Nigerian YouTuber, Tayo Aina, sits with Chude Jideonwo, host of #WithChude, to discuss on how he moved from being an Uber driver to becoming one of the biggest YouTubers from the region, his inspiration for the kind of content he creates, the whole Eko Atlantic debacle, why he doesn’t enjoy the job as much these days, and what’s next for his brilliant creative mind.
Speaking on how he started as an Uber driver, “After I left school, I was looking for what to do, so I decided to drive for Uber. I drove for Uber for 6 months, and I was looking at it that ‘this wasn’t a career, you cannot build anything off it’. So, I got an iPhone, and I started taking pictures of buildings, I was just fascinated by it. During the moment when I was driving around, I just thought to make a video. I did and I posted it on Instagram. This was my first foray into videos. I got a couple of comments, and I started doing more videos. During that time, I watched a lot of videos (international videos). I saw how they were showcasing Canada and the US, and I was wondering why no one was doing that for Nigeria not even Africa yet. So, I thought to myself, “let me learn this”, but I didn’t have money because I was an Uber driver. At one point, I left Uber because there were issues. I started learning videos off YouTube, I started making videos for other people and doing anything that would help me hold a camera. After two years, I decided to start making videos for myself. So, I started making videos of Lagos. 99% of what I know, I learnt it from YouTube. That was how it all started.”
Tayo shared how he didn’t anticipate his growth on YouTube, “I never imagined I would get here, what I just try to do is to try to get better every day. My goal for next year is to eventually hit 1,000,000 subscribers but I don’t look far off. I just hope to keep doing what I am doing and get better at it. Speaking further on what drives him to make his kind of content, “When you go online what you see is someone stealing money, or shooting one person but people connect with me being able to bring out the things that people could appreciate about the place they live. Also, I think that people want to see where they live in a good light, they want to be able to appreciate it and I am able to do that.”
He also shared about the Eko Atlantic debacle, when Twitter users dragged him for his video showcasing Eko Atlantic thinking it was the company’s official video. “It didn’t make me feel down, I think I understood where people are coming from. That was my first-time understanding Twitter. It made me want to use Twitter more. In my mind I was like, ‘I know that I am not the best, I didn’t go to any voice training school, I am just trying to be better. Secondly, it was just a YouTube video, I left my house to go there to make the video to show people what Eko Atlantic is like’. One thing I have realised is that people react based on their internal reflection of themselves. They are just angry at something else, and they are just trying to put all that anger on you. When you understand hate comments and negativity, it is easier for you to deal with it.”
Tayo also shared the issues he faces while creating content, “I don’t enjoy it as I used to. The funny thing is that I don’t like to travel as much anymore. It is ironic because I make travel videos. But (I don’t like) going through customs, and the issues that happen. I have gotten arrested in multiple countries, most times because I am a Nigerian. It is also very stressful because I don’t like being on aeroplanes. But what drives me is the impact of the work.”
Watch the excerpt, here.