“The best contents are ones people can relate to” – TikTok Star, Drea Okeke

Drea is a Nigerian and American content creator, entrepreneur and influencer. She is well known for her relatable comedic skit videos posted across social media. With TikTok being her strongest platform, Drea was a Shorty Award 2019 finalist for Tiktoker of the year. She has a passion for entertaining, but also for making a positive difference in the world. Drea humor, encourages, educates, and captivates an audience of over 5 million supporters daily.

In an exclusive interview with Thisday’s, Tosin Clegg she talks about her brand, emerging to become one of the biggest names in online entertainment, her content creation and more.

 

 

I grew up in Belgium, Nigeria and the United states. .

Education wise, my background was in Engineering, I got my masters in entrepreneurship & innovation from the university of southern California. Growing up was an interesting experience especially in the United states because when I moved from Nigeria to New York, I had a strong accent. Being that girl with an accent and extremely tall towering over all my peers made me stand out, and targeted to be bullied. I was made fun of my accent, height and strong-smelling food I would bring to school for lunch. Fast forward to today, these same qualities that identifies me, my culture, my height, my accent are now things that have contributed to my success on social media. There is a major demographic of first generation kids who can relate to my videos where I bring a lot of things from my culture in my content.

Childhood dreams. .

When I was thirteen/fourteen, I wrote in my journal that God, you give everyone a talent that’s unique in their own way so God, please reveal to me those talents and help me to positively use those talents to impact myself and people around me and right now, today, collectively I have over five million followers across social media. I create content, I make people laugh, I educate people, I also have used the opportunity I have got through content creation to positively impact people’s lives as well so, truly i’m living my childhood dream.

The values I got growing up will be from my mum. .

And she say anything worth doing is worth doing well and I live by that over the years even now in my career. If I want to be successful, if it’s worth doing, and it’s worth my time, then I’m going to do it right, and make it worthwhile. So, I put my all into everything I do and that’s why I make my content standout. I don’t just want to do what everyone is doing. I want to make sure i’m unique, i’m authentic, and i’m staying true. I go above and beyond from what everyone is doing in my industry. That’s one value that has shaped me today.

My journey into content creation started out of me just making videos in college. .

And it was just to kill time and distract myself from engineering homework because the classes were quiet difficult. It was an escape mechanisim. Even after graduating and moving to California to work as a full time engineer, I still used content creating as an escape mechanism to entertain my audience and myself. Before I knew it around 2018, I started getting more noticed online and in person for my viral videos online. I always love entertaining and making people laugh, so when I saw people drawing to my videos, i’m like okay this is definitely the move and even more when I saw that there was revenue to be made. I began to get contacted by major brands like Coca-Cola, Netflix, Google and more.

The best contents are ones people can relate to. .

The most important factor in content creation is being authentic to who you are, and make people feel an emotion through your video. Either you teach them something, say when they come to your page, they get to learn a new recipe, what sorts of outfit to wear, how to start a business and more. Good content should be authentic to you, it’s relatable, has some of emotional value to somebody and it’s important that you have fun while doing it because when you have fun doing it, people watching can tell oh, this person is having a good time making their content. I think the earlier challenges in the beginning was staying consistent and I think a lot of us creatives struggle with that. Time management and planning is everything In this industry so we don’t get burned out. Current challenge right now is, the content creation space is saturated and all the content has been done, especially when it comes to comedy skits. I try to keep my content relevant to what my followers like as well as what I would like.

 

I’ve always been a fan of short video content. .

And Tiktok was one of the only platforms that short form content was encouraged on, so I hopped early on it. Posted a lot of relatable comedy videos with a splash of my Nigerian culture in it consistently, and my page had a rapid growth to millions of followers. On success stories, Tiktok flew me out to France in 2019 to speak at Cannes festival of creativity summit where I spoke to an audience of about two thousand. On stage I spoke about my content creation journey and keys to marketing to the new generation, millennials in general. I got to partner with a lot of amazing brands like Amazon, Netflix, Google, L’Oreal, McDonalds, Uber and other major brands. God has blessed me so much that, i’m so thankful for the platform and the opportunity for me to pave my way as a full time content creator. Good thing also about Tiktok is, it’s such a global App and being able to be known globally is mind blowing because I remember in December 2019, I went to Dubai, and I got recognized in Dubai.

The good times outweighs the bad. .

I think the bad is when I lose creative inspiration and I’ve learnt to take time off and just relax and not put too much pressure on myself. Some good are definitely all the good things i’ve been able to do through my career. While I was in Nigeria doing my NYSC, I was able to collaborate with a company called Geek-code Plane where we put together a robot programming event for young girls. The youngest one was seven and the oldest was sixteen and they were good at coding, and they coded their robots and had them race each other. I was also able to sponsor students school fees attending primary/secondary school in El-Gibor International academy. The school is located in an underdeveloped community in Maramba, Abuja. The pandemic has made it very hard for families especially in communities that were already going through hardship before the pandemic. I’ve always loved the bible quote; to whom much is given, much is expected. I really hope that as God keeps blessing me so I’m able to bless other people

I see myself doing a lot more greater things like having my own NGO. .

And be able to give back to Nigeria and my people in general. Even though I live in America, Nigeria is where I’m from and is home for me. Being able to help people in situations they can’t help themselves is what counts. I also see myself having my own Marketing Consulting agency. I have lots of experience with working with brands to run successful social media ads, so I can use that experience to consult companies and individuals trying to build a brand on social media.

I have accomplished much in my career for my 26 years of age. .

I see as an accomplishment being able to Sustain my relevance in the entertainment industry over the span of 7  years I’ve been doing this. The digital space is forever changing, and I’ve sustained myself by innovating my content and staying authentic to who I am. I pray with God I can continue to innovate and soar to greater heights in career.

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