Oluwaseun Osewa

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Oluwaseun Temitope Osewa born 17 June, 1982 is a Nigerian internet entrepreneur. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nairaland, a popular internet forum launched in March 2005, which was projected as the biggest African forum by Forbes. YNaija listed him as one of the most innovative Nigerians in technology.  He was also listed among T.I.N Magazine’s top 10 most influential Nigerian online entrepreneurs in 2015.

Oluwaseun Osewa was born 17th of June, 1982 in Ota, Ogun state. He was bred and raised in Ota where he attended his primary and secondary school education.He was admitted into to Obafemi Awolowo University to study Electrical Engineering in 1998.

Prior to his admission to the university, he was very conversant with technological trends and an extensive use of internet. He decided to capitalize on information technology which instigated his love for programming. With much progress made from his internet business at his third year in college, Seun dropped out of school to concentrate on his dreams.

Seun started web hosting in the year 2013.  He encountered a lot of challenges which resulted to early failures in his businesses that preceded Nairaland.  “All my business projects before Nairaland were failures, except the one that became Nairaland. My web hosting business failed after just three months because I ran out of money, while I couldn’t execute my other projects I researched due to shyness and lack of capital. My blogs and mobile phone forum that preceded Nairaland were successful but not profitable. However, it was on that foundation Nairaland was built.”

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During this period of failures, Seun was advised to go back to school to get his certificate and later a regular job instead of dealing with failures from his business. He didn’t accept this advice because of his strong believe in his project and his courage, he saw the future and prospects of his business. He decided to research more and improved his skills and knowledge about his craft.

After several trials and errors, Seun decided to settle for a business he thought of, which was a site for sending messages, he delved to python (a programming language) to implement this business idea. In the cause of exploring his potentials he also created a forum which required little or no capital at all. During this period, he already had access to internet and a fee of $15 for VPS was warmly paid by his friend.

As at 2003, he had created 3 forums, one for information technology (IT), another for higher institution students and the last one for the GSM industry, the forum was branded the mobile Nigeria forum.

The Mobile Nigeria Forum was on track till February 2005 when he relaunched it with the help of Mr. John Sagai Adams, who posted a link to the forum on his mailing list and participated ebulliently in the early days.

Other mobile activists like Mr. Yomi Adegboye contributed so much to make the successful one.  The forum received over 300 members in less than 45 days but the growth potential didn’t please Seun.  He noticed most websites were controlled by foreign based Nigerians who floated more of the information abroad so he decided to start Nairaland to emphasis the presence of a platform that gives Nigerians a voice at home which will cover every kind of information such as romance, tech, jokes and many more like a general-purpose Nigerian forum, with the feeling such a site could attract enough traffic to make enough money from Google adverts.

Seun’s initial target was to make like sixty thousand naira (#60000) monthly but by the precocious growth of Nairaland, this target was surpassed and he made way above 100,000.

As Nairaland grew, Seun began to have problems as spammers invaded the forum, this prompted him to get more hands on deck, he hired moderators to curb this nefarious acts. Seun was enjoying the fruits of his labour until 2012 when Google removed his website due to its salacious contents posted by some members. This made him started selling his own ads space by the virtue of the site huge traffic and activeness. Seun began selling ads space and made more money from it than he was making from Google ads.

In 2011, a group of company offered Seun $1 million to buy Nairaland but he rejected the offer knowing there’s more to come from his platform.

He was ranked by Forbes as one of the 30 people under 30 who are Africa’s best young entrepreneurs. Even with his wealth and potential power in Nairaland, Oluwaseun “runs” from fame. He is not your regular rich-boy socialite you find on red carpets. He likes to be simply dressed in his traditional outfit.

He was once enlisted in Nigeria 100 best list alongside top celebrities in the country which presented him with an opportunity to dine with the celebrities in Aso Rock but he refused to acknowledge the invitation.

Seun’s life is full of lessons ranging from high degree of focus, courage, astuteness and persistence. He has his Nairaland office situated in Ota, Ogun state.