Hot harmattan afternoon is just perfect for a meal of…
2016 has been quite a year with many unexpected twists and turns, let us look at some of the jaw-dropping events and phenomena of the last 12 months.
- Linda Ikeji Started Her Own Social Network
It is just not what individuals like Linda Ikeji do –start a social network. We leave that to tech geeks and their financiers to hit us with the next ’big thing’ that we are all supposed to go crazy about. Well, apparently, Nigeria’s Queen of Gossip and Superblogger, Linda Ikeji did not read the script and on November 1, she decided to take on the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey and start her own social network. Sure, the purists are not impressed but going by the traffic stats, she has not wasted her money and her stay in Banana Island might be long if she continues at this rate.
- Serena Williams Got Engaged to Reddit Co-founder
Forgive my manners, the Reddit co-founder has a name –Alexis Ohanian. I am not going to write too much here, just read how Williams announced the engagement:
“I came home/A little late/Someone had a bag packed for me/And a carriage waited. Destination: Rome/To bad word me to my very own ‘charming/Back to where our stars first collided/And now it was full circle/At the same table we first met by chance/But by choice/ Down on knee/He said 4 words/And I said yes.”
If you say you were expecting this from the 22 major tennis singles titles and 16 doubles winner, your nose should have grown longer than Pinocchio’s by now.
This is giving me ideas you know, I am a co-founder of a couple of websites, single and (you are seeing a pattern here, aren’t you?) what is left is to find some tennis or other sports star (probably Russian?) and I might be in the wedding business (you can drop a comment on this).
- Pokémon Go
So a large part of the world went crazy over this augmented reality mobile game after its launch in July and quite frankly, I do not see what the fuss is about probably because I never downloaded it. However, the game is now the most popular mobile game in US history, rapidly overtaking Candycrush Saga for the title –Good for you if you are a Niantic shareholder I guess. The success of the game has brought augmented reality to the mainstream and more people now understand what the technology is about as a result.
- Sambisa Forest Got Cleared of Boko Haram
Boko Haram the ‘dreaded’ terrorist organization just got routed from its bastion –the Sambisa forest. To put in perspective, with an estimated size of 60, 000 square kilometres, it is 18 times larger than Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
The task of defeating Boko Haram in this area was believed to be extremely difficult but the Nigerian government and military announced this feat a few days ago with capture of their last base in the area, Camp Zero.
Sure Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau has released yet another (Na-na-na-na, you can’t catch me) video but his terrorist organization gets weaker by the day.
- Lukas Graham Became Global Stars
I am sure many people will be wondering who this guy is. Well it is actually a band and like me, you probably did not know their name until like now but might have heard their hit song ‘7 years’. The surprising thing is that they are Danish and have one of the most played and listened to songs in 2016. Very few people saw it coming but they are now confirmed global superstars. I guess the lesson is that in the Internet age, location is less of an inhibition although Lukas Graham have been promoting in the United States –I guess that helps too.
- Portugal Win Euro 2016
Surely, every self-respecting football analyst and the most optimistic Portuguese fan gave Cristiano Ronaldo and co. very little chance of winning Euro 2016 which is exactly what they did. The hosts France were favourites with world champions, Germany and defending champions Spain. Many fancied Belgium too but slowly but surely Portugal progressed in the competition till the final where an early injury ruled out iconic Cristiano Ronaldo but somehow, the rest of the team managed to defeat France 1-0 after extra time via a goal scored by striker, Eder. The rest as they say is history.
4. Leicester City Win EPL
The English Premier League is marketed as the most exciting football league in the world and nothing promotes its brand better than Leicester City being crowned champions in the 2015/2016 season. Nobody knows exactly how the Likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur conspired to allow Leicester City win but it happened to the delight of Manager, Claudio Ranieri, the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante playing a starring role in what was a superb team effort.
- Galaxy Note 7 Catches Fire
I mean this literally, the Galaxy Note 7 was meant to be one of the big tech phenomenal gadgets of 2016 but somewhere along the line 35 units caught fire after its launch in October and Samsung took the unprecedented step of recalling every single one sold. The phablet had the penchant for catching fire on airplanes and all attempts to fix it failed. You may call this the biggest flop of 2016 but it is not quite it because the next 2 events just left the world stunned.
The British have always thought of themselves as being special in away similar to Americans and this probably blinded them till they voted to leave the European Union without any clear idea of what to do next. The unexpected June 23 referendum result cost David Cameron his job and he was replaced by Theresa May from the same Conservative Party. The world was shocked and there was disbelief in the United Kingdom itself, I am yet to understand it to, probably you can. This set the stage for the most unexpected and I daresay unbelievable event of 2016.
- Donald Trump Wins American Presidential Election
For over a year following the announcement of his intent to run for election as President of the United States, Donald Trump was met with derision and perpetual underestimation. He was not meant to be a strong contender in the Republican Party, he became one. He was not expected to become the Republican nominee, he became it. Surely, he was not going to be elected as President of the United States, (you guessed it) that is exactly what happened on November 8 and the world has not been the same since. I am sure Hilary Clinton is still pinching herself on how she is not President-elect of the United States.
Funny enough, I always felt Donald Trump had a chance of winning and did say so. You might not know because this website was launched on December 1. For our team, it was a positive surprise; we hope you will join us on a wonderful journey in 2017 and beyond.
Abdulkabir Olatunji is the Head of Strategy at Jarus & JAN Internet Group and an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (AMNIM). His interests include writing, blogging, all-things-tech and analysis of current affairs and sports. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on Twitter @maclatunji