One of the unique challenges the Coronavirus pandemic posed for Nollywood, was the problem of a holding the attention of a fickle audience. With the exception of a few Nigerian actors with bonafide fandoms, projects were the primary way many actors honed their craft and charmed their audiences. With projects on hold and Instagram fatigue setting in (there are only so many times we can look at a celebrity’s selfies before we tap out), actors started looking for alternative platforms that could afford them new ways to reach audiences. For many Nollywood actors, that medium was Tiktok.
Tiktok has been around for quite a while, and influencers like Maraji first gained their audiences on a version of the platform called Music.ally, but Tiktok truly began to gain traction in Nigeria at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, through a series of challenges like the Savage challenge by Megan The Stallion, the Say So challenge by Doja Cat and the Bop Daddy challenge by Falz the Bad Guy. The platform’s primary model, miming to imported audio tracks also proved an fruitful testing ground for actors, many of whom used it as a interesting way to re-enact comedic and dramatic scenes. Beverley Naya, Kunle Remi and Toni Tones have all grown massive followings from their Tik-Tok videos.
It seems Yollywood actresses are also getting hip to Tik-tok. Nigerian actress, Iyabo Ojo, who already had proven herself a savvy social media user with her choreographed dances with her children, has taken to Tik-tok like fish to water. She has become so popular on the platform, that she is currently Tiktok Nigeria’s celebrity of the month, with over 150 interesting and fun videos and a 138K followers, she has cracked the code of the platform and is putting it to good use. Will Tiktok fuel the next wave of advertising campaigns for Nollywood, the way Instagram did in 2019?
We’ll have to wait and see.