If you've been around Twitter long enough you'll probably remember a time when #FollowFriday / #FF was a cool thing to do on Fridays, but these days it isn't as popular any more - although some still do suggest who you should follow on Twitter using the #FollowFriday / #FF. I guess Twitter has matured, and so have the users.
So seeing that it's virtually dead and you likely only discover new people to follow from the lame suggestions by Twitter's algorithm or from who the people you follow are following, I've put together a list of some blerds doing great work you should be following.
But first, in case you're wondering "What's a Blerd?"
blerd noun, Slang
A black nerd. A nerd of Afrikan or Afrikan-American descent.
Born: Uganda 🇺🇬
Why You Should Follow: Lynn is currently employed by Google as a Field Technician. She blogs quite a bit and cares about the development of women in tech. You can learn more about her on this episode of The iAfrikan Weekly's podcast episode titled Lynn Asiimwe on Programming, Expertise and Mentoring. On this podcast, Ms. Asiimwe joins Balungile to weigh in on the increasing role of women in tech, her upbringing in Uganda and life as an expat in Europe.
Dr Vukosi Marivate
Born: South Africa 🇿🇦
Why You Should Follow: Vukosi is a Data Scientist and currently holds the position of Senior Researcher in Data Mining at South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He graduated with a PhD in Computer Science from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick. He blogs about Data Science in his spare time. You can learn more about Vukosi in this Revision Path podcast episode where he was interviewed.
Born: Nigeria 🇳🇬
Why You Should Follow: Celestine is a Software Engineer at one of the largest e-commerce companies in Afrika, Kong. He is also a key member of Konga's SellerHQ (in-house developed unified system for merchants). When he is not involved in software projects he shares his experiences by blogging and from time to time relates his advice for tech startups as he should know having been one of the early employees at Konga. You can learn more about Celestine - a big fan of Intel's former CEO, Andrew S. Grove - in this good Q & A he did with TechCabal about how and why he learnt to code. To quote him from the Q & A "The first thing I ever built was a phone book, I progressed to building a mini library management software. I was very fortunate to have stumbled on a Lynda.com PHP Essential and also a book from Kevin Yank".
Varaidzo Audrey Mureriwa
Born: Zimbabwe 🇿🇼
Why You Should Follow: Vari - as she is commonly known - is a STEM education advocate. So much so that she left he IT consulting job at Accenture to found and be the Managing Director of Southern Africa's P-STEM Foundation. The P-STEM Foundation is a STEM advocacy organisation founded to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, career and entrepreneurship in historically disadvantaged communities - they organise introductory STEM programs in communities too. Vari is also a Red Bull Amaphiko Fellow and when she is not running P-STEM she occasionally blogs about the importance of STEM education and speaks at international conferences on matters relating to learning and STEM education.
Born: Kenya 🇰🇪
Why You Should Follow: Joel is - as he says - a serial entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Kenya's first online brokerage, Abacus. He also has extensive experience building web services and financial technology, having served as the Africa Head of Product Development for the Mobile Money team at Cellulant. He blogs sometimes about startup and business lessons. Check him out in this video interview with SmartMonkeyTV talking about Abacus allowing Kenyans to trade shares online for the first time.
Born: Cameroon 🇨🇲
Why You Should Follow: Leslie is currently the Managing Partner at I/O Spaces - an inclusive co-working space in the Silver Spring, Maryland area in the USA. He co-founded I/O Spaces with Rebecca Enonchong. Among some of his previous ventures he launched usePULSE to provide a low-cost online student platform for low budget universities in Africa. He was also recently selected by the World Bank to be a speaker at the "Africa Innovate DC Series: Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation" on 27 May 2016 in Wasington DC, USA.