What you need to know:
- I discovered social media in 2008 with Facebook and it became my escape to express myself the freely and meet people with whom we shared similar interests.
- In 2011, I found out that a lot of agencies would contact me online, asking to use my platform, Olori Super Gal, to create awareness for their brands. So I quit my job.
- Right now I do this full time, not as a side job; it pays my bills, has given me exposure and it’s how my clients are able to reach me.
Tosin Ajibade, is famously known as Olori Super Gal, the persona she took up on social media, which is also the name of her entertainment and lifestyle website olorisupergal.com.
She is also the convener of New Media Conference.
What does Olori Super Girl mean?
Olori means queen in Yoruba, to represent royalty. It just means I am a super queen who believes in herself and stands out from the rest.
When did you get into social media?
I discovered social media in 2008 with Facebook. I used to be a misfit while growing up. I would keep to myself a lot because I didn’t feel like a fitted in any certain circles. I just did what I needed to get to the next step in life. Social media became my escape to express myself the freely and also found a community of people who were like me; we shared similar interests.
When did you realise this could be more than a hobby?
My interest grew over time. I was working as an editor’s assistant at a magazine company. I loved putting out content but I also saw myself being on TV. With my mobile phone I realised I could do all this, and started putting out my own content on my blog olorisupergal.blogspot in 2010.
In 2011, I found out that a lot of agencies would contact me online, asking to use my platform, Olori Super Gal, to create awareness for their brands. So I quit my job. In 2012, I moved the site from .blog spot to .com; I wanted to show that I was serious and trustworthy. I had to look more presentable as a business.
How did you pass information differently?
It was like talking to a friend. I started out with just family and friends and they would always comment on whatever I put up. I transferred my posts to the blogspot when I discovered that aspect of communication. But I was always interested in entertainment and lifestyle.
Did you know what rates to give in the beginning?
Google Adsense. We just needed to adhere to their policies. They gave us our first check. Clients would ask for ad space on our site and we would charge according to the dimensions they wanted and the length of time the ad would be up.
How did your growth come about?
Brands would call us for press conferences or to talk to a particular artiste or cover events. Putting these stories out to our followers showed them that they could come to us if they wanted the real information on things. However, I have had a lot of different experiences too: made mistakes, learnt from the mistakes, trained people, helped build brands. It’s been an interesting journey.
What is New Media Conference about?
It is a gathering of bloggers, tech enthusiasts, vloggers, social media strategists, and social media marketers. Following the rise of social media, I thought it would be important for those of us in this industry of new media to come and talk about issues we come across and offer solutions as well. We started it in 2015 in Lagos, Nigeria. We’ve had five conferences so far, including one in Nairobi in 2017.
Why did you feel you were the person to head this conversation?
I can call myself a pioneer in social media. The way things are right now, even news breaks on social media. I come in to sieve information, knowing what’s right and what’s wrong before broadcasting it, in order to curb fake news. Right now I do this full time, not as a side job; it pays my bills, has given me exposure and it’s how my clients are able to reach me.
What do you treasure the most from this?
In the beginning we fought with my parents and I had to prove to them that this was for me. I am glad today I can say that I have proven that I was right all along. I have done countless interviews and events coverage. Getting all-access passes means we can walk around the red carpet and go backstage at events.
I most remember being at former group P Square’s 10-year-anniversary party in Lagos. Their late mum was also in attendance and they had spent a lot of money on dancers, costumes and just the entire event. I was still at the magazine at that time.
What is it like to be on first name-basis with celebrities?
I have trained myself not to lose control while on the job, so I just look at them as normal folk. I have created relationships with some of them though. I was invited by Beka, a Ghanaian artiste, to Accra, Ghana, to celebrate her ten years of music. I have to respect my work and respect them as well, even though we can laugh together at other times
Do you mentor younger girls to achieve their potential?
I just did my first public speech to young girls because it became my duty to do it. Girls had been reaching out saying that I inspired them. I just needed to break out of my shyness first.
Sometimes I talk to them through emails, on phone or through text. They just need to follow the right path, mine is just to guide them. In case you fall, you can still rise up and follow that path to the end.