about Africa. The handful of Nigerians who managed to have audience with the billionaire, would have discovered, as others have, that Zuckerberg is quite simple and down-to-earth.

He proves the truth in the saying attributed to John Ruskin: “I believe that the first test of a truly great man is his humility.”


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2 responses to “Mark Zuckerberg’s surprise visit to Nigeria”

  1. Yomi Awelewa says :

    This is short, simple and straightforward. Good prose and well-marshaled points. I enjoyed reading Fred’s articles. This one on Zukerberg is a good one about man, wealth and humility. I recaption it “Zukerberg: The silent impact of simplicity.”

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