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Mr Jollof and other Influencers create value in a struggling economy

How did Mr Jollof, Warri-born, social media influencer, end up being chauffeured through London in the back of a Rolls Royce with a bottle of Laurent Perrier in his hand. He was on his way to host a sold-out WizKid Concert when he commented on how technology had changed his life, “If we invest in technology, technology will take us somewhere beyond our expectations.” 

How many ways can a young Nigerian end up on an all-expense-paid trip to London? Fraud is what comes to mind for most people, other than that maybe investment banking or management consulting. 

These days Nigerian creatives, through their platforms on social media are unlocking a world of value and opportunity. Ask any millennial to name influencers they’re hooked on, and you might hear names like Dimmah Umeh (popular makeup artist), Maraji (comedian), and of course Mr Jollof. His authenticity and unique style of comedy, largely in pidgin, allowed him to amass an audience quickly. As of the time this piece was written, the Warri native had 513,000 Instagram followers. 

The rise of social media influencers in Nigeria comes as no surprise. In 2018, Nigeria had 92.3 million internet users. This figure is projected to grow to 187.8 million internet users in 2023. Of the millions of internet users in Nigeria, as of January 2019, over 7 million are on Instagram, a figure that has been growing rapidly. As smartphone access increases and telecoms continue to compete for data pricing, this figure can only increase. Instagram, one of the more visual of the social platforms is where many such partnerships thrive. Influencers are ingeniously connecting in order to unlock value for their brands and businesses.  In 2016 Mr Jollof and Ike Ordor, Founder of Starr Luxury Cars connected over a discussion. 

Starr Luxury Cars offers luxury rentals to a discerning crowd. You can find anything from a supercar for hire to a Chauffeur driven Rolls Royce. 

“We offer our services to a range of private clients from high-profile celebrities and diplomats, to more commercial clients,” says  Ike Ordor who is based in London. Speaking on Mr Jollof, Ike added, “He has such a wide range of people following him. And of course, we have many Nigerians who use Starr Luxury Cars whenever they’re in town. Our regular VIP clients always request a Luxury Airport Transfer from their home to their private Jet or typically to the first class lounge.” 

Starr Luxury cars are particularly private about their clientele, of course, most of the celebrities who use the service are not as quiet. DJ Cuppy and her Billionaire Father, Femi Otedola, as well as Tiwa Savage are among the few that have used Starr Luxury Cars. In May of last year, Starr Luxury Cars also provided services for Prince Harry, the now Duke of Sussex during his Bachelor’s Eve on his wedding to Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. 

Femi Otedola in Starr Luxury Cars

Another of such value-creating partnerships on social media concluded with popular influencer JTO, another one of Femi Otedola’s daughters who recently collaborated with critically acclaimed designer Orange Culture. Together the two brands have created a clothing collection released on November 22nd. At JTO’s sold-out meet & greet, scheduled for the same Friday,  guests were able to shop the collection. Chances are that the collection will perform just as well. 

JTO x Orange Culture Collection

In a country where many young people feel they have few opportunities available, looking to social media is a way to even out the playing field. In this field, only the creative profit

Young people are finding that they can do more with less by leveraging on each others core competencies and creating barter proposals that actually create value.

 

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