Gage Awards.

Developing Local Contents from the Diaspora

It’s no longer news that social media has become a leveler for all. It has given everyone an equal shot at new opportunities and fame. Isn’t it interesting that your twitter account is free the same as Donald Trump’s?

It fascinating how you possess the power to not only choose the contents you consume per time but also the freedom to produce content

We are bombarded daily with thousands of content but what’s most interesting is how Nigerian content producers in the diaspora quickly embraced telling African stories that are relatable to the African audience. How do they get ‘what’s hot’? It is not an easy task to creatively submerge yourself in a different environment totally devoid of your reality. They do this regularly churning out viral contents daily.

Let’s dive in to spotlight on some of these mavens who despite being far away from home have not forgotten their roots.

Most people believe that the African comedy business began with @aphricanApe now @aphricanace. He went abroad to study business but comedy found him. According to him, he tried to do comedy the American style but it didn’t work “I was trying to be more American, and take on that style of comedy,” he recalls. “It wasn’t me. I’m not American, and I will never be American. That’s what happens when you’re not original; you don’t flourish.”

Despite his epic failure the first time around, he decided to try again, with a new strategy.

“I brought it back home. I decided to be myself, to give them the African in me. And that time it worked. I got off the stage and I was like, ‘Yes! Comedy is for me, baby!’”

Now we have the likes of Twyse, taking us back to the typical Yoruba family. It’s so impressive how he has successfully coined out six different characters. Shade – the house help from Ibadan has an interesting body structure and accent which sometimes is a hard hurdle for Taofeek- the cousin whose ambition is to dive into the musical mainstream with his skills and very visible tribal marks and gangster ensemble though he is continuously reminded of his impossible dreams by Daddy Tobi who also is constantly reminded of his limitations as a real man by Mummy Tobi, who also faces the nightmare of a mother-in-law simply referred to as Mama.

The typical growing teenager surrounded by choices but restricted to one and a reflection of the impact of parenthood on children in marriage is Tobi.

Craze clown is a worthy mention also with his ‘Papa Ade’ character which many find hilarious and relatable. As many Africans born and bred sees a part of themselves in Ade who as a teenager wants to fly off the handle but his Dad’s thunderous slaps are always the beginning of wisdom for him.

There are many local content providers in the diaspora telling the African story, which once again corroborates that saying ‘That home is where the heart is’

In conclusion, either Papa Ade’s slaps or Taofeek’s ambition to ‘blow’ through music, these creators have defied the odds, telling our stories in the most interesting  ways. We believe they should be recognized and celebrated.

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