In 2021, Nigerian teen Isaac Somto shared a video on Twitter of what he and his team had been working on, the video showcased an app solution designed by Somto called “Aider”.
The app solution tackled the problems related to the access to on-demand emergency services in Nigeria. The solution idea garnered support from Nigerians and some Nigerian organizations. Isaac Somto and his works came to limelight a bit but not many knows about him and his works completely, a dig into Isaac Somto’s story reveals the story of an inspiring teen.
Isaac Somto is a teenage African serial entrepreneur, digital products and brand identity designer and writer.
In 2017, at age 15 after graduating from high school, Isaac Somto was met with the opportunity of exploring his creative side and that he did. He started learning coding languages like html, css, js majorly for the web and started writing on a blog he founded at that time called “WowFactor360”, the platform just spoke about Africa’s entertainment space, lifestyle tips etc .
In the following year, he had learned quite a lot from association with people in the industry and he sold the WowFactor360 platform and founded Techcrest, a platform for conversations about the African tech space, alongside some other young African writers he also founded The Isaac Somto Foundation, an organisation that seeks to promote young African writers and their works.
Later in 2018, the Techcrest platform was sold after reaching 100k people.
In 2019, Isaac Somto and his team rebranded The Isaac Somto Foundation to Imaginact, a word which is a portmanteau of “Imagine” and “Act” formed by Somto. “Imaginact as a word simply means: do more than imagine; take action.” Says their website.
Imaginact is just saying take action, but in a creative way. What started out as a movement led by young African writers to grow the skills of other young African writers by holding mini-workshops, publishing their stories for free, giving them free PR and more turned into a hub of solutions for various societal issues.
One of such solutions which Imaginact uses to drive positive change is Vocal Africa, a GenZ led Pan-African platform that promotes African stories by Africans. The platform turns African stories and experiences into digital and shareable content and in the process, attracts, engages and impacts a diverse and global audience, and instil in them a genuine curiosity regarding Africa; and satisfy it by informing and educating them on the various aspects of the African lifestyle, culture, literature, people and societal issues. Isaac Somto heads writes for and heads the content team of the platform alongside Miracle Ufodiama.
In 2021, Imaginact trained more than 200 teenagers for free on design skills through Imaginact’s SteamUp initiative and purpose-driven partnerships with brands like Tech Skills Hack, Teen World Empowerment and more.
In March 2021, Artechubs, a leading STEM skills acquisition startup for young people in the South-eastern region of Nigeria launched a partnership initiative with Imaginact called “Act2getHer’. The initiative was launched to celebrate the international women’s day and to close the gap between men and women in the STEM workforce. The programs under the initiative are still running, and have seen the training of more than 180 young girls on STEM skills.
Imaginact also worked on an unlawfully prisoned children in Nigeria campaign using its Broach program which it uses to create consciousness about societal and political issues among African youths by sharing information and enabling conversations about the social issues. The initiative partnered with Forever Gratis, an African student-led advocacy organization to raise awareness about Nigeria’s unlawfully locked child prisoners and terrible juvenile centres issue. Imaginact has driven positive actions for social change that has reached more than 50,000+ since inception.
With over 5 years+ designing brand identity and over 2 years+ designing digital products and building value for brands, individuals, startups etc, Somto has successfully worked on more than 150+ projects and has also been involved in a lot of campaigns for change in the African continent, including Learnblue, a climate change advocacy organization that raised awareness about climate issues in Africa and the world at large. The organization reached more than 3.7 million people and has a mention on TeenVogue (Vogue’s teen magazine). He was also involved in Cameroon’s Actions for Development and Empowerment’s program, EmpowerHer Africa.
Isaac Somto has also been awarded by Jamie Pajoel International, Won the inaugural Nigerian Bar Association SBL innovation award, Nominated for: Founder of The Year Awards and Nigerian Innovators Empowerment and Awards and was among few Nigerian innovators selected for the Toshiba & Kioxia Hackcellencefest program, took his team to become one of the top 5 teams in PAADC 2021 competition (Nigeria’s biggest undergraduate solutions design competition), designed a product for a startup that won the edtech summit 2021.
The Neusroom by Info Digita Africal (ID Africa), describes Somto as a young innovator who knows the art of building things, in their words: “Somto is no stranger to building things”.
Isaac Somto has been mentioned/Quoted on The Conversation, The Nation Newspaper, African Facts Zone, Neusroom.com, Channels Tv, TVC News, Tech Economy, InfoguideAfrica, Lists.ng, Browse.ng, BlankPaperz etc and currently works has a product and brand identity designer, writer and social changemaker.