Exploring Nigeria’s Creative Economy Through the Lens of Content Creators

Exploring Nigeria’s Creative Economy Through the Lens of Content Creators

The Digital Creative Economy in Nigeria has experienced galvanic growth and shows tremendous prospects. The COVID-19 lockdown produced many content creators who have become influencers, creating economic fortunes for themselves, their families and the larger society. Incidentally, the StoryStoryHub campaign, initiated by Playhouse as part of its 12th Anniversary activities, is playing up the role and impact of the Creative Digital Economy in Nigeria, with an emphatic focus on the stories of digital creatives who have combined their talent and the power of digital media to bring forth great changes in their lives and those of their families, drive commercial growth, and rewrite the digital economy narrative of Nigeria.

These individuals have taken content creation as their full-time business, operating what can be termed a ‘creator economy’. Writes MARY NNAH

Motivated by the barefaced impact of the Digital Creative Economy, Playhouse Communications, a premier digital communications agency passionate about creating digital connections between brands and their audiences, launched an innovative initiative tagged, ‘The StoryStoryHub’. 

This trail-blazing campaign seeks to predominantly explore the impact of the burgeoning digital creative sector on the Nigerian economy. Essentially, it is intended to emphasise the enormous economic roles of the creator economy and highlight how digital creatives, like skit makers and content creators, have flourished through the instrumentality of digital media.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Playhouse, Mr. Tolu Onile-Ere, explained: “We are embarking on the StoryStoryHub initiative centred on the Digital Creative Economy in Nigeria. We launched this campaign to celebrate everything good about the digital economy in Nigeria. This campaign aims at making Nigerians aware of the tangible benefits of the digital economy in their daily lives. While the use of social media in Nigeria is commonplace, not everyone understands just how important it is to the common man’s life. This campaign is set to change that”.

The StoryStory Hub campaign featured a renowned name in Nigeria’s skit-making space, Broda Shaggi,  a popular Nigerian Skitmaker whose real name is  Samuel Animashaun Perry.

Broda Shaggi is known for his hilarious skits, often featuring his signature character, a clueless street urchin. In addition to his comedy career, he is also a successful actor, having appeared in several films and television shows.

Broda Shaggi comes from a humble background but has etched his name in the mind of almost every Nigerian. From the squalid Makoko axis in Lagos, he leveraged his aptitude for creating humorous content to become a social media sensation and has now delved into other entertainment areas like acting, as he has featured in many top-grade movies.

In his StoryStoryHub episode, Broda Shaggi narrated his trajectory as a content creator: “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. So, when I lost my dad, my mom and I had to relocate to Makoko, a very rugged area in Lagos. I had to rely on my talent – singing, drumming, dancing and acting- just to make ends meet and to finish my programme at the University of Lagos. It wasn’t easy. I said to myself, all these talents can’t go to waste. So, I started posting my skits on Instagram and Facebook and my following started growing gradually. Now, I have 12 million followers on Instagram and 9 million followers on Facebook. Since I joined these platforms, I have been making money.’

Broda Shaggi who revealed that this has impacted not only him but his family, friends and well-wishers,  urged other young people to do the same, adding,  ”Have such an impact for yourself. I want you to know that you have a talent. So, share your talent in the form of content on social media platforms, and with God’s grace, consistency and hard work, you will become a better version of yourself and make an impact”.

Broda Shaggi ’s story simply accentuated how powerful social media platforms are, especially when you are consistent. From skit-making, he transitioned into starring in tier-one movies, not forgetting the inroads he has made in brand promotion, ambassadorship deals and job creation, which have an immensely positive effect on the larger Nigerian economy.

Similarly, Tricia Olufemi-Olumide, known as Triciabiz on social media, has grown to become a prominent personage in Africa’s entrepreneurship. Founder of Ziba Beach Resort, a boutique resort in Lagos, Tricia is a marketing strategist, launch expert, business coach and Angel Investor. Still, she started online,  creating videos to teach people how to build an online business and make money.

