They are everywhere now. On mobile phones, handheld devices, laptops and even your trusty old desktop.
Videos have become an essential part of pop culture and for Generation Z- the kids born with the tech-gene, sharing videos of the things they love, hate or love to hate, has become almost as important as breathing.
The result? The evolution of a new species of celebrities- influential and trendsetting non-hollywood types, whose appeal lies not in a notorious family name or the allure of a leaked sex tape, but in content that’s both fascinating and relevant.
Comedian and video producer, Felix Kjellberg is one example. A few years ago, his name rang no bells outside his native Sweden.
By December 2015, however, his “Let’s Play” commentaries and vlogs on gaming channel PewDiePie had earned him over 44 million subscribers worldwide, making him the most subscribed user on YouTube. PewDiePie also appeared at the top of Forbes’ October 2015 list of the richest YouTube stars with a reported $12 million earned in 2015!
Not known for cooling its heels while the grass grows under its feet, Nigeria has cottoned on to the power of the YouTube “influencer”. Just like the global trend, the country has witnessed the rise of YouTube stars, with channels courted by brands, and viewed by a steadily growing number of loyal subscribers eager for more comedy and satire or just interested in the back story on someone else’s daily life.
Here’s a look at ten Nigerian YouTube stars and why they have become the nation’s sweethearts
Emmanuella Samuel (MarkAngelComedy)
Comedy is huge on YouTube, but there’s a young Nigerian comedienne who is taking the platform by storm. Six year old Emmanuella is the star of MarkAngelComedy– one of Nigeria’s top-ranked YouTube users, with over 280 thousand subscribers and views regularly exceeding 3 million.
Toke Makinwa (Toke Moments)
YouTube users with a strong point of view are making a big splash in the country. On-air personality and co-presenter of The Morning Drive on Rhythm 93.7fm, Toke Makinwa is one of a handful of TV/radio presenters who have successfully crossed over to YouTube stardom. It’s no holds barred with Toke as she dishes on relationship issues, love drama and celebrity chit chat on her channel, TokeMoments.
Akah Nnani (AkahBants)
Another rising satirist in Nigeria’s galaxy of YouTube channels is TV presenter Akah Nnani. Formerly a co-presenter of Entertainment Splash on TV Continental, Akah’s eponymous channel “Akah’s Bants” is famous for videos of his comments on social issues and uncanny impersonations.
Celebrity blogger, Sisi Yemmie also gives her 23 thousand subscribers a front seat view of her life as a wife, mother and Lagos resident.
Osagie Alonge (Pulse TV)
Osagie Alonge ( Facts only ) on Pulse TV is one of Nigeria’s top purveyors of gist online. Unlike Toke however, he only spills the beans on what’s going on behind the scenes in Nigeria’s entertainment industry.
Adanna Ohakim Steinacker (AdannaDavid)
The rise of reality TV has apparently spilled over to YouTube, even in Nigeria. Perhaps it stems from our desire to know what the lives of other people are like, or just a need to infuse a little more drama into boring daily routines.
Ikenna Azuike (What’s Up Africa)
Flying the green-white-green with pride, is Nigerian-British lawyer, Ikenna Azuike’s satirical, pop-culture channel “What’s up Africa”, with its quirky, hilarious videos offering a unique take on Africa and Africans. Tapping into our love for comedy and deep appreciation of irony, Ikenna explores everything from explosive elections, to the ban on bleaching creams with irreverence and a delightful disregard for convention.
Beauty is in the eye of whomever is looking, but with everyone becoming more image-conscious, demand has never been higher for beauty and style tricks, tips and hacks.
Chidinma Umeh (ThatIgboChic)
Over 2 million people have sought beauty advice from Dimma Ummeh through her tutorials on ThatIgboChick.
Kunle Idowu ( Frank Donga)
Frank Donga, otherwise known by his real name, Kunle Idowu, rose to fame on GTBank’s Ndani TV, starring in the online comedy series The Interview. When NdaniTV brought out the series about the hilarious job seeking character, it was a runaway hit. Frank Donga was nominated in the 2016 Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards.