The Uprise of Nigerian Creatives: You will Be Next!
Nigerians have always been known for keeping up such a high standard in terms of intelligence and creativity. The accomplishments achieved by Nigerians both in Nigeria and in the diaspora are endless. Despite a few misconceptions, Nigerians have maintained the reputation of being intelligent, resilient, and creative people. As children, we have been accustomed to and trained in the ideology that the most successful career paths were jobs in the medical, law, and engineering fields. It’s almost as if we all lived the same lives with our parents' expectations being pushed on us, of who and what we were to become when we got older. However, is nothing short of amazing how we can see the massive uprise of Nigerian creators.
For the past few years, we have seen tremendous growth in the endless talent that comes out of Nigeria. The term 'creator' is a huge umbrella that has so many different categories that fall under it. To be a creator is to be considered talented, unique, and impactful and that comes in different titles; it can be choreographers, small designers, skit-makers, photographers, social media influencers, models, make-up artists, and the list surely goes on.
You might think, "okay, well there have always been these 'creators' around." Yes, indeed that is true but for us as Nigerians to begin to make a living off this said creative lifestyle is like a curse that has been lifted. A miracle! It's a lifestyle that 5 years ago would've been laughed at because no one would consider that being a creator can pay the bills. OMO, Nigerians have changed the game with their creativity; have you seen some of these TikTok transitions?!
Let’s put a halt on transitions and discuss the talent, determination, and resilience that it takes to become a creator. Deciding to become a creator in some aspect of Nigeria and as Nigerians is a struggle in itself. It comes with a copious amount of pressure and doubt; firstly, doubts from our parents who already have a pre-planned life for us. Doubt and pressure from society and social media itself, ultimately give you room to create doubt yourself. However, as mentioned previously with consistency, determination, and resilience, it is possible to turn your vision into a reality. There are thousands of creators from Nigeria that have proved that there are a thousand ways to think outside the box, giving their younger selves the dreams they've longed for whilst inspiring people around the world to follow their dream no matter how wild. Here are a few creators that have been a testament to their determination and taking the road less perceived by.
Iziegbe famously known as Izzy Odigie is a New York-born Nigerian choreographer who has taken her talent in dance to the next level. Throughout her life, dance was a continual part of her life, in high school she joined a dance team called Enkore. After high school, college was next; she attended St.John's University in Queens, NY. Whilst continuing her education; because we all know "education comes first" she was given the opportunity to become a captain for Allen Sports Association aka ASA. ASA is a non-profit organization that provides sports and recreational activities for children. Ultimately, this put the battery in Izzy's back and she founded her dance collective called Trybe at the age of 18. Izzy has continued dancing which has landed her different sponsorships, such as Uggs, Yamaha Music, Coca-Cola and there is so much more. In 2019 she was recognized by OkayAfrica's 100 women for using her platform and unique abilities to impact the culture in a way different from the norm.
Samuel A. Perry, the most comedic person in Nigeria taking over the entertainment industry. Brodda Shaggi is a UniLag alumnus who wasn't truly aspiring to be a comedian but because of the adversities he faced, acting became of second nature. Acting was something that he always wanted to do as a child and he felt that once it was accepted and there was an impact being made on other people by him, there was no stopping him. There were plenty of times when he felt like giving up, especially after his father passed and responsibilities fell solely on his mom. He made it his determination to constantly apply to auditions every single day whilst still recording youtube videos for his everyday fans that he gained over the years. The first movie he landed was 'The Wedding Party' as an extra and didn't even get paid. With fuel to the fire and the adrenaline he got from that, it pushed him to continually audition for more roles until he was able to make it on the big screen.
Lastly, Korty EO is a freelance filmmaker and Youtuber, who practically does whatever she wants as she gladly puts it. Korty moved from her family home in Ibadan, to join the madness of Lagos after getting a job offer to become a writer media company, Zikoko. Work was typical, and eventually, she got tired of it and decided to she wanted to become a freelance filmmaker. There is no official category of content that she makes but decides to cover the lifestyle and perception of others in an informal, however, captivating way. If you've ever come across her content, or even decide to go watch a couple of videos after this, you will completely understand. Korty takes the time to create videos on what life dynamic is like for artists, people of the LGBTQ community, and how people come together in social settings. Her content varies and you can never truly pinpoint what post is next, but is always informative and interesting, and wanting more.
Not all heroes wear capes, and these creators have given people at home the confidence and space to feel like their dreams too are attainable.There are a plethora of creators around the globe of Nigerian descent who are progressively growing and changing the game. We are stepping into our purpose in all aspects and it is influencing the world. Nigerians are everywhere, our music, our dance steps, our food, overall Nigerians are becoming the blueprint. It is imperative as Nigerians that we ALL gain this mindset, and begin to see ourselves with the upper hand, We are rich in all facets and we need no race, or support in already being the greatest. Education is definitely key, but not the only key to a successful & happy life. Chase your dreams and when no one believes in you, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. ✨
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