Olabisi Abimbola, popularly known as SeniormanOA is a freelance content strategist, creator, and Youtuber. He is famous for his talking-head-styled educational and relatable videos. Speaking about his interests, he said, “I love cameras, I love Marketing and I have been lucky enough to have a lot of the content I put out to go around and be consumed by a lot of people”.
He is an introvert who loves to talk but not to people, so he found a way to pass educational messages, anecdotes and add value to his community while entertaining them and not invading their personal spaces.
SeniormanOA is a native of Ikaram, Ondo state. Though he was born and raised in Ibadan, Oyo state. He got to spend a lot of time with his mum because his dad travelled a lot for work and his siblings attended boarding schools. However, he had a fun and playful childhood. In his words, “I wasn’t very serious as a kid in school. I only took my academics seriously in the University when I realized that my dad was paying a lot of dollars”.
He graduated with a first-class degree from Wisconsin University, Accra where he studied Computer science with a minor in business management. However, he always knew that working a 9-5 wasn’t for him.
In this conversation, he took us through how he went from being a computer scientist into being a content creator and strategist.
This conversation has been slightly edited.
YellowLyfe Mag: What is your fondest memory from when you were growing up?
SeniormanOA: My fondest memory would be the times I spent with my mum. She loves it when I do a Hausa accent. It is so ridiculously funny to her, and whenever I’m around her, I still try to do it because it just makes her laugh. We spent a lot of time together when I was growing up so we understand each other better than others.
YellowLyfe Mag: What was your career journey like before you switched to a content creation?
SeniormanOA: Ah… right. Growing up, I knew that I wouldn’t want to do a 9-5. From the minute I understood what a traditional office job entailed, I knew it wasn’t for me. I had the option of travelling abroad to study, either in the US or South Africa but my mum insisted that Accra was closer and reiterated that I had never traveled on my own before. So I chose Accra as it was closer and faster to process. Though, I feel like if I hadn’t done that, maybe I might be doing something entirely different now. During my National Youth Service Corps(NYSC), I worked at an IT company in Abuja which further reinforced my decision to never work a 9-5. while I was there, I was trying to save up my salary to start up a clothing line when I was approached by someone who offered me the sum of 10,000 naira per week to tweet. The IT company paid 25,000 naira alongside NYSC’s 19,800 naira. It was a good deal and I was already tweeting things that people liked anyway, so why not get paid for it? So I took the deal but I became more intentional about it because it seemed like a viable source of livelihood. That’s how content creation started for me.
YellowLyfe Mag: What did that entail? Did you have to tweet every day?
SeniormanOA: I used to do a couple of tweets per day depending on what the client wants to advertise, it could range between 3-5 tweets per day for a week depending on my agreement with the client.
YellowLyfe Mag: Do you speak the Ikaram Dialect?
SeniormanOA: Oh no, I can’t because I didn’t grow up there. However, I picked up a few phrases from hearing my dad and my grandma have conversations and also when he tried to teach my siblings and me. My dad speaks well, he grew up there.
YellowLyfe Mag: Awwn… Nice. Can you tell me one of these phrases?
SeniormanOA: There’s one called “Yadun” and it means “Sit down”.
YellowLyfe Mag: What inspires you daily?
SeniormanOA: The fear of being average. I have never wanted to be the best at anything. I have just wanted to be good for myself. For instance, when it comes to money, I don’t want to be richer than anybody, I just want to have enough to take care of myself, my family and the people around me. I mean, it is good to be the best in whatever field you have chosen, but as long as I am doing better than I did yesterday and there’s progress for me, I’m good.
YellowLyfe Mag: Let’s talk about this form of content creation that you are into at the moment, why did you choose this niche?
SeniormanOA: I have always loved talking about things. However, I don’t really like talking to people because I’m very introverted and talking to people just drains my energy. However, when I like someone I talk to them about various things. I also love to take time to ponder and think, so I could be with people and I would just zone out and start thinking about something else. My first content was about the importance of getting to know people before labeling them as friends. It did great but before that, I experimented with different types of content to diversify and explore the various platforms available. Most of my content is based on my personal experiences.
YellowLyfe Mag: Can you take me through your creative process?
SeniormanOA: Typically, it starts with a topic, I build up from that and then I shoot. For instance, my last video was inspired by a conversation between my a childhood friend and I. I was watching stories and his pictures came up, I was about to text him saying, “Yo!, so you sef tall pass person” but I had to stop myself because it was inappropriate considering our level of relationship. I realized that a lot of people tend to joke with others inappropriately and it’s not right. So that was the concept and I built up on it. I don’t use a script but I write things down because of the subtitles.
YellowLyfe Mag: Can you tell me something about you that people don’t know?
SeniormanOA: I tend to keep my personal life private and don’t share much about myself on the internet. While a considerable amount of people might know me, I don’t often make public appearances because I prefer to keep a low profile. Despite this, people often don’t realize that I’m introverted because I’m able to put on a public persona.
YellowLyfe Mag: Can you describe your journey using five words?
