Shitty Black Friday – A Case Study of Jumia Nigeria

Ever since Konga tried to bring the Black Friday culture to Nigeria some 3 years ago with their first Yakata sale, other e-commerce stores have done their best, unsuccessfully,  to one-up the online retail giant. Unsuccessfully.

The latest Black Friday attempt by Jumia promised a whooping 45% off a PS4. Like almost every other Nigerian with an email address, I have been bombarded and harassed by several mails from Jumia promising huge savings on Black Friday. I was excited.

I had been looking forward to purchasing a PS4 after I missed the initial Yakata sale by Konga and I waited. Black Friday arrived and I went to Jumia, No PS4 at 45% off. They would be having a flash sale by 4pm.

Screenshot (33)

I waited and I waited. 4pm couldn’t come fast enough. But it did. It did.

I followed the link expected a PS4 that would be priced around 60k (which ironically is the cost price of a PS4 from Amazon ~ $300).

I saw this:

Screenshot (31)

84,300? But how?

Simple, Jumia marked up the selling price so that they could apply a 43% discount to bring the price “down” to 84,300. But they promised 45%. I waited and I saw this.

Screenshot (32)

Someone must have seen their error, and marked the selling price up even further, to achieve the magical “45%”.

Shame on you Jumia. Shame on you.

Free N5,000

This post came from my forum at

Welcome. This forum is new. New forums are usually empty. We can either populate it manually or get the public to do so. Being the lazy people that we are …..

Would you like to win a N5,000? Either as a shopping voucher OR airtime OR actual cash? How? Simple. Create a post in the category and share with your friends. Get them to comment. The post with the most comments at the end of the competition wins. We would be looking for users with the Champion badge.

We would to give you all, but for now, we can only have 1 winner. More competitions will be announced later.

For no reason whatsoever, here is a picture of someone counting Nairas.

The competition ends by 18-July-2015. 11:59pm GMT+1.

Inconvenient Banking

I have always been a fan of convenience. I’ll gladly pay my way out of doing several things, like house chores or filling a paper form. I also love and adore Guaranty Trust Bank. I have been banking with them since 2006. Never really had much of a complaint. Until now.

I adjusted my schedule so I could go to a branch to open the accounts. First inconvenience; why do I have to visit a physical branch to open an account when I am already a verified customer with the bank. That aside, I went to the bank with some passport photographs and copies of my children’s birth certificates. I spent a couple of minutes on the queue waiting to speak with the customer care agent. Standing. Eventually, I was told to open an account, I needed to proceed to a different floor. Continue reading “Inconvenient Banking”

Developing using libraries versus frameworks

This article from  accurately describes my thoughts concerning the frameworks versus libraries arguments in software development.


I find that I operate in one of two modes when I’m writing software. I’m either approaching a project as a quick hack or as developing software. As much as anything else, this affects how I approach the project and what kinds of results that I get.

When I’m operating under the auspices of the quick hack, everything is moving toward and subordinate to the goal. The end product of the quick hack is everything. I approach the actual hacking in a fit of pique, it’s annoying that this thing isn’t done yet. I always take the way that’s most expedient and I’m always looking for a shortcut or quick fix.

When I set out to develop software my mindset is different. Here I’m nurturing a seed of an idea. I’m taking small pieces and building connections between them. I have the sense that I’m making something new, or at least I’m making something that’s mine – I feel ownership. I also assume that the thing that I’m building has to last.

The natural habitat of a quick hack is a framework. When I’m confronted with something that doesn’t fit, I look for that next StackOverflow answer that’ll tell me how to shoehorn it in among the Tetris pieces that I already have. The framework is not malleable, I must square-off my round peg.

Libraries are what support developing software. Properly in charge, I choose a subordinate library and apply its talents appropriately. There is no hint of having to make my design fit within the strictures of someone else’s plan. I have the skeleton, I merely need the flesh. If I find that a library no longer suits my needs, it is easily removed. Well-scoped libraries tend to match one another much more closely than frameworks do. The problem that the library solves, the abstraction that it grants, tends to be more universal than a framework. Two HTTP client libraries will tend to expose those actions that HTTP supports. With a framework, I must first accept its world-view before I can start using it.

As I’ve grown as a software developer, I’ve come to believe that whenever possible I should use libraries over frameworks. This has been said many times before, but now I’m getting there via my own experience. I’m beginning to see that the advantages of frameworks can be matched by a powerful language combined with a little sense about the high-level architecture that the application demands. Over time, I’ve developed my own palette of designs and code to accomplish most tasks. I can act as a linker, assembling only those functions that are needed to accomplish the task at hand.

