The internet has created an endless stream of possibilities for the African continent. Most African countries suffer from third world problems, terrible government and inadequate access to major faculties and opportunities but since the birth of the internet age, widespread access to smartphones/computer devices the continent has been experiencing globalisation that’s reshaping how the future will pan out.
Through the internet — health, education, tech, music, creativity, and other arms of the system and culture have been experiencing a spark of the sort, a new age for Africa is dawning. Start-ups like Paystack helped change the payments system, Iroko gave Nollywood a streaming home, and many others are bridging the gap between the people and the world. These companies are solving problems the governments have failed to do.
One of the notable scenes that have carried the torch of the digitized revolution is – media “the fourth arm of the government” & content “the new crude oil”. The old legacy media is being challenged by young media platforms using the internet as their tool to help curb the spread of fake news, to document the subcultures, and create a new atmosphere for young minds to share their stories without having to conform. For a country that has a lot of laws infringing on human rights, is one of the worst places to live as a woman, an LGBTQ individual, and rife with systemic inconsistencies, these media spaces have become voices, as well as a safe space for a new generation not afraid to express their individualism.
New age media platforms like Minority Africa, Zikoko, The Republic, Native Mag, Stears Business, have played a major part in helping spread conversations around youth culture, LGBTQ, Feminism, and other subcultures. Most recently these young media platforms helped strongly during the #ENDSARS protest which challenged police brutality being faced by young Nigerians. They were at the forefront, creating much-needed content, helping fight the misinformation and fake news, as well as giving vital news on the protest. Without their groundbreaking work, much would have gone undocumented. We highlight these platforms and the amazing work they have been doing in Nigeria’s media space.
Big Cabal Media is a Nigerian digital media company creating super-engaging content. They lead engaging conversations around culture, innovation, entrepreneurship, entertainment, and all the things that matter to today’s young people. Their branches include the popular Zikoko and Techcabal.
Zikoko is one of the subsidiaries of Techcabal which started in 2016 and has rapidly grown to be a favourite among young Nigerians. What marks them differently is a quirky and witty character. They publish stories under Columns; Inside Life, Sex Life, Chopist, Her Money, Naira Life, and Hustle where they document candid real-life experiences on what it means to work and make money as a young person in Nigeria.
TechCabal is another subset of Bigcabal which started in 2013. The platform is a future-focused publication that documents African innovation and technology in depth. They publish high-quality articles, reports, and expert opinions. Their newsletter, TC Daily newsletter, which arrives in the mail on weekdays, is the most comprehensive roundup of technology around Africa.
The Native Magazine describes itself as “the reliable pulse of African millennials.” They cover the music, art, and style of tomorrow; today. The magazine seeks to break the barriers of censorship and conservatism, both from within and outside, that characterizes the African space by capitalizing on the strengths of technology. They aim to create a constant dialogue between the underground and the mainstream in an effort to reshape the face of popular culture.
The magazine was launched in January 2017 by its co-founder, Seni Saraki, who sees the platform as a way of deconstructing and eradicating our suppressive society. “Africans have never had such a voice within their countries as they do now. Walls are being broken down, the youth especially now have a vocal input in the shape of the country culturally, politically, and economically. This is our way of contributing and speaking out,” he said.
The Republic was founded in 2016 by writer and journalist, Wale Lawal, who works as the founding editor of the publication. It is a magazine for socio-economic and political discourse, criticism, and cultural discourse that explores the world as Nigerian. The platform believes that writing can connect, empower and humanize communities. Their mission is simple yet tall; to create knowledge.
They seek to restore the importance of serious readership in Nigeria, and the dignity in studying Nigeria and its place in the world, and to achieve this, they publish critical and new ideas. Quartz Africa has described them as doing “serious journalism from an African worldview.” Bibi Bakare-Yussuf, publisher and co-founder of Cassava Press Republic describes them as “critical, insightful and gorgeously designed.”
Led by founder and managing editor, Caleb Okereke, Minority Africa publishes stories that give a voice to minority groups and individuals. They recognize the gap in how minority stories are told, and they aim to counter the misrepresentation, underrepresentation, and often zero representation of minorities.
Stears Business is a media platform that is dedicated to publishing business news, analysis, and insights through its wide expanse of professionals in Banking, Consulting, Law, Academia, Government, and Civic Society. Their writer’s network extends to Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and Nigeria. The platform was formed at the London School of Business through the effort of a team of Nigerian Economists, Lawyers, and Engineers dedicated to Financial Data, Media, and Technology.
They are the go-to hub to obtain financial literacy. Nigerians who read the media platform have credited it to have influenced some of the smartest money decisions they have made. Stears is driven by a goal to make quality information on Africa accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. In 2020, the media startup raised $600k investment seed to create Africa’s Bloomberg.
Well, we had to do a shameless plug…
More Branches was founded in 2018 by writers Adedayo Laketu and Olukorede Ogundiya. The brand is dedicated to curating new content under pop culture, technology, music, sex, weed, LGBTQ, fashion, visual art, and business & entrepreneurship. During Nigeria’s #EndSARS unrest, they played a foremost role in documenting the struggle. Their contents, which are usually sharp and concise, are furnished to interest today’s young and older people.
We will always lend our voice to support marginalized groups. Every year, More Branches curates a list to celebrate young Nigerians making great strides in their fields.