Sunday, December 11, 2016

My husband gave me the idea of blogging - Sisi Yemmie


Yemisi Odusanya, popularly known as Sisi Yemmie

Yemisi Odusanya, popularly known as Sisi Yemmie, has over 40,000 followers on her instagram page and over 30, 000 subscribers on her Youtube channel. She tells ‘NONYE BEN-NWANKWO how she became a social media sensation

You do so many stuff on social media…

Yes. I am a blogger, a vlogger, a social media promoter and I am the editor of Cosmopolitan Nigeria. It is an online magazine and a part of Cosmopolitan worldwide. I am the online editor.

So which one are you so passionate about?

I love everything! Blogging was the first thing I started. Blogging is kind of a mini   magazine. It comes with social media. I love social media because it is interactive. I love Instagram, Facebook. Along the line, I discovered vloging. I can’t choose which one I love most. I can’t choose between making videos and writing. I love editing, I love posting videos. I really can’t think of the one I like the most. As for being an online editor, I have always dreamt of being an online editor. To me, that was like a dream come true. It is like blogging but just it is on a larger scale. So I can’t pick what I love the most. They are all amazing.

Where did the name, Sisi Yemmie, come from?

Well, originally, my blog was calledGist.com. I started that blog on impulse. It was my husband that gave me the idea. He said since I love writing, I might as well start blogging and I started but I didn’t know what to call the blog. So I called it Gist.com. But after a while, I thought of rebranding so I felt I needed a name that would go with the brand. Before then, people were calling me Sisi Yemmie. So I decided to name my blog that name. Sisi Yemmie has a lot of passions. Gist.com sounded like the blog is all about gist but Sisi Yemmie is all about me and the things I love. I love cooking, beauty and I talk about motherhood, career and lifestyle.

How many followers do you have?

On Instagram, I have 40, 000 followers. On Youtube, I have 31, 000 subscribers. On twitter, I have about 17, 000 followers and on my blog, I have an average of 250, 000 views in a month. I have had over three million views on my vlog and over three million on my Youtube cannel. For some people, they might not have a lot of subscribers but they may have a lot of interaction and engagement on the platform. And indeed, for social media, what you really need is that interaction and engagement. Somebody might have one million followers but when he posts a picture, only 100 people will ‘like’ it. Somebody might have 200 followers and when he posts a picture; all the 200 followers will ‘like’ it. So it is really about engagement. But it helps to have a huge number of followers to show that you are really doing something that people like. I can also tell you that my channels are very interactive.

How do you cope with cyber bullies?

I would say I have been lucky and I have not had so many bullies. But then, once in a while, people like that do come on my platform. You know that if you are not jollof rice, everybody cannot like you.  There was a time somebody would come on my wall and be calling me ‘over sabi house- wife’. But the person may not be wrong in calling me that because I share a lot of my interests. But I am sure these interests are the same things other ladies and women have. The only difference is that I share what I know and think online. So to some people this might mean ‘over sabi’.  This is life.  So really, I get such talks once in a while. But such people ‘repent’ after a while. You can’t just hate somebody for no reason. I have had good followers and subscribers, there hasn’t been any drama.

But have you had any reason to block anybody at some point?

On social media, people say things to you that they cannot say to you face to face. I like constructive criticism; I like it when we argue intelligently. But when you start insulting – and people do that a lot these days – I don’t have strength to be going back and forth. That is why I like the ‘block’ button. I just block the person.  Sometimes, you would say something like ‘God is good’ on your platform and you would see somebody that would start ranting and saying is it because God has been good to you that you will not allow us to rest. You would certainly know that you are not that person’s problem; the person has a bigger problem. So you just leave the person but if the person is irritating you so much, you just block that person. If you keep that channel open and they keep insulting you, after a while, you may begin to feed into what they are doing. But once you block them, they will not come to you again unless they are so persistent and create a new account. I block negative vibes and move on.

As much as you post your lifestyle and other stuff online, are there things you cannot post online?

There are so many things I cannot post online. I treat my blog readers like my friends.  Anything I can share with my friends, I can share with my blog readers. I don’t really have a secret. But there are so many private things I would not share online. You cannot live your whole life publicly. I will not tell you everything that is happening in my home. You just have to keep some things to yourself.

