How social media is boosting crowdfunding

THE emergence of social media in Nigeria has caused a shift in how people communicate and react to issues.

While social media boast of several benefits they have brought to modern societies, their merits go hand in hand with their demerits.

Recently, a Nigerian woman, Deborah Olaki, known as Debbie or Mummy Zee, became an online sensation after receiving cash presents, household appliances, food items and other stuff in response to her viral post on X.

In the post, Debbie revealed that her husband told her about a female colleague who brought two spoons to work so they could eat together. Debby was not comfortable with her husband’s confession, so she decided to cook for him each day before going to work.

To achieve this goal, the woman set her alarm for 4:50 am to enable her to wake early.

“I’ve always been too lazy to wake up and get his lunch ready. But the day he told me a colleague brought two spoons so he’ll eat with her was the day I set my alarm for 4:50am”, the post read.

Her post was greeted with criticisms and commendations, eventually leading to many who saw her decision as wise, rewarding her with monetary gifts and other valuables.

Debbie’s experience highlights the profound impact of social media on crowdfunding, even though there was no official call for crowdfunding for her; the discussion that shot her into fame originated from social media. 

Traditional media outlets, such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines, have been helping to spread crowdfunding campaigns to a diverse audience. Still, they have not been as effective as social media in reaching the larger part of the society. 

In Nigeria, many people have received help just by sharing their problems on social media. Social media users, including celebrities, influencers and those in authority, have extended a hand to help randomly to people in need.

Speaking with The ICIR on this, Ajibola Amzat, Editor at the Centre for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ), said the traditional media had been crowdfunding for people in need on health grounds and education.




     

     

    “For health situations, traditional media, for example, write a report and attach the person’s necessary details (photographs, name, phone number etc). Television and radio stations invite the person in need to the studio to talk about their problem,” he said.

    He argued that with social media, crowdfunding and other forms of community services were made easier, but with risks attached.

    “With the ubiquitous nature of social media, information travels fast and wide and has made it easier to get people to respond to crowdfunding. But some people often use it as a means to scam others”, he added.

    Calling on the government to make more provision for public service, Amzat noted that “it is the government’s failure that leads people to crowdfund for health purposes or payment of fees. If the government is functional, education and health facilities will be accessible to people, and there will be no need for crowdfunding”.

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