Crackheadextra and The Future of Content Creation in Nigeria
Whether it is a motivational video on TikTok or a satirical skit on Instagram, people around the world over have been entertained and educated by content creators who use their various social media platforms to light up households with their unfiltered humour and inspire individuals to “wake up and jumpstart.”
If you are not up to speed with the new wave within the Nigerian community, then here is a breakdown. Content creation is the process of generating interesting and appealing ideas that would resonate with audiences, then turning them into audio, written, or visual content and making it available via a blog post, a video, or any other format. Those who are in the business of content creation are called creators and they are everywhere on the timeline, be it on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook. They are not always celebrities or influencers with an already established following; they are regular people who have used the power of social media and the internet to establish a full-time, non-traditional career. Thus, anyone can be a creator; all that is needed is a smartphone and creativity.
There was an astronomical rise in Nigerian youths turning to content creators during the pandemic which was a dark period in the country’s history. There was a high level of depression and a general feeling of contagious helplessness, but Gen Z, as they are popularly called, lifted the spirits of many with their witty and hilarious skits. Fast forward to the post-pandemic era and they are still dominating the internet space. Sure, the Millenials and the older generation are catching on to the drift, but the youths already paved the way by turning the creator economy into a billion-dollar goldmine. Not only that, they have been able to use their innovative abilities to create jobs for themselves and others as well. A Jobberman search showed that the creator sector accounted for the employment of about 4.2 million Nigerians with an expectation of steady increments in 2025. That is impressive considering the fact that the entertainment industry is one of the major employers of labour in the country with a total contribution of 1.72% (2021 statistics) to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is an upgrade from the less than stellar pandemic statistics of -3%.
Digitalization and globalization have made it possible for creators to earn money from shared content. Digital platforms have various finance and software tools that make it easy for independent creators to earn as they create. As long as there is an audience and a following that cares about what a creator has to say, then there is food on the table and money in the pocket.
Popular brands in Nigeria now recognize just how influential content creators are. According to a report, almost 81% of marketers agree that content creation is an effective business strategy and 70% agree that content creators are useful assets for their brands. They have the ability to reach a wide audience by using their skills and expertise to promote products or raise awareness of a particular social issue. It is with little wonder that brands are always fishing for collaborations with creators.
One of such creators that have used the digital space to establish a lucrative career as a content creator is Jemimah O. Eheriada, popularly known as CRACKHEADEXTRA. Her vivacious and head-turning street theatre skits have earned her quite the following, both at home and abroad. Her trailblazing endeavours have redefined what Nigerians categorize as modern-day comedy.
TNR had a chat with CRACKHEADEXTRA. She gave us a brief lowdown of her journey as an established content creator in Nigeria and she talked about the ways in which content creation is shaping the digital era in Nigeria.
When did you start your journey as a content creator? Which social media platform did you use?
I started making content in 2017 on Musical.ly, which is now known as TikTok.
Your name is interesting. Why CRACKHEDEXTRA?
Usually, I am the cool and lively friend that does weird things. I attribute that to the cartoons I watched growing up. As I matured, I started adapting the mannerisms of cartoon characters without knowing it. Sometime in 2017, my dance crew leader asked me to come up with a nickname for myself since everyone had one already. The name had to fit my personality and style of dance which was crazy. I looked up the Spanish word for crazy and it was “loco.” I wasn’t satisfied with that so I started brainstorming other words that transcended loco and crazy. That was how CRACKHEADEXTRA came about.
Your skits are unique. You go to the marketplace to scream and sing at the top of your lungs. Are you rattled by people’s reactions?
Not really. My ears are always blocked and I barely hear what anyone is saying. I just walk in, shout part of the song, do a weird dance and not focus on anyone’s face in particular.
When it comes to your skits, what is your Unique Selling Point (USP)?
My loud voice, body language, and facial expressions.
There seems to be a shift in your focus. You are diversifying from street comedy to studio comedy. Why is that?
I am diversifying because my content is based on natural reactions and they are one of the focal points in my videos. I am known in almost all the markets and getting natural reactions are tough, but I keep on pushing. Also, doing purely street comedy was restrictive because there are so many parts of me that I want people to see. The way I view the world is people would adapt to whatever they see. My plan is to put out what I want people to see, all while staying true to who I really am. I am living for me and not for my audience.
Do you think content creation is shaping the digital era?
I think it is. Nowadays, people are constantly on their devices and need to be entertained. Someone might be having a bad day and just one video can make them laugh.
What do you think is more important in content creation? Revenue or passion?
There’s nothing more satisfying than transforming your passion into income. If you ask me, passion is more important. Sometimes the income does not flow as much as you would think so the one thing that will keep you going is your passion for the work that you do.
How has brand marketing affected content creation?
Its impact on content creators is a financial one. There is a tit-for-tat relationship because brand influence strengthens the content creation market.
What advice would you give upcoming content creators?
Just do you. The world will adapt.