Obasanjo’s Internet – Emmanuel Owoniyi

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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 favorites on how they relate to the internet and what it means to them and their work. This week, music content creator, Emmanuel Owoniyi, 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 for emails, updates, and stuff like that and then I do all the necessary washroom activities. Then obviously, have a cup of coffee. 

How do you use the internet for work or pleasure?

I would say both, for the most part. Creating content, has become work in terms of creating a schedule for releases and posts, keeping up to date with the latest topics, and getting ideas from what’s being talked about in the music space. So it informs how I work, but it’s also definitely a form of pleasure as well for getting news and watching content. 

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

It would be the lockdown. It showed the necessity of the internet, for sure, being able to contact family, being able to work. So I would say, yeah, being able to survive such a crazy and odd time in history with the help of the internet.

Your favorite social media platform and why?

Oh, I’ll say Twitter even though it’s not perfect. It used to be Facebook, of course, but it evolved into Twitter. Shout out to Elon. He’s trying his best to keep that thing afloat. The place has shifted from what it used to be – one time you want to search what the trending topic is, and next thing you’re just coming across one random gbola. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s a very efficient medium for consuming information. You can argue it might be unhealthy, the rate at which you consume information there but I think it does a decent job at getting the information that you need quicker.

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?

So this one wasn’t necessarily my content per se –  I don’t know if it was the first time, but it is one of my largest tweets for sure. It was when Osita Iheme popularly known as Pawpaw posted a picture on Instagram from the nineties where he met with Eddie Murphy. It was such a random link up and I thought, “Oh, this would be interesting to share on Twitter” and I posted it on Twitter. I can’t remember where it is right now. It’s probably at like 12 or 14,000 retweets and 66-somethingthousand likes or something. So, yeah, it was very quick getting there. People saw the shock value in seeing two legends out of two completely different worlds come together. It was a funny situation because I had never had a tweet go that quickly. So yeah, It was nice. It was fun to see that.

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

So with the nature of what I do, music commentary, I try my best to be honest and not ruffle a lot of feathers at the same time, but then again, it comes with the job of critiquing music. A lot of fans are passionate about the artists they support. I cannot necessarily pick one moment, but there’ve been numerous moments where the fans disagree or dislike what I’m saying, so I’m getting a few death threats, I’m getting comments saying I should be maimed, and things like that.

Shoutout to Laycon the rapper. I think outside of the big three, he has some of the most passionate fans you can ever come across and yeah, they didn’t like when I gave a review about his album and essentially said it was not a good album. It was like three months or four months of constant harassment from his fan base. It was the most pierced one because even though there were a few of them, the weight of the attacks was a lot stronger than any other stan camp per se.  So yeah I’d say my review for Laycon’s album was not taken lightly. 

What rules do you live by on the internet?

I think setting boundaries. There’s always a fine line between how much personal information you put out. I think it’s always important to have a safe line and principle about what and who you share online. And I think that’s something that has been informing what I put out on the internet because there are a lot of crazy people out there, and you don’t know how they’ll use any of your information. So it might be pessimistic to say that the world is not a good place but the internet is not the greatest place. Just knowing when to stop the oversharing is an important principle to have.

What is your guiltiest online pleasure?

The fact that I have a TikTok is in itself a guilty pleasure. I hate to say it, but the pimple-popping videos are some things I’ve come across and there’s some level of satisfaction just seeing the release of something, you know? I would say just catching some long-winded debates on TikTok live where someone posts the most controversial opinion like “There is no God ” or something and they have 15 people debating on it in the form of a yelling match. I enjoy some of those arguments where it’s philosophical or shows different perspectives on a  “controversial” or “polarizing” issue.

Would you say you have an online persona?

Yes, for sure. With what I’ve been doing with content and reviewing music, I would say that’s a big portion of what I do. People have an idea of my music taste but there’s still the question of if I like a particular song or not. I think that’s played into the intrigue or curiosity of many of my followers and subscribers who want to know exactly where I stand because I am not too predictable in terms of my take on music in general. And I think building an online persona is one that is important to build a community of people that have similar interests.

So  I would say it’s been quite a journey and people have seen me grow within that journey. So my persona has been there and been outside for the world to pick apart. And yeah, it’s an evolution on the internet as we’re aging as well, you know.

Are you particular about your feed?

Oh yes. One thing that I do and I am so proud of is put a tag on stans to know if they have said something crazy or done something below the belt like name calling. I mute them on the app as opposed to blocking because blocking can be a badge of honor to them. They want to poke you to the point where they feel like they’ve broken a piece of you and I don’t want to give them that satisfaction whatsoever, so I mute them, they don’t know I mute them and I don’t get to see any of their crazy nonsense.

And even though there’s an option for me to see it, I can be like “Do I want to see a crazy person tweet today?” And if I do, I’ll unmute and laugh at it but I am never replying to the person because it’s never an engaging or a time-worthy conversation. So anyway, that’s me controlling what I see. This has been helpful because a lot of people quote tweets and I can see “12 quote tweets” but when I open them I only see like five. Guess what? Seven of them were probably crazy.

What’s your favorite emoji and why?

It’s weird but any time I have an announcement for an event or say, my livestream coming up, there’s this particular emoji I use. It is the finger that points directly at the screen, almost coming out of the screen. It feels very in your face. One good use of it is like, “Hey guys at 5:30 I’m gonna be live on blah, blah, blah. Be there” and then I put that pointing emoji. It feels like you just have to be there. It feels quite intimidating but I’ve been liking that type of impact because it leaves an impression on you. 

YouTube or TikTok? Which do you prefer and why?

YouTube all day. One of the largest search engines. It’s literally where I started my content creation journey so I have a soft spot for YouTube. It’s been my TV for most of my teenage into adult years. So yeah, YouTube has my heart and it’s the first platform that started paying me. 

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

I would say Asherkine. I’ve tweeted this before – he’s like Mr Beast in this part of the world when it comes to the wholesome content he puts out. I think he has that potential. He started as a videographer and video director, so he has a lot of filmmaking background which is good but on the content or personality aspect of things, he works as well. 

The videos of him finding people and being able to significantly change their lives. Nothing gives any viewer more joy than that. And I think it would be amazing to see him rise to the global stage cause I think he is still very much within the Nigerian or the African space on the internet. But yeah, I think he’s one of the best creators, and also big shout to Justin UG as well. I’ve been following Justin UG, probably the longest out of a lot of creators, all the way from IG to YouTube. He has been fantastic with his scriptwriting and the series that he does. He’s an actor as well.

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

I mean, I follow a lot of cool people. I’m not stingy with my follow – you get a follow, you get a follow – if I find you cool. I would say for people that follow me, Don Jazzy and Olamide. While for people I follow, I would say Anthony Fantano. He also follows me. All these answer both.  

What is your favorite Nigerian podcast?

I think Loose Talk has been my first point of contact with the Nigerian podcast world. But in recent history, Submaroach has been climbing up my list because they’ve been a lot more consistent now. 

Have you ever hooked up with someone you met online? 

Oh, absolutely not. I’ve never hooked up with anyone because I am happily married and I met my wife in university. I mean, I was still on the internet then, but yeah, I’ve never had to hook up with anybody.

5 people you’d love to see answer these questions 

Asherkine, Justin UG, Layi Wasabi, Belema, Adeayo

Read previous Obasanjo’s Internet entries here.