She said in her beginning years, she was discouraged by several people who told her to get a job, but she persisted with determination and garnered momentum over time, impacting millions of people across the globe through her content. Now, she has invested in other sectors, including tourism, where she also contributes to solving the challenge of unemployment.

In her StoryStory Hub episode, she relayed: “I moved from being an online teacher to becoming a beach resort owner. You never know how your story will evolve. You just need to use the tools in front of you to get to your destination. I started as a teacher, sharing my knowledge and experience online, but I knew I wanted to do more, and I eventually used the profits from my knowledge business amongst others to build Ziba Beach Resort. To those who feel the online business is a joke, well, look where we are now”.

In the same vein, Eric Okafor, with the social media handle ‘Knewkeed’, is another content creator whose journey of impact in the Creative Digital Economy is stimulating. Okafor’s tech content creation was inspired by a regular recording of a phone unboxing session which he did with his boss in 2015.

 “That video with my boss was my first unboxing video. A year later, I quit my job. In 2017, I decided I was going to do content creation full-time, with a 5000 naira mat and a mini-tripod. The set-up was 10,000 naira. I relied mostly on sunlight. With consistency, brands started to reach out. I started getting contracts, gigs and retainers from agencies for content creation. I also started travelling around the world, creating content. One good turn deserves another. In my little way, I gave back to my alma mater- Kings College- but what I am most proud of is using my influence to set up a younger creator for life. In record time, my dream is to make younger stars shine”, he noted.

With a cumulative following of 248,000 on Instagram, Facebook and the X app, Knewkeed is leading the charge for young tech content creators and driving growth for businesses through strategic content marketing, which is also helping to develop the Digital Creative Economy.

Another content creator that was featured in the StoryStoryHub series is Muaz Muh’d, well known as ‘Bushkiddo’.

His story: “About 9 or 10 years ago when I finished NYSC. One day, I came across an American comedian who does skits in just 15 seconds. I was impressed. That was what propelled me to start creating content. I started alone with my phone and the dedication to create something similar in Hausa. After a while, my videos started gaining traction. Brands started paying me to create content for them. Family and friends came in and we became a team. That’s how we’ve made it this far”.

Riding on a social media (Facebook, Instagram and the X app) following of over 891,000, Bushkiddo significantly impacted his friends, family and businesses, translating to positive results for the Nigerian economy.

Also, Jennifer Onyekwelu, famously known as Jenni-frank in the social media community, partook in the StoryStoryHub campaign. Jenni-frank creates entertainment content and has grown her followers from zero to 808,000 on Instagram and over 4,000,000 on TikTok. Those numbers speak of consistent diligence! She has monetised what started as a pastime and now connects brands with their audiences through enjoyable, educative content. She stressed how content creation has economically empowered her and the people around her, putting her in a position to create jobs for fellow Nigerians.

An influencer, actor and TV show host, Jenni-frank shared her story: “Rising from the streets of Onitsha to where I am today is a story, I am willing to tell over and over again. I started creating content with just my phone and natural sunlight. Thanks to the impact of social media which has played a huge role in making me grow and impacting me positively. I have been able to bridge the gap between brands and consumers. I have also created a new market. Social media has played a huge role in building community, showcasing talents and connecting people from different parts of the world. And the best part is that it is accessible and the money is there”.

In conclusion, the StoryStoryHub campaign, initiated by Playhouse as part of its 12th Anniversary activities, is playing up the role and impact of the Creative Digital Economy in Nigeria, with an emphatic focus on the stories of digital creatives who have combined their talent and the power of digital media to bring forth great changes in their lives and those of their families, drive commercial growth, and rewrite the digital economy narrative of Nigeria.

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This trail-blazing campaign seeks to predominantly explore the impact of the burgeoning digital creative sector on the Nigerian economy. Essentially, it is intended to emphasise the enormous economic roles of the creator economy and highlight how digital creatives, like skit makers and content creators, have flourished through the instrumentality of digital media

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