Obasanjo’s Internet – Deji Osikoya

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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, Deji Osikoya, Actor, Co-host of music podcast and Creative Director, 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 when I wake up is groan because for some reason recently, I’ve just been very tired. So I just groan and then think about all the things I need to get to and I start my day. Hopefully next year it’ll start with proper prayer and leading into the day spiritually.

How do you use the internet for work or pleasure?

Both. My work and my pleasure have become intertwined. So even just with my life and the things that I’m trying to accomplish, I’m constantly stealing content from the internet. Well I’m not actively stealing –  that’s not true I actually go out looking to steal – but I kind of just stumble on these things by virtue of the fact that I’m mindlessly scrolling. So that’s how those ideas and things find me. But it’s mixed. The internet and social media has become my office.

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

Oh, that’s a great question. I can’t give the answer to that right now unfortunately because it’s something that is still in progress. It has happened, but it’s one of those things that’s like a hush hush until it gets announced. But I’ll just say this much, it’s crazy. And if I was going to give you a vague answer, it would just be the possibility that a random person can find you and then change your life just because they came across your social media page.

Your favourite social media platform and why?

Twitter because I love to talk and talk and talk and talk.

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?

I can’t remember the first one, but one that sticks out to me the most was for a silly joke because that seems to be the only thing that goes viral for me. The Queen of England had just died and I tweeted “I’m glad that she got to listen to the new Asake before she peaced out” and it went crazy viral. People were tweeting stupid things like “It was probably Joha that killed her” “When she heard it she just couldn’t take it again and she died.”

But yeah, that’s one of my most viral tweets. For the first maybe, hour? It was great because seeing my tweet do all those numbers was fun, but it got annoying quickly because it’s like too many people in your comments, too many people in your quotes, some people think it’s funny, some people think it’s inappropriate and you’re just interacting with all these things and then eventually I just muted it because enough is enough. 

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

So I’m generally not somebody that sparks outrage. I think for as long as I remember, I’ve been a pacifist, just very in the middle, not trying to ruffle any feathers. I think I did a personality type thing back in the day and they described me as a mediator. So that generally has been my attitude towards social media for a long time and if I’d ever tweeted anything crazy, I probably did it behind a private account when I used to be private online.

But I’ll still say one thing though. So there was a video Omah Lay posted on social media and he looked crusty like he hadn’t lotioned up and people were coming for him. You know me, I’m an Omah Lay stan naw. So I was like, “I can’t believe you guys. Are you seriously telling me that you use lotion on your body every day?” I was obviously trolling like “is it every single day that you guys moisturize” and then people just were like, “OMG this nigga just admitted to actually not creaming his body every day.” And some people were abusing me. I was having so much fun initially so I didn’t care but then there were a couple of mean comments like one babe said “Lord Ashinus of the Seventh realm” or something like that. I think it was supposed to be a Game of Thrones reference and I responded to her saying “I’ve been through your page and it seems like you have a lot going on for you. Don’t feel any pressure to be funny just because you’re on Twitter.” She never tweeted at me after that and everyone was like “wow omg.” You know how people be gassing shit on Twitter. I’m so petty, that’s the problem cause I remember that shit down to the last detail. Ask me why? I don’t know. My brain just locked it in. 

What rules do you live by on the internet?

Don’t tweet out something you can’t defend. I think that’s extremely important.

If something matters to you and you’d like to protect it, don’t put it on the internet. There’re so many things that fall under that category, but just don’t put those things on the internet. Also be open, which is such a contradiction but the internet is a place where your life can literally change in a second. Like there’re so many avenues for you to make so much money just by being on the internet and also being yourself on the internet. I think that’s another thing, be you because that’s the only thing that’s sustainable. Every other thing, you eventually get tired of doing or it just won’t feel real to you anymore, but if you’re being you then you can just live. At the risk of sounding like a very preachy aspire to perspire ass nigga: you are enough. Just who you are on the internet is enough and the reason I say that is because I’ve experienced it in my life. The amount of people that I have come into proximity with just by virtue of the internet is ridiculous. 

Also, take a lock off your account if you’re actually trying to accomplish something. If you want to do something that’s widespread, you have no business locking your accounts.

What is your guiltiest online pleasure?

That’s tough. I’ll say maybe excessive hours on YouTube. I’m on YouTube so much just watching anything and everything.

Would you say you have an online persona?