Lastly, I worry that time and brainpower that I pour into frameworks goes unrewarded. When I don’t want to use a framework, the framework changes, or I want to do something that the framework doesn’t support, I’m left out in the cold. All of these scenarios play out often. Each time a new version of Rails comes out, it is infused with whatever OOP fashion is reigning at the time: concerns, presenters, etc. The way that I used to do something is rendered obsolete without warning and without recourse. The knowledge that I had about how to work with the framework has gone stale – like money, “you can’t take it with you.”

I think that it is time that we, as software developers, become responsible for our own fate. Make decisions, find out what works, learn! We have no excuse for being held hostage to decisions that we didn’t make just because we didn’t understand the nature of the decision. Software development is more than just filling in the blanks on some giant MadLibs of a framework. Software is the most infinitely pliable medium of design that the world has ever seen. Like a proof, if you can show your reasoning to be sound you can do it that way. There’s no limit, so go out and build!

A perfect mash up

I am always on the lookout for a development framework that will make my development life easier. I am specifically not looking for an MVC framework, sadly, that seems to be the preferred direction for a large majority of web developers. It may be the right way but I am not interested. I prefer loosely coupled code.

I am starting something new

plus a couple of classes from PHPClasses.

How to remove that nagging Airtel notification.

I use an Airtel line. Been using it ever since but recently they implemented the post-call notification. After weeks of frustration, I eventually call the call-centre on the platinum help line (yes, I’m a platinum subscriber) and got the code.

If you need it, it is *362*2#

If you change your mind and you want it back (for whatever reason, I have no clue) it is *362*1#

You’re welcome.

Jumia doesn’t know the meaning of free

The word “free” when used as an adverb means “without cost or payment”. Essentially, this means when you want an item, you do not have to pay for it.

Apparently, in the world of E-Commerce (according to Jumia) the word “free” means something else. Look at the screenshot below:



Jumia is selling the BlackBerry Z10 at N43,995. Jumia is selling the BlackBerry Z10 with free Aerial7 Headset at N49,495. I’m confused. How is the Aerial7 Headset free if there is a price difference of N5,500. A quick search of the website for headset reveals headset within that price range.

Somebody, please explain to me.

I give up on Swift Networks

I have been a faithful Swift Networks customer for about 2 years and I have had it up to here *raises hand as high as possible*. After a frustrating experience today, I had to switch to my Airtel line to send them an email; shown below:


That I am disappointed in your service is a gross understatement. I am absolutely mortified to be considered a swift customer.

Despite my efforts to convince a number of people to patronize your services, I have unfortunately drawin the short straw. I am home with the intention to continuing my work when I am notified by your server that “browsing is not permitted”. It goes further to state my plan – Home Basic New (or some fucking shit like that) and I can browse on weekends. Glancing at my clock, which mercifully is just by the bottom right of my screen, I am made to know that this is 2pm on a Saturday. If that isnt weekend, I pray you to lecture me on what a weekend is.

I called your customer care number, kept on hold for over 5 minutes just to be told that there is no one to answer my call. Why didnt you fucking tell me that in the first minute?

I am ashamed to be associated with you. The saddest part is that it is impossible to recover whatever amount that might still be with you so that I could move to a different service provider. What is possible is me throwing your modem into the hottest fire that I can find ensuring that neither me nor anyone I love/hate has to endure the absolute rubbish you call a service.

Thank you.

An imagined letter from the NSA to Tim Cook



from: [REDACTED] <>

to: Tim Cook <>

date: Tuesday, Sep 10 2013 at 8:00 PM

subject: Thanks!!!

Tim. T-dawg. T-bone.

I wanted to thank you on behalf of the Agency for including (mostly) every feature we requested with the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.

The M7 chip that determines whether an iPhone user is walking, biking, or driving? Brilliant. Combine that with the location data you guys were already gathering, and we’ll finally know where people are going and how they’re gettin’ there. This is wildly important, and not just because a few of our agents are wondering if the, uh, “targets of their affection” enjoy long, lonely walks in secluded areas.

And the fingerprint scanner? I mean, come on. Millions of people using their fingerprints to unlock their phones — and electing not to set a passcode because of it — is gonna be a huge help. I’m sure we can get some agents to press our targets’ (…I mean, law-abiding American citizens… wait, no, I meant “suspected terrorists,” that’s the one) thumbs against their phone during one of our border stops.

Insisting that all fingerprint data is encrypted and stored directly on the device was great, too. I mean, sure, legally you can’t tell the zombies — shit, sorry, citizens — if we had installed a backdoor that allowed us to grab the fingerprint of anyone who purchases the iPhone 5s. But still, I appreciate you doing us a solid like that.

Look, the only problem I really have is that the iPhone 5c isn’t cheap enough. Like, we asked you to build something that would be wildly popular in China so we can better spy on, you know, a seventh of the Earth’s population, and you come out with some mid-priced bullshit? Not cool.

Thankfully yours,



What in the fuck is “space gray“?