SeniormanOA: Journey so far, Exciting, Intriguing, Doubtful, Hopeful and Amazing.
YellowLyfe Mag: Hmm… Doubtful, tell me about that
SeniormanOA: Although content creation is going well for me, I sometimes have doubts about whether it’s enough. I have plans but no specific direction yet because I believe in being flexible and not putting all my hopes in one place. I’ve experienced first-hand the risks of relying solely on content creation when I lost my first Twitter account and I’m yet to get it back. This is why it’s important to have backup options and not put all your eggs in one basket.
YellowLyfe Mag: If you weren’t doing content creation, what would you be doing?
SeniormanOA: If I were to work in a specific field full-time, I think marketing would be a good fit for me. I developed an interest in marketing while taking a class on business management in school and fell in love with it. I’ve taken courses on SEO, content marketing, influencer marketing, and digital marketing, and have been working with brands on creating content strategies and sourcing influencers for campaigns for the past two to three years.
YellowLyfe Mag: What’s the best advice you ever got?
SeniormanOA: To be consistent. Cliche but I have realized that most of the things we hear a lot are actually true and a lot of people are talking about it because it works. Consistency is very difficult but you can’t run away from it because when you keep showing up, you are eventually going to catch your big break. That’s why one of my favorite quotes is, “Opportunity only dances with those who are already on the dance floor”, meaning you only get your big break if you are ready and positioned for it.
YellowLyfe Mag: What significant lesson would you say that you have learnt from being a content creator?
SeniormanOA: Being a content creator can be stressful and time-consuming, but it’s still easier than a 9-5 job, especially in Lagos. I have learned to be grateful for the flexibility it allows, even though there are times when I have to create content for myself, for brands, and create content strategies for the brands at the same time. While it can be overwhelming at times, it doesn’t happen every day. Overall, I’m grateful for the opportunities and freedom that content creation allows.
YellowLyfe Mag: What are some of the principles that guide you?
SeniormanOA: Ah … Right, the first one is in Yoruba, it was my mum that said it and it goes thus, “Nkan ti mo ma je, ko ni koja mi (What’s mine wouldn’t pass me by, it will always be mine)”. So it has always helped me to be content with what I have and not be covetous of others’ possessions. It’s important to work towards my goals but not to do anything illegal to achieve them. I also believe in treating others with respect and being able to read people’s energy to determine their genuine care for me.
YellowLyfe Mag: What is the most interesting thing about being a content creator?
SeniormanOA: Being a content creator gives me access to people and opportunities that I might not have otherwise. It has the potential to significantly change your life and open up new possibilities. When I doubt myself, I remind myself that I’m building something great for myself and can use my network to increase my net worth. The opportunities are endless.
YellowLyfe Mag: What kind of challenges have you faced as a content creator in Nigeria and also while working with brands?
SeniormanOA: I would have said Power supply and Noise but that was before I moved to the estate I live now. At the place I stayed before, there was a church opposite the house and a mosque close by, so I usually had to be up as early as 2 am to create content before everyone woke up but not anymore.
One of the challenges of working with brands is that they sometimes downplay or belittle your abilities after realizing they can’t afford your rate. It can be annoying.
YellowLyfe Mag: What’s the craziest thing that you have had to do as a content creator?
SeniormanOA: The craziest thing I have had to do would be when I went to interview a bus driver at the park for my Youtube channel. It was a bit scary because they were rowdy but it worked out well in the end. The bus driver spoke with them, said I was with him. When I was leaving, they asked if I wouldn’t interview them and we just laughed it off. I think they are cool generally, it just takes some getting used to.
YellowLyfe Mag: How do you unwind?
SeniormanOA: Umm… I like to be by myself to unwind (Lol)
YellowLyfe Mag: What?
SeniormanOA: Yeah like, I can’t really be around people for too long. It drains me. When I’m by myself, all is right with the world.
YellowLyfe Mag: Totally understandable, but what do you do when you are by yourself?
SeniormanOA: I play games. Sometimes, I’m on the internet just enjoying it and not giving to it. I go out too when I feel like it but I don’t like regular activities like clubbing. I find it very lousy and noisy.
YellowLyfe Mag: What should we expect from you in the future?
SeniormanOA: A lot. As much as I plan, I don’t like to plan at the same time. It’s like I know where I am going but sometimes I don’t know how to get there but you can expect a lot. I’m working on a lot of things and I’m hopeful that they would come to fruition, though I can’t share those things yet.
YellowLyfe Mag: What would your advice be for someone who wants to start content creation?
SeniormanOA: If it is something that you want to do, just go for it. However, you need to have it at the back of your mind that content is king so whatever you are putting out has to have some value because, at the end of the day, it is a trade of value. You are asking for people’s attention, so you need to have something.
YellowLyfe Mag: What’s your favorite quote?
SeniormanOA: Hmm… There’s one from the alchemist that goes, “And when you want something bad enough, the whole of the universe conspires to make it happen”. I also like to say, “We go dey okay”