Obasanjo’s Internet – Adeyinka “SDQ” Adeleke

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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, Adeyinka “SDQ” Adekeke, Creative Lead at Empawa Africa talks to us about how he uses Obasanjo’s Internet

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

I go to the gym or go for a run. I just recently got into running, to be honest. I’m asthmatic so it’s been hell but I guess you adjust to it. But before then I start my day with the gym to get that quick boost. 

How do you use the internet for work or pleasure?

I think it’s both, because for example, when it comes to design work, a lot of the research I do comes from Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram, but also you know, I want to laugh. Something is always going to be funny on Twitter. There’s always going to be one clown jester for the day, I just pray that it’s never me, but once that clown jester is active, you have lock-in and see what is going on 

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

I think we had a collective experience during the COVID era. Everyone just had that period to reevaluate. For some people, it sadly was not a good experience and I think that era really radicalized me in terms of how the government responded to things, how people were dying. It just showed me like “goddamn.” What’s next for us? What’s next for me? 

I had like three online design jobs at that time. I have one now because two of the companies folded. I think one aspect people don’t really talk about is how fucked up the economy became post COVID. A lot of people lost their jobs. I’m grateful that I had a job that survived COVID, but generally, that period was like … goddamn. 

Your favourite social media platform and why? 

Oh my God, I love Twitter. I think mainly because you have more chances to explore and find artists or new creatives as opposed to Instagram where it feels like you have to search. On Twitter, the way I’ve created my TL, I would just stumble across new artists, designs, and ideas every day. 

What was the last meme you saved?

I don’t have a her but it’s quite funny. 

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

I think it was the year I was a Twitter comedian. I used to bust some crazy Twitter Nigerian jokes. It was something about secondary school memories. You know all those funny Nigerian trends that are always happening. I can’t think of the exact one now cause I’m quite a funny person so I have too many jokes in my head. It went far and I was like so people think I am funny? Okay, internet validation ahhhh.

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

Ah. well, I think generally, people who follow me and people who interact with me know that I am very left-wing. I am extremely left-wing so a lot of my tweets would be anticapitalist, social commentary. My TL is very weird. You’ll see one tweet, talking about America and capitalism and in the next tweet I’m talking about how women are funny. It’s just the dynamic nature of a man. 

I can’t think of one exactly because in as much as I’ll say my piece – I no longer do that to be fair – I no longer look towards interactions. At one point I made my Twitter private because I just realized that a lot of people are stupid and that is fine, their own stupidity could be their genius, but I didn’t want people who didn’t understand my viewpoint to engage with me. I didn’t want to be going back and forth with stupid people. 

What rules do you live by on the internet?

I try to be a good person, you know. I try to help people, I support GoFundMe requests, I do some activism work, I do my piece through art. I just try to understand that the internet is not real life. Whatever I do in my real life, the internet is just an extension of that. 

What is your guiltiest online pleasure?

I like videos of cats and dogs. I don’t know when I became such an old man but I watch a lot of videos of animals. A lot of all those funny memes like some 2009 Facebook mom. I don’t know, it just gives me so much joy. 

Would you say you have an online persona?

Not really. I think anybody who has met me in real life knows that I’m with whatever I say. In some of my group chats, people call me kill joy cause it feels like I’m always on some, would I say, extra shit. I am always going to say how I feel. We could be talking about some dumb shit that happened on the timeline and I’ll start talking about the political ramifications of it. Sometimes I don’t want to be that guy, but I just feel it’s important to explain to people why the things that may look like a joke are more complex than that. 

What’s your favourite emoji and why?

As a serial flirt, my favourite emoji would be the man standing with his hands down, cause I will say some wild shit and I will stand on it. I love that emoji. Just standing. Yes, come and push me, come and beat me.

Are you particular about your feed?

Nah mehn.  I think because I have an ADHS brain, my interests kind of fluctuates. For the last week and a half, I’ve just been seeing pictures of PinkPantheress. Don’t get me wrong, she’s an attractive woman but something about her pictures always seems very dreamlike and blurry. I like them and I like bookmarking a lot of them. My feed is mainly her face and a lot of Sade as well. So that’s my obsession for this week. Looking at pictures of Sade and PinkPantheress. Maybe next week it can go back to design and another week it could be animation.

Youtube or TikTok? Which do you prefer and why?

Oh my God, TikTok is the new Google. People need to really step into it. I think our attention span is generally decreasing so TikTok is very good for getting proper information adequately. It is the correct information but it’s in a way that’s easier for people to digest and understand. 

To be fair, for design, I’d rather watch a full YouTube tutorial or interview. But for things like cooking recipes, quicks hacks, how to clean things, instead of going to google to see one million articles, TikTok can give me the most popular one and I’ll watch in 10 or 20 seconds.

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

There are a lot of creatives I can think about but there’s this young guy whose work I follow a lot. He’s really blowing my head right now Tife the illustrator.

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

You’re really putting me on the spot. I don’t want anybody to think they’re not a celeb in my eyes. Everyone I follow is a celeb. But I think someone who comes to my mind as the coolest person who follows me is LAX. LA is very chilled. I really like him. We met through his brother and he’s just been following me for years now. I love his music, so it’s a win win. I have also worked with him. 

The coolest person I follow is Banksy. He is an artist and activist. I have been following his work for time. 

What is your favourite Nigerian podcast?

The podcasts I mainly listen to are not Nigerian, but I love I Said What I Said. I have the biggest crush on Jola. She doesn’t know it yet, but don’t worry, I’m her man to be. 

Have you ever hooked up with someone you met online?

Ahan. Eh? Regret keh? To even see me sef, that means we’ve already passed the point of regret. I am a serial online man

5 people you’d love to see answer these questions 

Firstly, my bae Jola (Interviewer’s note: Jola has been featured on Obasanjo’s Internet) You know every year is a new year for somebody to have new ideas, new thoughts and processes, so put her name there again. You should also interview Sanwo Olu, let us know what is happening in the country, and what is making him laugh and smile up and down. Niyi Okeowo really inspires me. Sirduksalot is also an OG in the design space that I really admire. I’d like to know what’s going on in his head. Also Abdulzahir (Z4), we have a design start up that we’re building and I think he is very funny.

Read previous Obasanjo’s Internet entries here.