Creator Spotlight is a fun weekly series celebrating young Nigerians in the creative industry doing unique things. Everyone has a story, and Zikoko wants to tell it.
Today’s subject is a podcaster who, after graduating from university and frustrated with everything, decided to navigate her feelings and struggles through the lens of K-drama.
Hi, I’m Sandra. I love and enjoy watching K-dramas, listening to K-pop, and spending all my time crushing On BTS members. People who see me outside won’t know that I’m constantly blasting K-pop on the highest volume while singing and dancing like I’m in a concert inside my room.
I mean, if BTS would just come here, you wouldn’t have to do that
Exactly! I have to keep giving myself my concert, please.
So, you’re an ARMY, right?
Of course, I am. My bias is Taehyung. He was the first person I saw when I decided to get into BTS’s music. My bias wrecker is J-Hope. At first, I used to just listen to K-drama OST, but after I got into BTS, I couldn’t stan any other group. I listen to SEVENTEEN and The Rose, but it’s not the same.
The Rose? That’s good taste. What was the K-drama that made you obsessed?
My first ever K-drama was City Hunter. The story behind it is even ridiculous. I was in SS1 and staying with my cousin and grandma. I saw a movie called Spartacus lying around the house and started watching it. My cousin caught me watching Spartacus and he scolded me. Then he gave me the City Hunter DVD to watch instead. The first scene was filled with older men and a woman giving birth, and then the next thing they showed Lee Min Ho, and I was sold. I’d never heard of Korea or the language before then. I started watching all of Lee Min Ho’s films and never returned.
Screaming! I loved that movie too, but I’d love to see the actor play more mature roles. He did a great job with Pachinko.
What did he do? I want to defend him so bad. He did try with Pachinko. It was a different character from what I was used to seeing him act; maybe that’s why I didn’t even enjoy it. Some actors are talented enough to play different roles, but some have that one role where they’d always shine. Lee Min Ho shines when he plays that romantic drama lead. Drag him, but he’s still my fave.
Gotcha. Where did the depression that made you start a podcast come from?
To be fair, I started my podcast this year. My plans crumbled. I thought I could just go back to school for my master’s program, and from there, I’d figure out what to do with my life. But that didn’t work, so my dad started suggesting that I follow him to his shop. I don’t even blame him because I’d do the same in his position.
I don’t even know if it’s depression. I’d feel down today and better the next day, and starting my podcast helped me understand how I was feeling.
What happened next?
I saw someone on Instagram talk about her podcast journey, and I’d just watched this K-drama called Today’s Webtoon. The main character’s dad was helping her make big decisions in her life, unwilling to listen to what she wanted, and I could relate to that struggle. I decided that talking about those feelings in relation to K-drama would be my thing. I started listening to other people’s podcasts to get a feel of what I wanted mine to sound like.
So, your plan for your podcast was to help people feel seen?
Yes, but not just for other people. I do it for myself first. I was in a K-drama slump last week, which was odd because I watch K-drama every day. It might seem silly, but people struggle with that and me talking about it might make someone out there feel seen. And for me, when I talk about my struggles, I feel relieved and lighter. I remember when I was listening to other people’s podcasts and kept going, “Wow, I’ve been in that same situation, and this is how I felt too.” I wanted to recreate that.
Do you use special types of equipment, and where do you record?
For now, I use my phone, close my door, lie on my bed and talk. There’s nothing special that I use right now.
At first, I thought I had to get professional gear to record my podcast, but my sister just told me to download the anchor app, and that was it. I type my script— it’s more of an outline — on my second phone.
With editing, sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing, but I keep trying until I get it right.
Why did it specifically have to be about K-drama?
I kept getting ideas when I watched K-dramas, so it made sense. Around the same time Alchemy of Souls was airing, I made a link and asked people to share their thoughts in a voice recording. I won’t lie; I wasn’t expecting people to answer me, but they did, especially people from TikTok, so I made that my first ever episode.
I made so many mistakes, I paused a lot, and it felt unnatural, and I wanted it to flow. Now I record without pausing, anything that happens happens. I mean, I was listening to a podcast where the host farted and kept going. I wouldn’t do that, I think, but that’s me. I want that easy flow to be there. Plus, I don’t have a life outside K-drama, so that’s that.
To be honest, K-drama is enough life.
Hahaha. Exactly! It’s enough. There’s so much to watch and enjoy.
How do you get over the sound of your voice?
I’m a very shy person, but when I’m recording, it’s a different situation entirely. I kind of like listening to myself talk now.
What’s the best thing that has happened to you since you started your podcast?
Someone once commented on my TikTok page about how much she loved my podcast. She said it helped her get through the night.
I finally felt like I was doing something good. I also posted the link to a random episode on my WhatsApp status, not expecting my friends to click, and a friend texted me and said I mentioned some books in my last episode and she’d like to read them. I was so excited that she listened.
Do you think you’ll still be talking about K-dramas in the next five years?
I don’t know where I’d be, but I’ll always watch K-drama. My kids and husband will watch it with me, and I’ll create content about things I love that resonates with me in the K-world. Maybe by then, I’d have even attended a concert.
Right now, I’m not focusing on blowing or getting many followers. I want to build a great community and take it one step at a time. So I can’t say what the next five years will look like. I’ll work on any opportunity that comes my way but only if I enjoy it. I have to enjoy what I’m doing.
I hope you get to do all that. Can you recommend the best K-dramas you’ve seen?
If you don’t see any K-drama, you must watch Alchemy of Souls because it’s such great storytelling. Then there’s Our Beloved Summer; that drama is perfect. Another one I like is Today’s Webtoon. It’s slow-paced and so good. Then an old-ish one is Mr Queen. Don’t be like me, watch it early, also Master of the Mask no it’s incredible. Then finally, The Heirs, I watch it every year, and it still makes me cry even though I know how it ends. K-drama directors are trying, so you too, try to enjoy these dramas.