THE CONTINUING PATH

Of all notable innovative journeys, one thing can be rightly said; there must be an alienation of the traveller’s vision from the status quo. Doing this may be frightening and even perceived as absurd. But how else would we chart new frontiers and achieve results that will positively change the world if we blindly preserve the existing patterns? Semicolon is set on a path of innovation with core focus on identifying, building and deploying tech-talent to proffer sustainable solutions. We are dedicated to fostering a collective understanding of the importance of tech solutions in a country and a continent that is riddled by numerous problems; economic instability, cultural discrepancy, climate change, insecurity, gender bias, poverty and other demanding issues. We aim to achieve this by training software engineers and techpreneurs; and exposing them to the information and skill that will inevitably plunge them towards their own innovative paths.

Over the course of three years, we have structured our purpose and projected it as far as our arms can stretch. As a result, we welcomed almost 250 natives (trainees) across 7 cohorts. The first and second cohorts have concluded their time with us, and the third cohort is about to do the same. We are ecstatic. However, we are more aware now than ever of the miles ahead of us. The future of Africa and the world as we see it can be likened to a remarkable edifice; and hence it requires competent builders, state-of-art architecture; and a truckload of determination. For 12 months, our current graduating cohort persisted through theoretical and practical classes, hackathons, tests, assessments; all of which was thoroughly curated to afford them the right tools for what comes next. At the start of their program, they chose the name ‘Constructors’ for their cohort; and from the onset, we acknowledged how fitting that choice was. These are the men and women who will proceed to foster innovative projects that will further drive disruptive technology within and outside Africa.

Acquiring the skills that are needed to achieve these aspirations can be challenging and so we pour efforts into simplifying our training process without dampening the quality of our curriculum. We systemized our program in a pattern that is comprehensible enough to a complete tech-novice; and potent enough to guide them to expertise, irrespective of their academic background, age or gender. This is reflected in the sheer diversity of our graduating class — constructors. We have the likes of Teniola Owoeye, a keen free-spirit with a career background in industrial relations and personnel management; the irrefutable Gideon Omotosho who applied to our training program as a secondary school certificate holder; Joshua Agboola, a 10-year-old with dreams taller than Mount Everest who won the MTN Pulse Hackathon; and Patrick Ojunde, an introverted go-getter who majored in English in the university and became the best graduating native of this cohort; and many more.

It is also a remarkable note that our graduating cohort has produced the most number of graduating women in Semicolon so far. Each one of them is diligent, talented and deserving of commendation for their efforts. In the quest to eliminate the practices that stifle women’s freedom to nurture dreams or pursue their ambitions, we must relentlessly make efforts to even out the gender imbalance in industries like the technology industry that are highly male-dominated. It is to this end that we applaud every woman in this cohort for taking steps towards a more inclusive society by choosing this career path.

One major value which the constructors have reaffirmed in our community; is the importance of collaboration. They taught us lessons on mutual trust and teamwork which they demonstrated every day, especially in the pandemic. They reminded us that the pathway to a thriving technology ecosystem and a functional economy is lengthy and challenging and hence, we must go together.

To the constructors, thank you for choosing to be a part of our community, for learning from us and for returning the favour by re-educating us on priceless ethics. You attended your first classes with sparks in your eyes, and through your persistence and collaboration, you turned those sparks into wild flames; and we watched the flames turn you into phoenixes. We know the flames will persist as you go into our world to make it a much better place for all of us.

As we bid farewell, we re-examine our truths as a family, our progress so far and our journey; and we understand even better, that there is no distinct destination; only more milestones to celebrate, more problem-solvers to birth, more stories to tell and more codes to write; until there’s none left. We are set on a path of innovation, and yes it may seem frightening and absurd. But we have each other, and together, we will go on.

To go on this continuing path with us; join our next cohort by registering here.

To talent and innovation.

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Managing the content crew at Semicolon; a social impact training institute and innovation hub focused on solving societal problems with disruptive technology.

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Managing the content crew at Semicolon; a social impact training institute and innovation hub focused on solving societal problems with disruptive technology.

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