How often do you blog?

Managing all my channels is very challenging because I am the only one who does the job; I don’t have an assistant.  I blog, I edit, I film, I take pictures and I do everything. I am Jack of all trades and hopefully, master at what I am doing. I would say I am always online. I try to be there as much as I can. My blog has not been so effective at the moment because I have been focusing on my Youtube channel. Youtube is getting very big and I am getting all the benefits. But now, I want to consolidate on everything. You cannot focus on one and leave the others after all; the Youtube channel became successful because of the vlog. They all have to grow together like siblings.

You were recognised and presented an award at the just concluded Youtube award. Would you say you got that on the account of your vibrancy online?

I would think so. Youtube is coming up greatly in Nigeria. In some other countries, you have so many people who have up to one million subscribers on their channel. I am lucky to be one of the pioneers of Youtube in Nigeria. I have been blogging and vlogging for a while. I have been vlogging the way Nigerians don’t vlog. I have been following Youtube for over 10 years.

Are you satisfied with the number of subscribers you have already?

I can never be satisfied. I want to hit that 100,000 mark. That is when Youtube would really recognise you and they give you a plaque. I want that Youtube plaque in my house, then I can start dreaming of having one million subscribers.

You probably have some die-hard fans online, have you had opportunity of meeting them one on one?

We have been trying to stage a meet and greet forum but Nigeria is not like abroad. You have to think of your security. I can be very paranoid when it comes to security. Even though I love my subscribers and I would love to see them, I am sill scared. I need to make sure that if I am doing something like that, everybody is safe and secure. Then again, I am a very shy person. People don’t like to believe this but that is true. I am fine in front of the camera but when it comes to facing crowd, I feel like entering the crowd.  These two things are the reasons I have not done a meet and greet. But maybe by Christmas, we may have one. I have a lot of subscribers who are coming home for the festive period and I would want to see them.

Have you ever thought of quitting the social media?

Quit is not on the list. My life is social media. Some days, I try to imagine what I would be doing if I weren’t on social media. I cannot see that life or existence. I can’t even imagine it right now. This is just who I am and I think I knew about this very early in life. When I was in secondary school, I used to have pen pals and that was one thing a lot of my friends weren’t into. I used to have over 200 pen pals and I would write letters to them individually and go to the post office and post the letters. This kind of thing made me realise that I am a people’s person. Then when computer came, I transferred the ‘pen palism’ to blog. I would be so bored without social media. I can’t imagine life without social media. I don’t know what we were doing without social media. I almost go crazy when I don’t have internet. I would be so bored. I guess if there was no social media, I would go back to being a reader and end up as a writer. But I thank God there is social media and I hope we don’t ever get to do without social media. It will be very tough.

Would you wish your popularity online span beyond the social media but in real life as well?

Every career has its disadvantages. It feels good that you are popular online and people don’t know you in real life. Then I can still go and buy boli across the road and do crazy stuff I wouldn’t have done if I were a celebrity.  Then I cannot throw tantrums if I was in traffic, I would just control myself. Regardless, it might still get to that stage because I go out now and people recognise me. As the blog is growing, my popularity is growing. I would like to be private in real life but it might not be possible with what I am doing.

What do you hope to achieve?

I just want to have a fabulous life and make a positive change in my environment and have people that are like me accept who they are. The online world can be very fake and people can pretend to be what they are not. I am real and I am myself and that is what draws a lot of people to me. I would want people to be themselves. I would want to make my environment and my family happy.

Since you are not a professional chef, how did you come about your recipes you cook online?

When I was growing up, I would always look forward to the day they would allow me to cook. When I started cooking, I started experimenting. My mum studied Home Economics and I learnt from her. I love good food and I had to learn how to make good food.

Did you ever do regular job before now?

Yes. After my Master’s degree, I worked in a bank in the UK for a while but I was frustrated with what I was doing. I felt it wasn’t the life I wanted. I came back to Nigeria and somebody told me he liked my job and they were looking for a social media manager. That was how I got my first job in Nigeria. I didn’t apply, I was just sitting down in my house and thinking of how to get a job and the job fell in my laps. I did the job for a year or two before I went into full time blogging.

PUNCH.                

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