Yes, definitely. In as much as my social media persona is a representation of me, it is me with the opportunity of thinking through what I want to say first before I put it out there, right? So even though the words I’m crafting are my words, they’re my words crafted specifically to achieve a specific purpose. For example, if I have videos I am putting out there, because I know that on social media maybe the first seven letters will appear on most people’s feeds, my first seven letters have to be something that captures you immediately and also tells you what the video is about right away. There’s a video that I have about getting an opportunity with Family Feud. I can’t remember exactly what it is, but it’s like “I got an opportunity with Family Feud” which grabs people’s attention instantly. That’s what I would say anyway but because there are rules that social media goes by, I craft what I do to fit those rules. So simply, that in itself already tells you that it’s a persona, right? 

What’s your favourite emoji and why?

It’s the emoji sneezing into the handkerchief. Yeah, it’s because behind the handkerchief and the sneezing, I feel like you can get away with saying anything because it’s neutral. So if I’m sneezing and I’m like your breath smells bad, it’s obviously not direct. Like I’m sneezing. It just so happens that I also said your breath smells bad.

I feel like I can sneak anything behind that handkerchief almost like how people use the emoji that puts its hands over its eyes. Yeah, it’s the same function. 

Are you particular about your feed?

Yes, absolutely. On Twitter, I like my feed to read coherently. I like it to read with good grammar – grammar matters to me a lot. I like them to be crafted in a pretty way. So even the spaces inbetween matter, paragraphing and things like that. And as far as Instagram goes, I think I just like some of the things that define my approach to content and my life generally: cleanliness, cohesiveness and memorable. I also like things that have elements that seem like they were crafted with intentionality. Very recently I realized that I’m obsessed with the colour yellow. If you go through my feed, for example, you see lots of yellow or like very little yellow either in small details or like something large somewhere. So things like that also kind of factor into my social media. 

YouTube or TikTok? Which do you prefer and why?

YouTube because I like long form content. TikTok is great if you’re trying to kill time at a place where you get your license renewed or something. But YouTube means depth a lot of the time. You can find that as well on TikTok but that’s not what you’re there for. Sometimes I stumble across a long form video on TikTok and if it doesn’t capture me very quickly, which is like the rule, I scroll past because I’m not about to stay here for two minutes or whatever. But with YouTube, I’m going there specifically for that reason, which is why shorts don’t really appeal to me as much on YouTube. Occasionally, they might catch me, but I’m not there for that. I really want to sit here for five minutes or six minutes or seven minutes and appreciate something, you know.

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

Me! they need to see more of me.

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

I was thinking about this the other day and I’m just going to go with my most recent answer. The coolest person I follow is Ayanfe, the artist. she’s ridiculously cool. It’s ridiculous. Like it’s just oozing out of every pore.

The coolest person that follows me is Tunde Onakoya who is the founder of chess in slums. He’s awesome for lots of different reasons but I think primarily because his good heart is so evident. He is also cool because of the circumstances under which he followed me. I posted one of those videos that I do where I’m talking and I noticed he followed me. I DMed him like “thank you for the follow” blah blah blah and he just dropped a couple of encouraging words like, “yeah, rooting for you, champ.” And I’ve met him a few times and both times were really good interactions just kind of reinforcing the energy that we started on. And honestly part of the reason he is also cool is because he’s somebody I look up to. He’s Christian, he’s driven, he’s very serious about making a change. Men like that are people I choose to highlight in my personal life because I mean, with men in general, the PR isn’t always great but when I come across people like that, people who I’m aspiring to be in my personal life, I always feel the need to bring a spotlight on them. 

What is your favourite Nigerian podcast?

It’s an easy one, With An S. It is so good and this is not me just tooting our own horn, it’s a podcast I would listen to intently even if I wasn’t on it. I would be jealous if I wasn’t a part of it. I think I tweeted it this other day: it’s young, it’s fun, It’s informative. So you go there to listen to the music conversations, you laugh and then you also leave having learned something. That is a great moment. I should also talk about my co-hosts just being some of the funniest people you can imagine. So every time you come in there, the energy is incredible. So yeah, With An S. I can speak about it for hours.

Have you ever hooked up with someone you met online? Did you regret it?

Hm. That’s an interesting question. How did Moyo answer this? Cause I remember reading hers. Uh, I plead the fifth.

5 people you’d love to see answer these questions 

Layi Wasabi, Tunde Onakoya, Ik Osakioduwa, Delethemenace and Justin UG.

Read previous Obasanjo’s Internet entries here.