In 2017, VoguePay entered into strategic sponsorship with NACOSS, an umbrella body of more than 300,000 students studying Computer Science in various higher institutions, with a mission to discover, launch and support student software entrepreneurs.
As part of the yearly conference, VoguePay rewards students and developers, who are building e-commerce and other software technology that can impact and improve various sectors of Nigeria’s economy with cash awards and other consolation prizes.
This year’s edition was not an exception.
It brought together over 500 student participants from different universities across the country and 60 tech solutions pitching to win the prizes, the best three solutions were awarded cash prizes for their innovation.
The first runner up position went to Emeka Samuel, a Computer Science student from Abia State Polytechnic. Emeka developed a mobile app to solve electoral malpractices during student elections. The app will ensure that the electoral processes are easy and credible.
In this interview, he shared what motivated him to join the software hackathon sessions, his excitement, and his future ambitions.
Congratulations! You came up as the first runner up, how did it feel when you found out?
I was excited.
Can you briefly tell us about yourself?
My names are Emeka Samuel Agbawodikeizu from Imo state, Nigeria.
I am a proud student of Abia State Polytechnic Aba. My personal philosophy in life is that I am in the world to create impact and I can only achieve that if I continue to update myself every day in my field and don’t settle for less or past glory.
With this mindset, I have been able to learn and practice various kinds of programming languages.
Where did the inspiration for the app solution you created come from?
I got the inspiration in my first year in school.
Back then, I started to learn how to develop an android app because I was fortunate to have a good department head who organized external training to teach us the basics of developing an android app using the android studio.
Although with the little time he had, he was able to teach us the basics of developing an app, I had to develop myself further by reading books and watching tutorial videos online.
On a certain day, I thought to myself, If we have a credible election and vote in a good leader, he will work with the school authorities to ensure that the students get the best environment for learning. This lead to the idea of developing a mobile app that will aid the electoral process in school came.
So I started gathering information and in the process, I formed a team whose job was to get information from people and students while I analyze and do the coding.
What were the main challenges you faced during the creative process?
I faced several challenges while developing the app. The major challenges were power supply and the difficulty in finding enough information to solve these logical problems.
What was the most valuable thing you learned during the process
I learned there is always a solution to any problem and if I can be patient, persistent, consistent and continue to face those challenges when coding instead of giving up, I can be called a professional.
Which developers have influenced your work?
I would say, some of my friends who supported me like Salaty Abdullateef Ashraaf, Gift Ngalaka, and Dr. Chike David(Ph.D.), a Senior Lecturer at Abia State Polytechnic.
What tips would you give other developers who would be interested in participating in the competition next year?
I will advise them to think of developing a solution to problems based on current trends and to be more specific looking into developing apps that automate to processes that are manually carried out in the public and private sector.
What are you hoping to do next?
Well, I am currently creating a mobile app that will solve national issues and information I cannot share full details at the moment.
Anything else you want to say? (Is there any advice you would give to young developers)
Yes, young developers should not relent in developing themselves. At first, learning programming and trying to solve problems might be frustrating. But when the product is ready for use, the reward will definitely outweigh the frustrating times especially when one can monetize the solution.
Another most important thing is to put God first in what you do and He will direct your part.