The Lagos Digital Summit (LDS), a conference established in 2017 to harness the constant innovations in a fast-paced digital world for the advancement of society, held its fifth edition themed: “Digital Media as a Tool for Business Growth” on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.
In its usual fashion, the event featured top personalities from the entertainment and business worlds to share insights with the audience. Following the success of the event we caught up with the Convener of the summit, Adewale Akeem Adetona a.k.a iSlimfit to discuss a wide range of topics including future editions and the Tech industry.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Popularly known as iSlimfit, Adetona Adewale Akeem is a Digital Technologist and Techprenuer with more than 9 years’ experience in Digital Marketing, Communications, Branding, and Media Management. I am passionate about building brands and helping them attain their marketing objectives. I’m from Ilaro, Ogun State and come from a family of two. I hold a Computer Science degree from the prestigious Lagos State University, Nigeria, and recently completed my MBA at Business School Netherlands (BSN), Buren Netherlands. I was the Head of Marketing at SystemSpecs, Nigeria’s foremost Fintech Company, and developers of Remita, an electronic payment and collection platform. Due to my interest and passion for Tech entrepreneurship, I recently accepted a co-founder offer from a fast-rising tech startup in Nigeria called Menopays. Menopays is a Fintech startup that is redefining Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) as a Lifestyle payment option across Africa. It is data and analytics-driven Web/App-based Buy Now Pay Later platform that helps smart merchants offer a line of credit to their interested customers instead of refusing a sale. The platform can be accessed via www.menopays.com, and is also available on Google Playstore and iOS Appstore.
Although still in its early stage, the startup has only done some pre-seed funding and are currently looking at building our merchant base before massive roll out for more adoption. It is also important to note that MenoPays isn’t just a BNPL, but we have taken up a just cause to fight poverty in Africa, starting from Nigeria.
Not to brag, but I am one of the first Digital Marketers in Nigeria to have my Twitter account verified. My Twitter platform, with over 180,000 unique followers has an average monthly impression of 29.8 million. As a social commentator, I also write op-eds. and articles for leading news platforms in Nigeria including BusinessDay, DailyPost, Guardian etc.
I am passionate about having relevant conversations around cryptocurrency, football, social causes, business, marketing, and also raising awareness for advocacy in the new media.
What was the driving force behind the establishment of the Lagos Digital Summit?
Lagos Digital Summit started 5 years ago with just an idea in my small shared apartment back then in Ebute Metta with my friend who is now in Canada. The aim was simply to facilitate a platform for the convergence of 50-60 digital marketing professionals and business thought leaders for the advancement of SMEs and Digital Media enthusiasts within our network.
Five years down the line, although with plenty of challenges, it’s been a bigger success story. We have had the privilege of empowering over 5,000 Businesses and Individuals with diverse digital marketing skills.
Over the years, what can you say that the successes of the conference have been?
The impact of Lagos Digital Summit since its inception cannot be overemphasized. We have had an average of 1,000 participants for each of the editions, who have been empowered with diverse digital skills for their businesses.
We have generally witnessed the vital role digital media has played globally this year – from updates to providing relevant information in the ongoing battle against the pandemic, and citizens holding their governments accountable for policy decisions and societal transformation.
LDS has always been FREE to attend and targeted at Brand and Communication Managers, Techpreneurs, Digital Media Strategists, SME Owners/Managers, Start-ups, MDAs, corporate bodies, tech compliant and adaptive firms, and the general public.
In a tech industry where there is a plethora of events and gatherings, how has LDS differentiated itself from the rest?
There is no gainsaying the fact that with the recent developments in Nigeria, digital media is well established as a tool for socio-economic prosperity – one that has been deliberately deployed via Lagos Digital Summit for us to maximise its potential. The concept of Lagos Digital Summit is unique, we always ensure to have a balanced array of speakers and sessions from all walks of life. The Entertainment and Business panel sessions have come to stay as a trademark for LDS – such that our attendees always look forward to each of the sessions to gain various perspectives and also network with their favourite celebrities and industry leaders.
Not just that, our speakers and volunteers always witness career growths as a result of participating at the Lagos Digital Summit.
The 5th edition of the programme was concluded a week ago, what has been the biggest growth recorded from the first until now in regard to the conference and on a personal level?
LDS keeps getting better every year in all ramifications. The best part is that there is no speaker we want on the programme that would say NO to us. We have had instances where people even reach out to us to include them as speakers for some of the recent editions. This is because they know the worth of the event and know how big and important it is to their career and personal profile.
This recently concluded edition witnessed some new initiatives like OOH advert, that is, BRT branding advertisement, issuance of certificates to all our volunteers, which would eventually be a good addition to their professional profile as their contribution to the digital technology field. We also witnessed new brands coming on board to support us; Rolad Properties, they gave out a piece of land to one of the Summit attendees; Amber Energy Drink; MyLibriBooks, and MTN Nigeria.
What is the long-term vision for the Summit?
LDS has become a household name through diverse sessions on how creative and digital entrepreneurs can take advantage of digital technologies for economic development and thereby take charge of the future. The long-term vision is to ensure that Lagos Digital Summit holds every year and to maintain the same quality in terms of speakers, sponsors and content, to enable us to deliver on our promise of a platform for learning, transformation and networking amongst digital media practitioners and enthusiast in Lagos and Nigeria at large.
The annual event has also led to the birth of various Digital Summits alike across several states in the nation including Ogun Digital Summit, Ekiti Digital Summit, and Covenant Digital Summit, all of which have shared the same vision and objectives and achieved similar results.
The goal is to continue to support similarly minded individuals and group of people to champion platforms that will continue to foster the development of Nigeria’s Digital tech economy.
If you had the power to change anything in the technology industry and the way tech events are held, what would that be?
If I had the power, I would ensure we have better infrastructure that can help us actualize and perfect the idea of hybrid events. We can’t deny the fact that we still have poor internet connectivity issues. Even at the recently concluded LDS where one of our speakers joined virtually, we experienced connectivity problem that sort of disrupted the flow of the conversation.
We have come this far with internet technology and I believe the issue of poor connectivity should be a thing of the past right now.
What’s next for Mr. Adetona?
Talking about what is next, the goal is to love and admire Nigeria from abroad while working very hard to build Tech solutions for the Nigerian and African market, and also help brands achieve their desired marketing goals.
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