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, popular content creator and storyteller, Salem King talks to us about how he uses Obasanjo’s Internet.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I take a long walk. Early on, I didn’t know what it did for me. I just knew that I liked to walk. Sometimes I walked for about an hour or two. As my career started to grow and I started to feel pressure from the world, taking walks became this thing I did to take control of my day because once I pick up my phone and open the apps, my attention gets pulled in different directions.
How do you use the internet: for work or pleasure?
Both tbh. I use different platforms differently. When I come on Instagram, it’s work; Instagram isn’t really where I do my mindless scrolling. And even when I’m mindlessly scrolling, lowkey, it’s still work.
What moment or episode in your life would you say captured the essence of the internet?
For me, it was one day when I put up a random post: it was a picture of myself with a caption, “what’s bothering you?” I have a very engaged community so everyone started replying with what was bothering them. I thought they would say things relating to social media or Instagram but people were sharing very deep life stuff and I saw it and was like “God, who sent me?” I was overwhelmed so I just put my phone away. Later, I came back to the post and I saw that something interesting had been happening. Apparently, when people would see the post and read the caption, they would go to the comments section and they started responding to other people. At the end of the day I didn’t have to respond to anyone because people started helping each other. It was such a beautiful thing to see.
Your favourite social media platform and why?
Instagram. It’s the one that has blessed me the most.
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 really remember. I move on a little too fast from those moments. I did a post some days ago that has almost 500k views. After that post, I’ve made 4 other posts. Some people would rather chill and let the post continue to gain traction; I’d make another video the same day—I don’t care. One video I made that went super viral (has around 800k views) is a very silly video: not the kind of content I’d normally create. It’s a video where I went to the Landmark Hotel and Beach Resort and fell into the water.
What’s the most outrage you have ever generated over something you posted? How did you react to it?
I guess I’ve been lucky to have never been on that side of things. I think my content isn’t very polarising. It’s stuff most people will agree with. Some of it might challenge your beliefs, but not in a way that makes you want to fight me.
What rules do you live by on the internet?
I don’t follow people I don’t genuinely like. I don’t post anything that I won’t be comfortable with being on the internet forever. I interact with my audience as if they are real people: I don’t think of them as numbers in my bio.
What is your guiltiest online pleasure?
Would you say you have an online persona?
Definitely. I’ve had people meet me in real life and ask me “why are you pretending to be shy?” because my online persona is very out there. It’s not really an online persona as much as it is a persona for my videos. I get into character for my videos and my videos grow to define how people perceive me.
What’s your favourite emoji and why?
🚀. That’s just how I feel about life: we’re going up. It’s also my favourite emoji because I’m out of this world.
Are you particular about your feed?
Nah. I used to be, but I don’t care anymore. Instagram has shifted what they put priority on. For me, all my content is black and white so rather than improve on a “weakness” I just double down on everything I have going for me. I just try to keep everything uniform and not post colours in a way that it screams at you.
YouTube or TikTok? Which do you prefer and why?
I prefer YouTube because of YouTube Premium: videos play in the background, I don’t get ads, etc. YouTube is a big part of my day; I use it at the gym, in the shower, and while I cook. I can’t do that with TikTok because I need to keep touching the screen.
Which Nigerian creator do you think the world needs to see and hear more of?
Who is the coolest person you follow and the coolest person who follows you?
It changes, but right now Don Jazzy is the coolest person that follows me. Dontae Catlett is the coolest person I follow.
What is your favourite Nigerian podcast?
I don’t really have one. If I had to choose it’d be Afrobeats Intelligence by Joey Akan. That’s a solid podcast.
Have you ever hooked up with someone you met online?
I met my girlfriend on Instagram.
5 people you’d love to see answer these questions
Amazing Klef, Tariq, Kagan Tech, Layi Wasabi, and Nonye.