For Creators Spotlight, we spoke to Bahati Imaan Beauvais, the name behind YungNollywood. She is a young Nigerian living in Toronto and Lagos, who is very passionate about the old and new Nollywood scene. With 51.9k followers on Instagram and 35.8k followers on Twitter, Imman has created content that has proven to be timeless and relatable. We spoke to her about her creative process, her love of old Nollywood aesthetics, and how she keeps coming up with these memes we can’t stop sharing around.
Can you tell me a bit about the creation of Yungnollywood?
It was created in February 2018. I was into Nollywood before anyone thought it was cool, maybe because they kind of look like me and I liked that.
I had been watching and collecting content for years but the idea of posting everything on one page didn’t come to mind until I saw Nollybabes. My best friends sent it to me and asked me to join because I already had so much content but they were going in a different direction so I decided to start my page. I decided to call it Yung Nollywood because it’s kind of like ‘young money’. After all, I’m a big Barb. So, it’s old Nollywood but when they were young, that tied up nicely.
(For the 30+, young money was an imprint of cash records founded by Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj was managed by them. A Barb is a huge Nicki Minaj Stan/fan)
I get that. Zikoko has a whole new/old Nollywood section on our memes page. Before the interview, you mentioned something about being a sagittarius moon and that’s why you have no structure, so how do you organize your daily posts?
I don’t, none of my posts are structured. I wake up in the morning and I’m like, how do I feel today? Collecting content is something I do for fun. It’s work, but I’m always relaxed. I collect random things that I find interesting from movies I’d seen before, or I’ll wake up in the morning, go through what I already have, and post. It’s just instinct I guess.
Why is it important for you to document memes?
I have a whole lot of reasons why creating these memes are important. For one, I’ve always been one of those TV children — I didn’t go out a lot. I also have a lot of random knowledge about the media. I am Nigerian and I find Nollywood interesting, but Nigerians don’t talk about it or promote it enough, even though it’s the second-largest industry. We make fun of it and criticize it harshly. I want people to accept that this is our style of film and it’s cool.
I guess it’s important for me to push my culture to the world. I am a big believer in the fact that everyone should be Nigerian.
Hmm, that’s interesting…
How do you come up with captions for each meme?
It is inspired by movies I watch, some captions are based on how I feel at the time or what’s happening in the world or actual lines from the movies, sometimes I change one word from their lines to make it look better. I am an English major so I am good at description.For example, “homosexual defiance.” I just like words.
Can you give me an estimate amount of memes you’ve created?
I have no idea about the amount. I see memes shared sometimes on the timeline and I’m like “I don’t remember making that” but it’s a lot, I produce a lot but I could check someday.
You say “Me” a lot, so I’m going to assume there is no team?
No, not right now. For content production there is no team, I produce all the content. This year though, I plan to invite people if they want, but it’s just me for now.
What aspect of meme creation do you enjoy the most?
I like it when I do the astrology memes because I have to think and because it’s like a puzzle. I enjoy those a lot.
How did you decide on your brands voice?
It’s all mine. it wasn’t deliberate at all but it works.
How sustainable is your line of work? Do you plan on monetizing it?
I never think about the future. I want to have a yungnollywood festival because I am a big kid, it’ll be fun, with candy floss and bouncing castles, it’ll be a festival that travels.
The first one, of course, would be in Lagos and then my next biggest market is London.Then a bodega, but besides that, I’d like to do something with the actresses. I don’t know what yet.
I have a movie coming out soon and I’m going to do a lot of personal content on yungnollywood’s page this year. I also have a short film on my website.
Yeah, just a random shop with an old local tv screen showing Nollywood shows.
Is Zikoko invited to any of these things?
Did you try reaching out to any of the actresses though?
I have not, I’ve gotten feedback from a few icons but nothing on business. Not till I figure out what I want to do, but in due time.
Did you ever feel the need to stop creating at any point?
Yeah, right now.
I am taking an indefinite break. I went through a major loss in my friend group so I’ve been a bit low.
I have never taken a break, I am very sensitive mentally, so I get exhausted sometimes. For now, I am taking the time to figure out what I want to do with my brand.
So sorry for your loss. You mentioned the festival and the bodega but what’s next for Yungnollywood?
Probably a film. Something for the actual young actors, not just the people we see on our screens all the time.
To find out more about the work Yungnollywood is doing, check out their website.
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