Yabacon Valley is dead. Long live Yaba Right


###It all started as Twitter bants:

###Then @iaboyeji had a lightbulb moment :bulb:

###I was like, damn yo!

###Next thing you know…

Finally, an emblem for the Yaba tech cluster we can all get behind? Lots of support has come from all corners, and this is what the community has currently come up with by way of branding. Mad design skills from iamashiwel.


Check out the #YabaRight hashtag on Twitter to see how it all began. I’m really excited about what is happening here. More to come!



Love eet. Me right now

What should Nigeria's tech ecosystem(Yaba actually) be called?
What should Nigeria's tech ecosystem(Yaba actually) be called?

#YabaRight caught on really quickly. Love it tho. And Nigerians with no chill as usual… Its less than 7hours and www.yabaright.com is taken already.


and in another 6 months, the excitement wears off.


ABA… at least try exercise just a little bit more level of optimism, i guarantee you it wouldn’t cost you a dime.


@lordbanks my follow back request they grow beards for your twitter mail ooooo, abeg do the needfull. my handle is @olayiwole


Great stuff.


#TeamYabaconValley :smiley:

Yaba Right brings up the question of Yaba left


And you don’t think Valley brings up the question of “why”?


As a matter of fact, who coined “Yabacon Valley?” Must we always mimic the US to the letter? Nollywood, Ghollywood, Bollywood… Tired of seeing all these unnecessary derivations.

For “Yaba Right,” I still don’t understand what it means!


This we-must-find-a-name thing feels like Mungo Park claiming to discover a city that already existed before he got lost. What is wrong with Yaba?

Silicon Valley and other locations earned original names not from tech startups coming there but chips and circuits serving the defence industry, et al. Yaba defines the space; why find another name?

Was it not Chairman Mao who said, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” :slight_smile: Let’s borrow a leaf from his wisdom.


Not to mention the “valley” in the name is a reference to an actual Valley the region used to be centered around (Santa Clara Valley). More recently, you could add that the u-shape seen when you look at the cluster of high tech cities in the bay area on the map gives it coincidental credence.

The UK has two clusters. East London Tech City, and Silicon Fen - both named in context. The former is fondly called Silicon Roundabout after the “Old Street Roundabout” located there. The latter is a reference to the fact that the area was generally called “the Fens” - low, marshy, and frequently flooded.

Absolutely nothing in Yaba is “high tech” by any standard. I’d happily entertain anyone who would like to dispute that. If anything, Yaba has always been reminiscent of a dumpster to me. Apologies to those who call the place home. But hey, East London Tech City used to be run down as recently as 2008 so there’s hope. Let’s just stop trying to rename stuff by force.


One is, Yaba has a cultural background and history before Cchub and all these internet companies finding offices there. Why all the new efforts to change that just to appeal to new cluster that have barely been there for 10 years. Yaba is cool. Leave it that way.

Two is, if Yaba is going to find a new name, it will be natural. And maybe very slow. You don’t just wake up one morning and believe you should create a new Silicon Valley in the middle of Yaba and the first thing is, rename the city. We don’t even know if Yaba will be the eventual tech city.


That reminds me of Facebook’s humble days as a simple “hot or not” application. These days, people want to replace Facebook in its current form, but that’s another story.


That was the failure of Google+ built out of ego. They started it to out-facebook Facebook. Where Snapchat that sends disappearing messages soar, almighty G+ was a graveyard. Another story, like you said.

It’s important to note if the community is very serious about creating a cluster, they should be interested more in bringing all the important elements together to ensure the prosperity of the region, for tech and Internet companies. The presence of Yabatech and Unilag for one is a good start. Another is, how cheap is the rent there? And several other elements yet to be considered.

But no, let’s talk about what name is cool or not!

I was in Akure one time, extremely quiet city. You can literally drive with your eyes closed. 3 bedroom as low as N250k per annum. Eateries everywhere. Boulevard is actually there(I swear I’m not lying or exaggerating). I saw trees everywhere. Hotels were built door to door. For a minute, I thought I was out of Nigeria. There is FUTA. Life is cheap, easy and quiet here. What is your business in Lagos again?That’s what I kept asking myself. The only thing left is fast internet and sufficient “geeky” youth presence.

I don’t know mhen, I’m just saying we should just chill on this Yaba obsession.

For me personally, Yaba is not top choice for office if I should set up one today. The last time there, I spent close to an hour around Sabo making a turn.


That’s the take away from everything.


And Port Harcourt folks will be like;
YABA? - Yet Another Bloody Acronym
Yaba to the Right, to the Left
To the Right, To the Left.

I just hope we dont wake up one they and be like; hello @TouchPH! Can we have Ogunabali Valley? Or will it be DLine Valley. Thats another story.


I’ll venture an answer to this.

In the last 18 months I have learnt a lot and one of the most important things I have learnt is that narratives are powerful. Branding, telling a story is what turns Santa Clara into a Silicon Valley. And a “late stage tech company” into a “Unicorn”.

I don’t know if Yaba Right is the right answer (pun intended)(even though I suggested it) but if we are going to attract more money and talent into technology startup space in Nigeria, we need to start telling much better stories and it starts with getting the branding of a community right.

Yaba doesn’t work because it isn’t distinct enough. Just like Sanfrancisco represents many things to many people (it is the home of the gay community for instance), Yaba represents many things to many people.

I may be wrong but I’m always happy to find a way to say yes to things… so YabaRight it is.

  1. Santa Clara is still Santa Clara. The geography of “Silicon Valley” isn’t as simple as just one city renamed;
  2. Names evolve, over time, and not as an outcome of “committee branding”;
  3. It’s a whole lot of assumption to think Yaba is “the place”. For what I’m seeing, emerging clusters hundreds of kilometres from Lagos have a good chance of earning tech nicknames Yaba won’t deserve in a few years;
  4. Instead of looking for a new name by all means, let all cities focus on real work without assumptions;
  5. Silicon Valley is a nickname that was used more by outsiders than those who were busy turning silicon to money in the valley. If Yaba, or a section of it, or a more complex geographical collection of areas, deserve a nickname, it will come. Computer Village was naturally named, and every attempt to export that name hasn’t worked for a reason.


LOL. Best comment!