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“Spotlight” is a series that focuses on young Nigerian creatives and the amazing things that they’re doing in their various fields. It was started because we wanted to share their stories and individual journeys on the path to success.

This week, we’re featuring, media presenter and Youtuber, Tomiwa Abrahams aka the ‘Nollywood doctor’. This ball of sunshine is such a staunch supporter of the Nollywood film industry, to the point where her enthusiasm shines through in many of her YouTube videos. In a time where the film industry is going through a meteoric change, Tomiwa is here to carry us along the way.

In her interview she talks about how she got into presenting, some of the challenges behind the conception of her Youtube channel and how she intends on becoming the next big producer to come out of Nollywood.

 


tomiwa abrahams

How did you get into presenting? What’s the story?

I grew up knowing how to talk a lot, and you know how when kids talk a lot they tell them they should study law. I liked it and I wanted to study law. Well life handed me a mass communication degree instead and I have never been more grateful.

I always liked the way radio presenters sound over the radio, so that’s where it started from for me.

My first holiday after A levels I went to intern at Eko FM and that was major for me because I got to be on air a lot. Lmao young and getting it.

When I got to Babcock I had to do a show for a course and it was then I knew it was something I wanted to do.

One way or the other I got popular in Babcock. Hosted one or two events and I enjoyed it. I love attention so anything that would bring me the right attention is fine. I like my voice being heard because I have a lot to say and I sound good too.

What are you passionate about?

The movie industry. Story telling is a big thing for me.

I’ve always loved watching movies growing up and I wanted to be in front of the camera, rich and famous. But the behind-the-scenes hit me and I loved it more. This birthed my YouTube channel.

Besides presenting and being a great YouTuber, do you do anything else?

I have a 9-5. I work in a content creation company Suss Productions as the assistant producer.

I am also the life of any party!

How was ‘#Let’s Talk Nollywood’ conceived?

I used to watch a lot of movies growing up. I’ll sit with my dad to watch movies and barely watched cartoons. As a child I’ll say it was a lot and it influenced me.

I used to watch different kind of movies but I loved Nigerian movies more because I could understand, connect and relate to most of the stories. That’s why with every movie I watched it seemed like I knew the actors personally.

Foreign movies at the time used to fly over my head and I didn’t like the fact that I barely understood what was going on so I would just stick to Nigerian content and so many people found it razz.

I got called razz a lot of times because I like to watch Nigerian films and I didn’t get why Nigerians hated Nigerian films a lot so I decided to be part of the change and give people reasons to watch Nigerian content by telling them what to watch, where to watch it and all.

I also wanted my voice to be heard everywhere for something I love and let everyone know that Nollywood is cool too.

Why did you decide to start a YouTube channel solely about Nollywood?

I am in love with this film industry and I want everyone to embrace it, so I decided to blow the trumpets of the industry with my little but great voice.

Plus Nollywood is going to be great real soon and I am glad I’m investing my time and resources in it. Because well soon be one of the major boosters of the economy. Hopefully we would be on TV and Radio soon everyone has to hop on this train.

Everyone is focused on beauty lifestyle tech and all which are major cool stuff and essentials but the movie industry doesn’t have much of that so why not.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a Young presenter?

I wouldn’t exactly say I’ve faced challenges because I’ve not really worked anywhere presenting, but with my channel I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge because I knew it would be a slow but steady journey is the growth of the channel, content creation can be choking sometimes but I’m getting a hang of it and patiently watching the channel grow.

What are some challenges you faced when starting your YouTube channel?

Funny story.

I recorded my first set of videos in early 2018. I recorded like 5 in my friends’ house and, one of her friends that was into cinematography offered to help record and edit and I was super excited.

He was doing it for free for me anyways so who wouldn’t be happy. I just gave him a little thank you cash. Till today I have not heard from him which was very frustrating I must say.

The good thing is that my insecure ass asked for the raw footage on that day just for keeps. I just wanted to have it with me. In case he lost the footage while editing. I mean he was going to edit it all. I gave up and fast forward to 2019 February a colleague of mine offered to edit them for me even if some weren’t relevant again and then I officially started posting by March.

Consistency was something no one told me about and I don’t think I was very prepared for this content creation life because I was still struggling with adulting so it was a whole lot. Plus my 9-5 job and having to turn up. It was a lot for me but I got the hang of it and wouldn’t stop because I started for a reason. My friends, colleagues and family encouraged me well enough to make me continue. Plus I didn’t have equipment to use, but I found comfort in my mobile device which is what I still use to shoot and edit.

What’s the most memorable thing that had happened to you since you started your career?

When people ask me for reviews of a movie before they watch it or recommendations for what to watch I feel like a super hero. I love that people randomly hit me up to talk about movies.

Every time I hear “I watched that movie because of you” I feel the best.

My first major production set. I was meant to be a production assistant I wanted to  be on set just for the sake of being on a movie set and I was doing nothing at home then I ended up being production manager/line producer and that landed me my assistant producer job. The producer wasn’t around for like a day and asked me to make sure things were in place and call her if anything went wrong.

I didn’t have any cause too call her because everything went smoothly and I was so proud of myself and since that day I took charge of stuff on set and only involved her when the matter is beyond me. I got the most affirming words from people on that set.

 

What’s your creative process? How do you come up with the content for your YouTube channel?

Half the time it’s something silly that pops in my head but I’ve found a way to make it make sense.

I recommend movies a lot so I watch a whole lot and then note if it’s something people would want to watch or if it’s what people should watch, where they can watch it then boom I make a video.

Watch movies as soon it comes out (cinema films) and then find interesting ways to do a review. Either dress like a character from the film or dance to a song from it. So as to encourage people to go watch it.

I like to take note of actors too so sometimes I make videos on actors to watch and the Behind the scene crew.

I watch other peoples channel and contents in general and find a way to make something from it based on Nollywood.

 

How many Nollywood movies and series have you watched in your lifetime? Can you give an estimate?

Lmao I can’t count. On a good day I watch like 2 movies, in a week maybe 5 movies depending on how my schedule is and movie availability, but in this pandemic period I watch like 3 a day and then take a break with a foreign movie. So maybe in my life I would have watched like over 3,000.

But I make sure I watch a movie a day unless I am busy or I don’t have anything to watch

Have you ever considered acting/producing or directing a Nollywood movie?

Heck yeah! I am the next big producer to come out of Nollywood. I don’t know if I can direct but you see that producing? Na my thing be that!

I really want to act, I think it’s something I’ll do pretty well at. I used to go for so many auditions but I’ve given up. Hopefully I get a chance someday.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting you?

It has tossed me everywhere emotionally and content creation wise. I had to create a set in my room because I used to record in a space at my job.

Nothing was happening, no cinema to go to for review, as I had to stay home.  It was just a whole lot for me but it made my live games come to life.

I mean Instagram live is reigning at this time so it helped me achieve something.

There are a couple of production jobs I was really looking forward to but thanks to Rona.

How are you staying positive?

I’ve been doing my Nollywood live games with people in the industry, watching movies, eating, sleeping and praying. Looking for trouble and staying pretty!

 


If you’d like to see some more of Tomiwa Abrahams and see her more of her take on Nollywood movies, follow her on Instagram  and Subscribe to her Youtube Channel

 

By: Dammy Eneli

See alsoSpotlight- Meet Talented Artiste, Jinmi Abduls