Remember back then, how we’d chorus ‘lawyer, doctor, engineer’ when asked what we wanted to be in future? Well, things are a little different now. Wind has blown and fowl’s yansh has cleared. Times are changing, and with it, professions too.

Imagine you didn’t have to work a typical 9-5. Where work could be just about anywhere you chose for it to be? Or if, instead of dropping pouts/ peace signs and waiting for your crush to finally notice on Instagram or Twitter, you could actually get paid to do so?

For many, this is their very real reality. They are known as influencers, or social media influencers if we’re being super exact. Owed to their large following on social media, they are believed to have established credibility in a certain field and can therefore persuade others to act based on their recommendations.

I had my first understanding of social media influencers when all the Kardashians I follow (and yes, I follow all of them – even Rob) kept posting these unnatural shots with strange LED teeth whitening devices, despite having lipstick and a full face-beat on.

Popularly known for fashion and … being famous, what consigns Kim with this strange AI Close-Up? I Googled the company and made a mental note to try them out when the bag was secure enough to get my teeth fixed. Little did I know by doing so, I was more or less fulfilling the influencer oracle.

This is because influencers are hired to, well- influence. Pushing a product through an influencer can be taken as more organic advertising to their large following. If my gullible ass was willing to try the product out because Kim has great teeth and claims to use it – imagine how much influence she wields over her 122.5million followers?

And just FYI, Kim gets paid about $500 000 per Instagram post she puts up. If you check her Instagram page, ads full ground. Still holding on to that engineer dream?

Like Kim’s example, the higher the number of followers influencers have, the higher their street cred and prices. This stretches to Youtube where 6 year old Ryan, who reviews toys to his 17 million plus followers manages to pull $22 million in one year alone. YouTube couple – De’arra and Ken also boo’ed up their way to several endorsement deals worth about $2.1 million. making vlogs for their over 5 million subscribers.

Nigeria isn’t left from the influencer action. Social media stars like Maraji, made me want to tear my employment letter, when she revealed she makes about 500 000 to 1 million naira per sponsored post she puts up to her 1 million followers. Lasisi Elenu is another influencer on the come up. While taking filters from Snapchat to give them on Instagram, his efforts are worth the hype, as he has been known to charge close to ₦250 000 per post on Instagram.

Anyway, let me go and brush up on my selfie game. If you people think 2019, I’m not making this Instagram money, guess again.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.