Obasanjo’s Internet – Abdul Tijani-Ahmed

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Did you know that there are approximately 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide? Can you imagine all the different ways in which we all use the internet? Obasanjo’s Internet is our interview series where we speak to some of our internet favourites on how they relate to the internet and what it means to them and their work. This week, Film Producer, Actor, Script Writer (Brotherhood, SGIT Season 7), Abdul Tijani-Ahmed, talks to us about how he uses Obasanjo’s Internet

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

The first thing I do is check my phone. I’ll probably check Twitter or Instagram, something to bring me back into the world, sort of. People would say it’s a bad habit but I don’t know, that’s just what I do.

How do you use the internet for work or pleasure?

For both. I’m a writer so I’m constantly googling the weirdest things. If I’m writing a script or something, I might need to know how to effectively dispose of a body. So I’m probably googling, “how do you dissolve someone in acid” or something like that. I feel like if the police or FBI should go through my search history they’d be concerned. 

I also study people online, especially on Twitter – like the way people reason – which is sort of a bit of both because I’m having fun whilst tweeting and observing people. I can take one or two things to make a character that I’m writing more interesting or stuff like that.

What moment or episode in your life would you say captured the essence of the internet?

Oh, that’s interesting. I’m not sure I really have an answer to that one. There is no one thing to pinpoint it to, to be honest.

Your favourite social media platform and why?

I would say Instagram because it’s peaceful. I love YouTube because I learn a lot from it and some of the shows I’ve written are on YouTube so I’m partial towards that.

Let me just say YouTube actually because YouTube is like all the social media platforms in one. I learn a lot, watch movies, study, and you can make very important money. Anything you need about life is on YouTube. If it was the only social media app available I think we’d be fine.

What was the last meme you saved?

Do you remember the first time something you posted went viral? What was it? How did it make you feel?

The first one? I’m not sure. But the one that comes to mind is this tweet I posted about sending my mom money at night so she wakes up to the credit alert and when she woke up she was like “oh, go and marry.” It was just a random tweet and I didn’t think it was something that was going to blow up but it ended up on blogs. It got annoying quickly because my phone just kept vibrating. I had to mute the tweet at the end of the day. I just feel like I’ve tweeted things that are more interesting than that. I don’t understand why that particular one went viral.

What’s the most outrage you have ever generated over something you posted? How did you react to it?

It will have to be something about Nollywood because I’m very fierce about the film industry online. I’m not sure what it is per se, but I know that people have come for me to defend Nollywood. When Twitter circles existed then, I was a mess. I could say anything I wanted but now I’m very careful about what I say online. I can think of one or two instances where someone was criticizing a film or saying something about the industry and I responded with something like “you do not know what you’re talking about” and it’s always causing a ruckus online.

What rules do you live by on the internet?

If you can, read and reread before you tweet anything. I think this is something I have always lived by for the longest time; don’t post anything you won’t be proud of in the next 3 to 5 years. I’ve always known what I want to do and where I want to go, so for the longest time, I’ve always been very conscious of what I say or what I post online. And I think there was an artist who said “don’t read the comments” and I try not to do that. 

What is your guiltiest online pleasure?

Probably just binging things on YouTube and watching random videos on YouTube and TikTok. I can spend hours and hours on them. Every night before I sleep, I watch at least 30 minutes of TikTok. Once I’m done with everything and I’m on my bed, I just open TikTok and scroll and scroll until I sleep off.

Would you say you have an online persona?

Not really. I like to think I’m funny online and in real life, but yeah, the way I portray myself online is the way I am. Maybe I won’t not say one or two things that I’d normally say to my friends, which is normal, but generally my views online or the way I portray myself is me.

What’s your favourite emoji and why?

I have two. The first is the rolling and laughing with tears coming out of its eyes emoji because when I’m chatting with my friends, we’re always talking about the most ridiculous things so I’m always laughing. Then the blushing emoji with the palm covering its mouth for when I say something funny, shady or something like that. I use a lot of love emojis actually. I’m always spreading love.

Are you particular about your feed?

On Instagram? Yes. Twitter? Not really. I don’t even check my feed on Twitter but on Instagram, I’m very particular about what it looks like. I just try to find the balance between work and personal posts on Instagram.

YouTube or TikTok? Which do you prefer and why?

Hmm that is hard though.  I’ll have to say YouTube because I have shows airing on YouTube right now. Skinny Girl in Transit season 7 and Dear Diane. 

Which Nigerian creator do you think the world needs to see and hear more of?

Korty. I like how different her content is and how she has been able to merge filmmaking with unconventional filmmaking, I would say. But I think the world is already hearing about her. 

The guy who did the Ojude Oba festival, Niyi Fagbemi. I also like Anthony Azekwoh. He does cool stuff.  Yeah, those are cool people I want the world to see more of.

Who is the coolest person you follow and the coolest person who follows you?

Genevieve Nnaji because I adore her. I’d mention her for both because we follow each other. She’s the queen of our industry. 

What is your favourite Nigerian podcast?

I Said What I Said. A close second would be Toke Makinwa’s podcast. 

Have you ever hooked up with someone you met online?

Ah I plead the fifth on this one. 

5 people you’d love to see answer these questions 

I’ll mention this group of girls called “The Girlies,” they are Fatima Binta Gimsay, Uyoyou Adia, Mayowa Bakare, Stephanie Dadet and Chidinma Igbokweuche. 

Read previous Obasanjo’s Internet entries here.