A Journey through the National hackathon series 1.0: internet of things IoT Edition’
by kafayat abdul-azeez
YBTC NEWS-I came across the application post into the national hackathon series from a group on social media. During the application, I became confused as to why a fashion designer, an artist, a poet, a story teller, an android developer, a programmer and a graphics designer would be needed in one plate form. Without hesitation, I completed my application process and waited for a few weeks for a positive response.
After a few weeks of much anticipation, I finally received an acceptance mail and I began to gather the needful together in preparation of the journey ahead of me to kano-Nigeria. Prior to the acceptance I have been in much anticipation for the program, because I am a patriotic individual and was interested in theme of the program; ‘SDG GOAL 16: peace, justice and inclusive society’.
On arrival in kano-Nigeria, my expectations as to the look of the environment were blown away. ‘Kano is beautiful’ I whispered to myself, and I have never been in kano-Nigeria my entire life as a Nigerian. I made my way to ni’imah guest palace, which was the event venue. I was welcomed warmly by Mr. Khalid, one of the ‘Alumni Makers’ who handed me over a kit containing a T-shirt and writing material. After a few minutes of checking in and unpacking my luggage, I was given another warm welcome by Mr. Obasegun Tekena and Mrs Nma Nnaobi. Later that day at about 5:00pm I and other participants sat on a round table and began to get familiar with each other, it was interesting to see youths like myself travel from across Nigeria for the sole aim of wanting to advocate for the peace of their country. After having a delicious dinner, everyone was dismissed to get enough rest for the task ahead.
Day 1: 15th November 2018.
After breakfast, I and other participants proceeded to the hall. On getting there we met an amazing set waiting for the taking. The program began in no time and we were welcomed by Nma, CEO Meluibe foundation. She urged each participant to introduce themselves and their profession. Then followed a dialogue session which consisted of some panelists, 3 influential individuals who addressed some of the following issues
- National cohesion; Amplifying the Unity on our Diversity.
- The Role of Media and Religion in Peace keeping.
Some of the motivating take home messages I got from the reputable speakers include;
- Learning to appreciate that we are Nigerian is a very important tool
- Our diversity is a great strength and not a curse.
- That we the participants are vanguards of change and we must preach peace where ever we go.
It was really an inspiring dialogue.
Afterwards proceeded an economy session which engaged each and every participant. We were grouped into 10 with each group consisting of 2 people; each group was to select an SDG sight a problem of the SDG, proffer solutions, identify stakeholders and evaluate possible challenges that can be faced in achieving the SDG.
I and my team mate Emmanuel Ejim selected SDG goal 16 (peace, justice and inclusive society) and the problem we sighted was ‘human trafficking’ we defined human trafficking and the recruitment, the transportation, payment and receipt of people by means of force, deceit, coercion, in other to exploit them sexual, manually or abuse them.
solutions to human trafficking includes: Advocacy in market/ open places, talk shows on TV, radio, education children in schools and parents in religious gatherings, publication of advocacy articles in all media prints both local and international, establishment of anti-human trafficking clubs, organizing of events e.g. debates and seminars, building of applications to help track and report cases.
Stakeholders include: National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons NAPTIP, DEVATOP Centre for Africa development, Religious leaders, community leaders, civil society, organizations, immigration and custom services, international agencies, Human Rights Commission, judiciary organizations.
Possible challenges include; poverty, lack of education, lack of contentment,
Afterwards each group made a presentation.
A break session followed by 12p.m
On resumption from the break at 2:00p.m, Mr Obasegun CEO Vilsquare Makers Hub gave as an introduction to internet of things and the HACKATHON series. He made a presentation on slides which talked about “unlocking the massive potentials of IoT .
Thereafter, we were group into 8 groups with each group consisting of 4 participants. 8 case studies were read out by Mr. Khalid and a random selection was done for each group. I was the team leader for team 3 and we luckily picked case 3. We were given kits and software in hardware devices to work with. There after Mr. Obasegun wished each team the best of luck and announced that there would be a first presentation on case study by 9:00am the next day “day 2”.
Team 3 participants were:
Abdul-Azeez Kafayat – fashion designer
Sadisu salisu- android developer
Usman sanusi- political scientist
Abubakar sani- biochemist
Case study task:
Create a unified PVC, BVN and Driver’s license cards. This device will merge all identity cards together as one card. It will embed the information on a chip which can be accessed using a customized card reader that retrieves the information from the cloud. The reading device will display the information on a screen.
I and my team sat for about 3 hours trying to brainstorm on the case study and how we were going to create a card reading device knowing fully well that we were all new to electricals. After much brainstorming and understanding of our task we began to prepare a slide on Microsoft PowerPoint. We dismissed at about 1a.m
Day 2: 16th November, 2018.
