Eniola Olanrewaju, known as Korty EO, is a famous face in Lagos’ post-digital creative taxonomy. She embodies the boundlessness of young people in Africa’s most populous city. She’s been a graphic designer, writer, content creator, and videographer for four years. She’s one of Nigeria’s brightest YouTube talents, with almost 200k YouTube subscribers and 100k Instagram followers.
Korty’s story began before Lagos. Bodija, Ibadan was her hometown.
“It was safe, but my Bodija home wasn’t fancy “Last month, Korty rocked in her spartan living room. “My parents were very protective because they knew our environment wasn’t safe, but I was proud to live in Bodija because it was a fresh area, but I wouldn’t bring you to my house. Korty, the middle child of five, knew her parents’ limitations and worked to overcome them. She worked as a graphic designer while attending Ibadan University after Bowen University. “I saw I could do a lot and even skip class,” she said. “I was freer to do my work.”
She always knew she would have to move to Lagos to pursue her grander dreams, even if she didn’t know what they were. A modeling agency scouted her in 2018 while she was in Lagos to earn an IT certificate. Korty was hesitant to model. She said, half-jokingly, that she thought models were shallow.
Korty tried modeling. She appreciated the extra income and chance to explore Lagos’ artistic sector. Korty battled caustic booking agents and pompous designers in the modeling profession. “You can sense when someone is uncomfortable,” “saying, “Many hairdressers didn’t pick me because I wasn’t comfortable.
Korty started documenting other models’ life in short movies, which grabbed their curiosity. Soon after, she joined Zikoko as a writer and content developer before pushing her superiors to let her host HER, a show about Nigerian women. She departed Zikoko in December 2020 to join Mr. Eazi’s music accelerator program, emPawa, as head of content. emPawa was more freely structured than Zikoko, allowing Korty to pursue initiatives and develop her own work.
Korty realized YouTube could house the confessional-style videos she wanted to make while managing emPawa’s channel. She always looked at metrics and how the platform worked. “I got bored and left when I realized YouTube paid.”
Not immediately, of course. The YouTube channel started with a video about moving out of her parents’ house and quitting her job at emPawa to make YouTube videos.
Korty’s YouTube channel has taken shape around two shows: Flow, with Korty, explores the lives of Lagos superstars and trendsetters. Love and Lies is a dating show that follows random people on dates in Lagos. Korty shoots her subjects to submerge them and extract as much information as possible.
Korty remarked, “I hide my camera so they forget it’s there.” Most of the people I shoot are celebrities who become guarded when they see too many people, but if you make them comfortable, they may express themselves. In editing, she applies her experience while maintaining the shoot’s feel. Depending on how much film she obtains, it takes one to two weeks.
Life in Lagos and its trans-generational tensions weigh on Korty’s psyche and inform her art. Lagos is the centre for many things since there are so many people here, she remarked. “Being old Gen Z, I’m sometimes conflicted about my position. 2022 will have 18-year-olds. I’m 24. Where does the class of 1998 fit?” Young Gen Z’ers in Lagos inspires her with their hustle and bravery. The Internet exposes people’s patterns and lives in Lagos. Lagos’ Gen Z culture is so powerful that it’s spreading to other parts of the country, but Lagos is the epicentre.
“Nigeria needs a better monetization method.” “said Korty. “If YouTube says it serves everyone worldwide, it must do so despite the country’s problems.”
Existing in Lagos may be taxing, and navigating YouTube’s payment arrangement as an independent creator can be difficult. Getting her channel monetized was “extremely challenging,” she added. “They must mail a pin. Getting a pin and money abroad is straightforward, but in Nigeria it’s difficult. Korty had to post a video about her displeasure with monetization before she got relief, and she fears about the next generation of YouTube creators. “Newcomers struggle because they’re bewildered. There’s a method, but it won’t work without your pin. It’s stressful.
If YouTube says it’s catering to everyone in the world, it must do so despite Nigeria’s difficulties. It shouldn’t be better in one place than another, and Nigeria should care enough to make it easier for everyone.
A video of Korty’s three-day attempts to interview Wizkid in Lagos went viral this year. It’s only strengthened her resolve. “Only a few things can stop me in life, “said Korty. “”My aim was to get Wizkid, but I wanted people to realize that if you set a goal and work towards it, you either get it or get near.”
Despite the uplifting themes of her videos and demeanor, Korty sees her function as a guide to the facts of a situation or phenomenon. “My duty is to talk about things, cast a light on them, and let people take what they want from the video,” she said. “That’s why I don’t try to inspire. If you’re inspired, you’re responsible.”
Korty is warming up to her role as an archive of Nigerian contemporary culture despite her protests. “When I do things, they unfold and people see what they can become,” she remarked. I’m not aiming to be a culture shifter, but if people notice a pattern, I must bear that responsibility.
“I’m aware of a rising responsibility, and if I don’t take it, I could stagnate.”
Asked what she identifies with professionally, she said, “Filmmaker.” “Many people would say I have the audacity to call myself that because I do YouTube videos, but there’s a big difference. I don’t enjoy being branded an influencer since I didn’t sit outside Eko Hotels for three days. I’m in filmmaking. 2018 was my year. I designed before 2018 Over time, I’ll discover more. I can’t do one thing forever. Whatever I do, I’ll achieve and be competitive.”
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