They are the ultimate YouTube girl squad of Ivy (Ivy Mugo),Jules (Julia Gaitho), Lornzie (Lorna Muchemi) and Shikie (Michelle Wanjiku) taking over the net. Their riveting and candid girl talk has made them talk of the town. Boniface Nyaga sat with the intriguing four of the Over 25 You Tube channel and found out just what makes them tick.
Who came up with the idea of the channel and how did you guys get started.
Jules: The initial idea was mine, I always wanted to start a YouTube channel and my girls have always been supportive of everything I do, so I had to involve them.
I realised there was no space where one can talk freely about what it means to be a 20-something girl in Nairobi working, being single or married.
During my campus days in the UK I was exposed to a lot of wonderful blogs, but when I came back I gathered there wasn’t much here.
My first idea was to start a make-up blog but I never wanted to do it on my own. From the get go my plan was to make the whole thing very easy and low pressure; we just showed up when we had time and shot. For us it’s our happy place where we can just be ourselves.
Lornzie: We started out with a simple phone camera, stacked up on books with a mirror behind it so we can see ourselves as we record.
Right now we have grown to include a camera and a tripod. Jules does most of the editing on her laptop.
Shikie: It was an excuse to meet, we had gotten to a point where everyone was so busy and we saw each other once a month. We had tried starting a chama but that didn’t work out; we met like two times and the thing died.
Ivy: I wasn’t available for the first couple of episodes because of work, but now I am a regular. It’s made me realise how important it is to spend more time with my girls so I make more of an effort now. I was really nervous the first episode I ever shot, I kept nodding to everything and clang to my drink for safety, but now I am easy.
You guys have such deep chemistry, how long have you known each other?
Jules: Everyone keeps on asking me that question and I find it a little strange because I always assume that everybody has great chemistry with their friends. I guess the channel has really made me appreciate our friendship and recognise that it is truly something unique.
Shikie and Ivy have known each other from Form One and I was also in Quabbzs, Moi Girls, with them before I left for Riara. We all linked up again in USIU where we met up with Lornzie.
Lornzie: We are really beginning to appreciate that a lot of people especially ladies don’t have what we have, drama messes peoples relationships. It’s really great that a lot of ladies are now starting to look up to us because we are living proof that meaningful friendships can last.
Shikie: This thing is real for us, we are not faking it; if Over 25 dies today we will still be friends. The channel is just an extension of what we have always done when we hang out.
What has kept you friends for so long?
Ivy: We always talk it out, no matter what we go through and how mad we are at each other, we talk it out, hug and make up. We are also open to positive criticism from each other and we constantly push each other to be better.
Shikie: We also accept each other as we are; everyone has a different personality and we just accept each one as we are.
Lornzie: We are all individuals and we keep it real no matter what.
What’s the most fun thing about doing the channel?
Lornzie: Being together; we usually do it on Saturday after not seeing each other for like a whole week.
Ivy: For me it’s me-time away from my day-to-day life.
Your channel is very open and candid, how do you pick the topics to discuss?
Shikie: We are so random, we often meet up without even knowing what we are going to talk about. Sometimes it’s something one of us is going through or a comment from a fan that sparks the conversation.
Jules: Sometimes it’s also conversations with friends or something we saw online that starts us talking.
How do you deal with haters?
Ivy: Jules always says that for one hater we have a 100 fans, we just feed off the positive energy. I just don’t read the negative comments.
Shikie: Personally, I do read the comments, it’s actually funny. The hate is much easier to handle because it’s directed to the group and not to a particular person. We are learning to handle it better with time, but it’s great that we get to work it out together.
Lornzie: People are actually so different and they are going through all manner of things so it’s interesting to just see how they react to us.
Jules: I am actually still adapting to this whole thing. I never thought people would actually follow us and take such a keen interest in us; I guess this is what it means to be a celeb. You can’t please everyone, but our fans keep us going, we get so much positive responses from people who love our channel.
Your channel started as a simple idea, and one year later it’s really blown up to what it is today. What’s your advice to guys who have great ideas but can’t get off the ground?
Jules: Just start, don’t wait for everything to be perfect to begin something, but if you are hesitating; stay in that hesitation until you are sure so you never have an excuse. I never thought that Over 25 would be this big, my idea was just to get in front of a camera to enjoy ourselves.
Shikie: Find something that you are passionate about and pour yourself into it.
Describe each other:
Shikie: Jules is the kind of girl who has your back, she is the mother hen fighting the world for us. You can’t ignore Ivy, you will just know she is in the room. She is very vocal about her thoughts but you can still reason with her. She is always there for her friends. She is so much fun.
Lornzie is the most level headed person and she is really good at her job. She is also really good at pool, she will beat any guy at pool.
Ivy: Jules is Jules she’s hard to put in words, she is unapologetically passionate. She is also the creative in the group. Shikie has a tough exterior; she is the kind of girl who will tell you off in such a sweet way. Lornzie is the most genuine person I know, she is the total woman.
Lornzie: Jules is organised; with short time goals and tick lists. Shikie is the sweetest, she listens to your drama and gives you perspective. She really calms me down and she is the peace maker in the group. Ivy comes off as tough but once you really get to know her you realise she is really sweet.
Jules: Shikie is none judgmental, she lets you vent without making you feel guilty. She is the most loving and the diplomat of the group. Ivy is super focused and has a real driving force, it’s hard to describe her. She really knows how to let loose and have fun without a care in the world.
Ivy is the “nodder” in the group, she agrees with everything you say and listens very keenly. Lornzie is the most dynamic person I know, she is very loyal and you can always count on her. She is the love doctor in the group; always giving us relationship advice straight up.