Why Aja Lekwa’s ‘Share My Fame TV’ is possibly the best Nigeria YouTube Channel
The YouTube channel called SharemyfameTV is strictly entertainment platform that started as blog, blogging about entertainment news, upcoming acts in music, movies and comedy.
A lot of these content we converted to video on the YouTube channel. Aja Lekwa is the brain and hand behind the SharemyfameTV channel.
He tells us that, “when the brand was born, we created the various social media handles for it. YouTube was one of the created platforms. YouTube has become the major distribution platform for all our entertainment content, and that is because it is monetized, makes money for us. With time we started the production of comedy skits content, this grew into vox pop till we decided to move up to higher works. Our film production arm was born out of this desire.”
Sharemyfame: What inspired it?
Years back, 2014 to be exact, I did a stint in the content production and presentation of sports business on Nigerian info 99.3 FM in Lagos with my oga Femi Obong Daniels of Femi and the gang. Whenever I was signing in at the reception of the station, I never failed to see young artists coming in to try and see if they could get their content and brand on radio and to a wider audience. My subconscious filed that away till when we were done with the sports program and I decided I needed to have a one stop platform or brand to showcase my creative depth and also help push others. After much consultation and lots of brainstorming to get a name, it wasn’t working. It was in one of those personal reflective periods, the Eureka moment like they call it, that my subconscious helped with the mission: “We are all about showcasing entertainment content created by young artists. We share their fame.”After much attempt at partnership, it started as a blog and the brand or blog grew on Alexa as top 100 in Nigeria and a significant listing in the world. We were doing entertainment news, pushing upcoming acts in music, movies, comedy and were even covering staged theatre plays.
Tell us about the kind of audience you attract with your content strategy?
We are lucky to be in the entertainment sector, which has a very wide following indeed. And we came on stream just about when the Mark Angel comedy, officer Titus, Frank Donga and the rest were gaining traction so there was a rub off effect on us. The videos we added when we opened the channel had garnered over four million view by the time we learnt about how to use the platform to make money, we activated partnership and were able to drive the channel to about nine million plus views. My channel then was in the top twenty Nigerian Youtube channels, was getting lots of notice from this and even had Menta Music manage our platform for about two years. The audience was wide and varied, we did not intentionally target them so could not determine how they came. One thing is certain, then YouTube organically threw up your videos for more audience if it had gotten a sizable number of views. Most of this benefits were abused by creators so there was a resetting by YouTube in 2017, this made it more difficult to pull audience, especially if you are a young channel.
A lot of people think Nigerians don’t do more YouTube streaming because of the Data situation. What do you think?
I think they are right and they are wrong. Relatively, when you compare to the kind of audience you will get from outside Nigeria or Africa, they are right. I am talking about the abroad where my friend recently put my YouTube videos on repeat mode with one of his devices, to help me grow my numbers. We don’t have the audience with that kind of luxury over here. But then the young population sleeps, wakes, eats and drinks content, so if you have good content that gives them value they will spent that data on you.
What goes into the process when you are making contents for your channel?
I am an accidental film maker. God knew what he was doing taking me through the process. So, when we started out in film making, we desired to tell good relatable stories with quality production that we can beat our chest anywhere and defend as our work. The process of learning to do this helped us understand that we had a very sophisticated film audience in Nigeria, aside the lower grade ones. We have learnt not to segregate but marry both audience, quality story and production, make it accessible to the low income earners that might never visit the cinema.
What’s your most viewed content and why was it that famous?
And that’s how the tears started falling again. We had three videos that helped give us over nine million views, without our spending a dime on promotion. But we didn’t know about the many rules and regulations on the YouTube platform that can give you strikes and cripple or even deactivate your account. In one instance we were on two months ban from monetizing our channel because of community strikes, an offence we committed. We were left to learn on the job. Some of the videos were collaborations, we were new on YouTube and didn’t understand documentation for co-owned content, so at a point it became an issue. In addition, a lot of the young talents we showcased on our blog, that wanted us to put their content on our channel later had their own channels and forgot to tell us to remove their videos, instead we were being reported for copyright. The solution to these problems would have been to have them sign for us to put it up on our channel. This would have saved us the stress as we would have just appealed to YouTube on each accusation with the necessary signed letters. When it became unbearable I had to delete all videos that were not hundred percent owned by the Sharemyfame brand. This was our undoing, as that singular act threw our channel back to default mode, as a new channel. In hindsight, we could have left those videos their and just not monetize them. But we are currently rebuilding and have a lot of home grown contents like our short film, several TV magazine shows concepts we are developing, and lots more.
Why did you decide to be a YouTuber?
Like Shaggy would say, ‘It wasn’t me’, I didn’t intentionally get into being a YouTube content creator. I opened the channel, put some content on it, at the right time God opened my eyes to trainings on making money with YouTube and I remembered I had a channel. When I went to check it, the views was over four million, that’s when I knew we had to take it seriously. Becoming a film maker was an added advantage, as it opened up a new vista of content creation for the platform.
Why should people come to your channel?
We grew our brand by helping young artists grow, we are still conscious of that being in our DNA. We are all about creating good content, promoting very good content and like our payoff line or slogan says ‘ Talent meets fame’. We want to showcase the next best actor or actress in our movies, we want to work with the next best musical artist for songs that can grace our film soundtracks, we want to grow to be able to partner young upcoming content producer too, we want to partner young talents in writing and comic books, to help deepen our stories and open new media for them.https://youtu.be/hFcPmkJ-7IM
Our next movie project is an anthology series that is a sequel to our short film. The short was about a young boy that got caught as a victim of jungle justice.
We are currently deepening the storyline sixteen years later, when he is all grown and married, faced with to meet, for the first time, a dad that walked out on him at birth. Some stories are best told from the hero’s and villain’s perspective, to get a good balance. It promises to be exciting and challenging too. These are reasons people should visit or come to our channel and let’s build a community of content creators and content lovers.
Do you think the media business in Nigeria is profitable?
I think it is very profitable to do media business in Nigeria, if you have the right business model. But it’s not an overnight success kind of business, you have to put in the time and do the grind.
I am talking about Filmone, Ebonylife TV, Mark Angel comedy, AY brand, This Day media group, Scene one, Red TV, NdaniTV and a lot of others I can’t remember at the moment.These are big names but they started somewhere, the internet has become a common denominator for all of us. So no one has an excuse, all it takes is to convert that expensive smartphone you are carrying into your HD or even 4k camera and build a brand.
What else do you do aside YouTube?
I started my entrepreneurial journey as a sports content programming person, we have so much in that chest we have activated and those we haven’t. So aside being a YouTube content creator and film maker that is the other cap I wear. And we are trying to find ways to be able to marry all of these into one project per time.