AMVCA 8: A Toast To Digital Content Creators
Gone are the days when content creation wasn’t given the credit it truly deserves. With creators such as Mr Macaroni, Taaooma, Tee Kuro, Edem Victor, and Elozonam taking the lead in producing creative and entertaining videos, the industry is gaining widespread recognition around the world. Now, with its inclusion in the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards ceremony (AMVCA), digital content creation has gotten the validation it is long deserving of. Ahead of the 8th edition of the upcoming AMVCA, Guardian Life had a chat with some of the nominees in the debutant content creation category.
The catchphrases “Freaky Freaky” and “You are doing well” along with comedic storytelling have made Debo Adebayo (Mr Macaroni) a household name. With a YouTube channel of over three hundred thousand subscribers, it’s hard to imagine a world without Mr Macaroni. The actor reveals, “I used to belong to a certain group while in school that never believed in doing comedy skits as a thespian. But with time, I saw the industry rising and tapped into the opportunity.”
Recounting the inspiration behind “Multiple Personalities”, the video that earned him his first AMVCA nomination, Mr Macaroni says, “I have come across people that one moment they are all cool or calm, and the next moment, they are something else. What I tried to explore in the video was that, as much as everyone is going about their business, they can bring out a different side.”
When Mr Macaroni isn’t wearing his purple Agbada, Aso oke cap, and sunglasses in front of a camera, he is busy being an activist, fighting against negative socio-political issues in the country. Speaking on how his recent dive into the pool of activism has affected his career, Mr Macaroni says, “It has had both positive and negative effects. Negative in the sense that I used to have a lot of people like politicians who loved my videos, but when I got into activism, they and their friends began to attack me and my work. Positively, I am at peace with myself, using my voice and talent to shed more light on issues affecting society.”
Applauding AMVCA for creating a new category, Mr Macaroni believes that this would motivate Nigerian content creators to put in more effort and encourage people to appreciate the hard work that goes into creating videos.
After his time on the popular reality show, Big Brother Najia, Elozonam Ogbolu chose to make a name for himself aside from being referred to as a “former housemate.” This led him to focus more on content creation – his first love, venture into acting, and offer drool-worthy pictures to his Instagram followers. Providing insight into the journey that led him to his first AMVCA nomination, Elozonam said, “It’s been hectic and enjoyable. The truth is that there have been a lot of ups and downs because, as a creative, you always strive to be a better version of yourself. I mean, I started with content creation from my 9-5 job, and I wanted the world to see me, which is why I went into the Big Brother house.
“That’s how I used the Big Brother house to get noticed very quickly, and it’s been an exciting journey. I have learned to push myself and do the things no one else is doing. “ Scrolling through Elozonam’s social media pages, it would be hard not to notice the unique content he creates. Defining his style, he said, “It’s niche. It’s nerdy, drawing inspiration from cartoons, anime, sci-fi, and witty comedy. I love to give people a cinematic experience like they are watching a mini-movie.”
When shooting a video, I strongly believe that everything should be well thought out, from camera work and set design to the delivery and how it feels. My content is different from the norm, and this sometimes has its ups and downs.” Commenting on the newly introduced AMVCA category, Elozonam said, “It’s about time because content creators do the most. For a minute clip, the amount of work and effort that goes into its creation is quite stressful. So, the fact that creators tell stories that entertain an audience within a limited amount of time is commendable.”
It’s not a secret that the comedy skit industry is dominated by men. However, this doesn’t stop Greene Maryam Apaokagi (also known as Taaooma) from carving a niche for herself and becoming one of the top ten social content creators in Nigeria. Serving as an inspirational figure to many upcoming female content creators, the comedienne is notable for her collaboration with popular Nollywood actors and actresses in her videos.
She reminisced about the moment she worked with the beautiful and talented actress, Shaffy Bello, on her AMVCA nominated skit, “Road Rage.” “Shaffy Bello is an amazing actress who does not give problems, and she also listens. Initially, when I informed her about the shoot, I thought she wasn’t going to come because of the distance. But she showed up and stayed until the very end, showering the cast and crew with so much love and support.”
Taaooma is also known for her ability to portray different characters, including fans’ favourite, Mummy Tao. With her cohesive blend of original characters, it comes as no surprise that many of her videos go viral. Walking us through her creative process, Taaooma said, “It’s tricky and challenging, especially since I have to play many characters. But I’m used to the challenge, making it easier during shoots.”
Grateful for her AMVCA nomination, Taaooma says that this opportunity has opened doors for many young creators.
“Visuals by Edem Victor”- This text logo has become a staple in the end credits of many comedy skits. No stranger to working behind the scenes, Edem Victor is one of the industry’s leading cinematographers and, in a way, has contributed to the success of many content creators in the country.
A former intern engineer at the popular Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos, he notes that it still feels surreal that he is a part of something that brings joy to people. Speaking of his nomination reaction, he said, “It feels good to be recognised for the work because a lot of things go into what we do. This category proves that our work is being seen and motivates us to do more.”
On the future of VEV, Victor says, “For now, we are just evolving and when we feel like it’s the right time to take a step, we will boldly do that.” Digital content creators are changing the conversation, and Victor agrees with this statement. “When I saw that the AMVCA was introducing a content category, I felt it was good because these guys work a lot and deserve to be appreciated.”
If you are a fan of relatable Nigerian content that brings back childhood memories, then the social media accounts of comedian, actor, and producer, Tamunokuro Tonye-Nathan (popularly known as Tee Kuro), are sure to keep you addicted and entertained. An AMVCA nomination is yet another victory for the actor. “I feel grateful, recognised, and like people are watching, which means what I do matters.”
Full of passion, Tee Kuro opens up about his drive to create videos. “I like to call what I do visual storytelling. It’s easier for me to create relatable content that Nigerians love because I am good at observing.”
In terms of plans, Tee Kuro opens up about his intention to create content on a larger scale with the help of his production company, the release of his web series, and diving into the world of filmmaking rather than short videos. Corroborating the words of his fellow nominees, Tee Kuro said that the new category proves that content creation is a force to be reckoned with and motivates a lot of people out there.
And the winner is…
We have no idea, but you can when you follow the 8-day long event, which kicked off yesterday with an Opening Night. The first-ever AMVCA runway show featuring the finalists of the Design for the Stars competition holds tonight. On Monday, May 9 will be Young Filmmakers’ Day with film screenings and panel discussions by students of the MultiChoice Talent Factory academy.
Africa Magic will host industry stakeholders to a special Content Market Workshop on Tuesday, May 10 and a Digital Content Creators’ brunch to spotlight the growing popularity of online content creators on Wednesday, May 11. A pan-African food festival and cultural day will be held on Thursday, May 12 followed by a special Gala for nominees on Friday, May 13.
The glamorous Awards night will be on Saturday, 14 May and aired live on Africa Magic channels on DStv and GOtv from 4 pm WAT. The eighth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards is brought to viewers by Africa Magic in association with MultiChoice and is proudly sponsored by Amstel Malta.
Till then, keep your fingers crossed and hope your fave wins.