It was a night of glamour as YouTube hosted top Nigerian YouTube content creators at a dinner to mark 10 years of its video sharing experiences.
The event, which took place at the Intercontinental Hotel and Resort on Victoria Island, Lagos, had the likes of Olisa Adibua, Toke Makinwa and Ariyike Akinbobola among others in attendance.
The night tagged: “YouTube & The Stars Event” also had YouTube group content creators like Naija’s Craziest and TechCityNG.
Addressing the audience, Adibua, a veteran broadcaster, recounted how he got inspired while growing up in UK and how he got a contract job with Nigerian Television Authority (NTA 5) at the age of 17 when he arrived in Nigeria.
He further noted that he contributed to the success stories of many Nigerian artistes, naming popular musicians like Eldee, StyPlus, D-Banj among those he helped to boost their careers, especially through Big Brother Nigeria.
The co-founder of Storm Records and one of the brains behind Big Brother Nigeria, however, advised younger on-air-personalities (OAP) on how to excel on the job.
He said: “When you are on radio, for instance, you have an instant power. I’ve several times paid fines to the National Broadcasting Commission. But why do I have to pay this much to them, when they are richer than me?
“I tell young people to read a lot, because not reading wide is their problem. They don’t read. They believe presentation is just all about sitting in front of the camera. If you must succeed in this business especially on the global scale, you have to read about different things going on within your locality and around the world.
“If you want to interview a person, it is just wise for you to do a background check about the person. So you need to read to be ahead of your interviewee.”
For Toke Makinwa of TokeMoment, her passion for what she does has been the backbone of her continuity.
On TokeMoment, she runs a regular monologue on everything from self-improvement to relationship issues in a loose and funny manner.
“When I started out on YouTube, I was not aware of the financial benefits of using YouTube. I would just upload videos and be happy that they get good number of views. It was much later in 2013 that I got to know that I could monetize my contents to earn money.
“I find joy when I run into ladies at shopping malls outside the country and they identify me and can easily relate their issues with me. It gives me a lot of joy. You know, usually, people like to talk to someone who does not know them about the issues, TokeMoment has filled that space.
“Uploading a new video every Wednesday has not been easy for me, but I also know that the key thing about YouTube is consistency and I have kept at it. I must confess that YouTube has been a huge source of blessing to my life,” she recounted.
Meanwhile, for Akinbobola, lawyer and mother of two, YouTube is an avenue for people to gather a lot of experiences and remain loyal to who they are.
“On YouTube, I talk about relationship dynamics. I have in the past done videos on YouTube on how to spy on your nannies; I have also done videos on parenting,” she said.”But you know what, the views I get on my channel aren’t up to 5,000. But when I don’t box myself, and do freestyle videos, amazingly, I get over 100,000 views.”
Akinbobola, who does videos on sex and relationship, further said that her contents had been greeted with a stream of criticisms, stressing: “Well, my channel is not for babies, but for adults.
“Most times when I talk about sex, people tend to look at me as if it’s a no-go-area. But as a married woman, this is something I do, even, people who are not married do this. So, why do we shy away from discussing it?”
Speaking about the event, Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, West Africa Communication and Public Affairs Manager said the event was aimed at leveraging the 10th anniversary of YouTube to spotlight Nigerians who, in spite of all odds, are constantly sharing content and, by so doing, are building their own fan bases.
He said, “There are now more than one million channels earning revenue through the YouTube Partnership Programme, in more than 30 countries, and it’s exciting to see more Partners coming on board in Nigeria too. Globally, partner revenue across YouTube has increased by 60% over the past year and partner revenue from mobile ad sales has tripled.”