The Journey is 1% Finished But The Masquerade Dances On

Chukwuemeka Afigbo
3 min readNov 14, 2020

Today marks the end of my last full week at Facebook.

After 5 amazing years at Facebook, I will again quote the Igbo proverb :

“Anaghi ano ofu ebe ekiri Mmonwu”

Which has the literal translation :

“One does not stand at the same spot while watching the dance of a great masquerade”

The last time I used this proverb, the “great masquerade” referred to the African tech ecosystem. Over the last 5 years in the rocket ship, the masquerade has indeed evolved to become the global tech ecosystem and the dance has also changed.

At the time I joined the Facebook rocket ship 5 years ago as a strategic partner manager for the Sub Saharan Africa region, many, if not all, of the top tech companies were playing ultra safe with their investments in African tech ecosystem. Facebook was the only company in its class at the time that decided to lean in and bet on the regional tech ecosystem when everyone else was playing it safe. It was this willingness to try new things (or old things in new ways) that made the difference for me and contributed to a renewed global and local interest in the region today.

On joining Facebook, I had a list of 3 milestones (and 2 pipe dreams) that I hoped would be achieved in 4–6 years. To my pleasant surprise, the first two were achieved within my first 12 months.The last one happened just a month or so ago. In between, a number of other milestones that I never imagined also came to pass. I will leave it to the reader as an exercise to guess what those milestones were.

As the masquerade evolved onto the global stage, It was amazing to join a team dedicated to supporting and growing Facebook’s amazing global developer community. Our team worked to spread the message that as a developer in our ecosystem, your dreams are valid. Regardless of who you are, where you are and what your background is, once you are willing to put in the work, you can lend your voice to and indeed make your mark in the global tech conversation.

We showed that it is possible for the community to contribute to product development in a way that resulted in growth for all involved. Through this, I have witnessed the power of innovation to not only change careers but also to change lives.

To my Facebook colleagues/team mates and partners (especially the partnerships and the 1Africa teams), I remain grateful for all we have achieved together. Thank you for the way we pushed each other to bring out the best in ourselves and the communities we serve.

To the Facebook developer community, in particular, our Developer Circles Community, you all have been nothing short of an inspiration. While I will never forget the Dabke in Beirut, the Horchata in Mexico, the contest in Sao Paulo , the music in Singapore, the Paan in Delhi, jollof and snails in Lagos, hackathons in New York, events in London, all of these pale in comparison to the privilege of witnessing you work tirelessly to pass on the opportunities that you were afforded so that other members of your communities could have access. Thank you!

What’s next?

At the end of the day the mission is simple and stays unchanged:

To provide a platform for the willing to become a better version of themselves.

We look to the future with patience and excitement.

The journey is 1% finished.

Jisi nu ike



Chukwuemeka Afigbo

Tech Community Fan(atic). Dev Ecosystem Cheerleader . Believes that talent is evenly distributed. Views expressed are mine.