32-year old Ikenna Azuike is taking African socio-political commentary to another level- one ‘vlog’ episode at a time.
He created the vlog (a video “blog,” for those unfamiliar with the term), “What’s Up Africa” to stimulate a more positive discourse on African current affairs and pop culture.
With the use of a quick editing style, humor and a larger-than life on-air personality, Azuike brings a quirky freshness to a growing cyber network of young, hip, happening and inspiring Nigerians.
Azuike was born in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria in 1979 and lived in Nigeria with his father (who’s from Anambra State) and his British mother (who is of German and Ukrainian heritage.)
He moved to the United Kingdom at the age of seven, but he didn’t completely leave Africa behind. He continues to follow what’s happening on the continent, but notes that much of the information out there is negative.
“There’s a lack of content out there on creative Africa and the awesome talent that exists on the continent,” Azuike told Sahara TV’s, Chika Oduah.
So that’s what motivated him to take the initiative and create the vlog.
“I wasn’t reading about creative Africans on mainstream media outlets over here in the UK and in the Netherlands so I wanted a new outlet for all that.
His topics range from politics, to music; he’s covered religious fanaticism, bare-breasted Occupy Wall Street protesters and everything in between. Most of the weekly videos average around 900 online viewers.
“What’s Up Africa” was even featured on the often-cited blog of tech-advocate and
Emeka Okafor, Timbuktu Chronicles.
Azuike’s secret? Hard work….(and his good lucks and education credentials don’t hurt either).
Each episode comes together in just two days of production: the first day is devoted to research and the other is for editing, scripting and finalizing.
However, he did face one challenge when deciding on whether to create the vlog.
It concerned the sentiment of Nigerians on the continent toward those abroad. Many Nigerians in Nigeria are quick to dismiss Nigerians in the diaspora as disconnected from the plight occurring back home.
“That was one of my fears,” Azuike said. “That I’m not connected.”
But in today’s Information Age, there are many ways to tap into what is happening around the world without a direct presence.
And in this era of start-up technologies and youth-faced world-changers, perhaps this is the best chance to light up Africa….one vlog, one book, one song, on policy, on ‘tweet’, one person at a time.
Azuike: “I have this belief that literally anything is possible as long as you put in hard work, creativity and intelligence.”
***Ikenna will be LIVE on Sahara TV --Saturday Oct. 29--11:30am-- New York Time
Chika Oduah is a News Associate at NBC News and a reporter for SaharaTV. For more about Chika, visit: www.chika-oduah.com