According to Intel’s report Women and the Web: “on average across the developing world, nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and the gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in regions like sub-Saharan Africa.”
Though Africa has recently seen rapid growth in Internet access, women are vastly underrepresented in technology. Today, Tobi Ayeni a graduate of Banking and Finance from Covenant University has seen this as an opportunity to pursue a dream in ICT, developing her skills in Digital Media and starting a successful technology blog Miss Techy.
She is focused on sharing technology information in a very easy to learn way to her web audience using memes and gif images. She is a very jovial person and YES she plays FIFA!!! Who doesn’t like that?
TIC caught up with her for a chat and she tells us more about herself and how it all started.
TIC: Tobi Ayeni. Who’s she?
Tobi Ayeni: Tobi Ayeni is a female in her 20’s. She is a Banking and Finance graduate of Covenant University who ventured into Digital marketing after NYSC. She is currently a digital strategist and the founder of MissTechy.com, Nigeria’s female tech blog.
TIC: From Banking and Finance to Tech Blogging. How did this happen?
Tobi Ayeni: I fell in love with Technology at a very young age because of my first experience with a word processor (a computer used for composing and editing of documents). When the Internet came with its goodies, I was completely sold out, although I had already set my banking and finance path. So after my degree, I hurried back to the arms of first love. J
TIC: One would think you would have gone for Computer Science or some related course. Why didn’t you?
Tobi Ayeni: Being a commercial student in secondary school meant that I had to study a commercial course at the university, so I guess I didn’t have a choice.
TIC: How does it feel to be in an exclusive club of female geeks?
Tobi Ayeni: Lol, is it an exclusive club? Well, I must say that it comes with some perks. However, with those perks come the insecurities and loneliness.
TIC: Being a woman in the tech world would surely come with its own challenges. What main barriers do women in tech face?
Tobi Ayeni: Being a female techie in a male-dominated tech industry is challenging and has a distinct set of barriers, one being gender diversity – the “you are a girl, what do you know” mentality and the struggle to break free from that mentality can be a daunting task.
TIC: Beyond tech blogging, what did you really set out to achieve with your blog?
Tobi Ayeni: I want to bridge the gap between woman and technology. Moving forward on Misstechy, asides from what I have now, I will like to focus on random female techies in work/school environment who are making an impact in Nigeria.
TIC: There are a growing number of tech blogs out there. How’s yours any different?
Tobi Ayeni: If you notice, I try to make MissTechy less boring. How? Since the mobile audience in Nigeria loves entertainment, music and anything that can make them laugh, I try to ensure that the posts on MissTechy have these ingredients mostly through the use of memes and GIFs
TIC: We surely have some ways to go in the tech realm. Currently, where do you think Nigeria stands?
Tobi Ayeni: I believe Nigeria is going to get there, there is already an increase in Internet penetration which wasn’t there a couple of years back. We also have a high inflow of tech entrepreneurs who are willing to make an impact in the tech scene, from IrokoTV to made-in-Nigeria phones like Orbra and so many others. So yes! We have a long way to go, but we are on the right track.
TIC: How can we get better, what are some of the things Nigeria needs to improve, technologically wise?
Tobi Ayeni: We need to start embracing technology in the classrooms. Let the Nigerian child have an experience of technology at a young age – and I am not talking about just knowing how to use a phone or control a laptop, I am talking about teaching these kids programming languages or showing them how to create things using tech. I feel exposure is the major difference between a Nigerian kid and a kid in a developed country. For example, most American kids are already exposed to coding at a young age, so they grow up to be way better at it.
TIC: We all have mentors and people we look up to for inspiration and advice. Who falls into this category for you?
Tobi Ayeni: The COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, She is a role model for me and most women out there in more ways than one. She is married, a mother of two young children, and is second in command at one of the most talked about tech companies in the world.
TIC: Manchester United fangirl huh, why do you like MY club?
Tobi Ayeni: Hehe, I think I should be asking you that question! When I was 14, I’d tell people because my blood is red – don’t laugh – but right now, before Moyes and LVG ruined everything, I’d say because of their die-hard attitude – that desire and drive to win made me fall in love with the club. God bless you SAF.
TIC: If you were trapped on an island, what three items would you have with you.
Tobi Ayeni: A phone, to call my rescue team. A solar-powered power bank to charge my phone in case my phone dies and a solar-powered Laptop to listen to Hillsong united and blog while I wait for my rescue team– Since I am a Christian, I will have to rely on my dry fasting abilities during this short period.
TIC: Favourite tech personality?
Tobi Ayeni: I LOVE BILL GATES!!! I wouldn’t mind for him to be my second dad and not because he is making billions, but because of what he represents in the tech industry
TIC: Xbox or PlayStation?
Tobi Ayeni: Lol, Definitely PlayStation!! Xbox is a solid system but its library isn’t as great as the PS4
TIC: FIFA or PES (and you gotta say why)?
Tobi Ayeni: FIFA 16, the reason being that we now have the women team which is so cool! Plus I feel FIFA 16 is more realistic, from the chants to the commentary and let’s not forget about the licenses. All in all, I have played both of them and I just prefer my FIFA 16 over PES.