After breakfast, I and my team gathered to do a final touch on our slide for presentation.
At 10a.m presentations began. Team 3 made an excellent presentation and we answered all question thrown at us. There after we were to begin constructing our device.
We sort the help of our mentors, Mr Obasegun and Mr Khalid did a great deal of assistance in helping us explain the electrical connections.
At 8p.m other teams had already made 50% progress and my team was barely at 5%. I was really beginning to feel the pressure as my team was left behind, I am a fashion designer and know nothing about electricity and none of my team mate had a background knowledge on electrical installations. Also time was running out, as we were expected to have achieved 80% progress on our project by day 3 which was a few hours away. We tried and tried and tried we just couldn’t seem to get it. It was 1a.m already and we decided to take a nap till 4a.m to rest our heads.
At 4:20a.m I and my team were gathered again at the workshop, this time we seemed to be more refreshed and enthusiastic. It felt as though God had implanted some electrical knowledge in us. We began connecting wires together and it seemed to be working. We continued working on our slides for final presentation and by this time, we were so excited.
At 10a.m in Tahir’s Guest House the participants were all seated waiting for the grand finale to begin. Meanwhile my team sort the help of ‘Muhammed’ another participant who is an electrical engineer, without much time he was able to fix our device and everything seemed to be working.
A movie on food security in Nigerian was shown on the projector, the movie was a documentary research on food security, it talked about Nigeria in the 80’s and Nigeria now, how we have so far been able to sustain our selves through agriculture. The researchers also suggested solutions to having a sustainable way of food production, consumption, storage and distribution. The researcher’s advised the government to aid farmers in adopting the modern ways of farming which will facilitate propagation, cultivation and processing of farm produce.
The special guests of honor were introduced and the presentations began in no time. All presentations were successful, after which preceded a buffet.
At 6p.m we were gathered back together and I and my team designed a package for our product, we named it “UID CARD READER” a device that can be accessed with a card which merged the PVC, BVN and Driver’s license cards together as one. We proceeded to submit our project. Mr. Oba was pleased to see that after a whole lot of challenges I and my team were able to pull through to finish up our project. I was pleased as well, likewise my team mates.
A photograph session followed and each participant was given an evaluation form to fill.
Although, neither I nor any of my team members was grounded with electrical knowledge, but the fact that our team work, dedication and hard work towards the project yielded good result gave me a lot of joy and hope for Nigeria. I see Nigeria as a very strong Nation with passionate youths willing to work together to make it greater, the National HACKATHON series couldn’t have been a better platform for youths from across Nigeria to come and work together and in the process breaking barriers and learning to embrace each other’s differences and similarities. Without peace there would be no meaningful development.
My participation in the National HACKATHON series has made me a better individual in terms of working together with diverse people, I feel more confident that I am a Nigerian and that I can do a lot for my country.
The world is going “tech” and in a few years’ time technology would be the solution to most of our problems, this I have seen and learnt from the national HACKATHON series.
I have also learnt that the NATIONAL HACKATHON series is a platform for every individual irrespective of profession; field of study or passion to come and make/create/develop a solution to solve social problems. I guess that is the reason why every participant was given the name ‘maker’
I have been greatly inspired and motivated during the cause of this program, by both my mentors and every participant; I have learnt a lot of things that I normally would not have learnt from my niche. I have also discovered a new approach to improving my business using technology.
If the national HACKATHON series should continue in this very manner for the next 2-3years, I see a greater Nigeria with a network of youths in various communities advocating for peace, justice and creating solutions to problems.
I would like to appreciate Vilsquare and Meluibe foundation for the proper planning and organizing of the program, the accommodation and feeding was excellent. They made my stay in kano-Nigeria an amazing one.
I also would like to appreciate Mr. James for his hard work in capturing the precious moments of the event.
I therefore recommend that, the national HACKATHON series should continue in this very manner it has begun. I also recommend that more stake holders should be involved in a program of great importance like this. I recommend that the federal government should support a program like the NATION HACKATHON series with the needful. I recommend that since this program I aimed at community development, each hosting state should fully support the program in terms of accommodation/feeding and security.
Kafayat Abdul-Azeez is an industrious and passionate individual. She is an anti-human trafficking advocate, who has successfully trained over 50 school children in human trafficking. She is also a humanitarian and has led a few projects to help the needy in her community. Kafayat is currently works at Al-imran Islamic Foundation, she is a Co-founder and programs director to the foundation
you can reach her via email:firstname.lastname@example.org