Have you ever been so angry, upset and frustrated that you need to complain, but you simply don’t know who to complain to, and if you do if it will make any difference? We have all been there, slow service, rude personnel, lack of common sense which makes you lose time and money. HelpTalk, in Nigeria is helping us deal with these problems. Mayowa Adegoke, Esq, has kindly given his time to tell us a little about his innovation.
Introducing HelpTalk, a free app that enables Nigerians to make complaints
Over the years, Nigerians have had to grapple with a whole lot of problems with service providers: such as telecom companies providers offering poor quality services and making undue deductions from people’s credit balances, banks debiting accounts without crediting these accounts back in due course, unchecked poor service delivery by petrol stations, amongst a host of others. Recently released HelpTalk app steps in when issues like this arise to make it dead easy for Nigerians to complain to the appropriate authorities and have these issues resolved.
The very expansive HelpTalk app doesn’t just stop there. It also allows people easily reach out to agencies for mental health issues, emergencies, crimes, rude/corrupt public servants, domestic violence, bad working conditions, littering, improper broadcasts, social media harassment, human rights violations and many others.
How did the idea come to be?
While I’m a lawyer by profession, I am also very much an entrepreneur at heart and I really love the idea of creating — either through tech or art… basically, anything that involves creativity. However, unlike other entrepreneurs, the idea for HelpTalk, like many of my ideas, came from me just randomly thinking. It’s kinda like how musicians listen to/vibe to beats and then create hits from the vibe even though they aren’t facing any of the situations they paint in the song. Every now and then, I just take a break from the world, listen to music and ideas just start coming. Sometimes, I actually face problems, then figure out tech solutions. But most of the time, it’s just me randomly thinking. And I think the good part of that is: I get a lot more diverse set of ideas. My ideas aren’t restricted to the relatively smaller world I interface with on a daily basis”.
Editors note – We have incredible ideas across the African continent and many of us don’t even realise they have commercial value, or can make real change. Like Mayowa, we all need to give value to our “random thoughts”!
After I got the idea for HelpTalk, I quickly drew sketches of how I thought the UI should look like and how the app should work, I messaged my cofounder, Okechukwu Onwuorah (I call him ‘Okey’). He liked the idea and we started working on the app almost immediately.
So far in this journey, we’ve faced the most of our problems on the technical side. On the user side, people easily understand the app once they see. As such, we’ve had to do zero user education because the app is so easy to use. Another issue we’ve faced is occasionally us cofounders getting into small disagreements that sometimes slightly slow down the development of the product. Also, due to the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, some agencies the HelpTalk app is connected to currently don’t have members of staff to actively attend to phone calls, which means users have had to rely on emails and longer wait times before response instead.
HelpTalk has just recently launched, and so still has more problems to face in the future, but with my strong knowledge of tech and my cofounder’s highly complementary skill set, I think we’re very much on course to surmount these problems.
Editor – Thank you to Mayowa for telling us about HelpTalk. If you would like to download it, please check it out here.
If you want to feature on Inventive Africa, please reach out to us on InventiveAfrica1@gmail.com, or on Twitter, and let us know. We are always looking to showcase innovative ideas from across the continent.
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