Comedian Musa Afolabi, popularly known as Lasisi Elenu, has a following of over 337,000 on Instagram, where he posts the videos of his skits. He is an ardent user of the ‘wide mouth’ filter, an Instagram feature that he applies in all his skits. He tells Jesusegun Alagbe how he started and the blessings he has derived through the social media
Your first Instagram skit was posted on August 11, 2017. How did you grow your following so quickly to 337,000 within five months?
There is no secret at all. I think it is just about doing what I love and enjoy. If you are consistent at doing something, people will notice you and eventually follow you. They will also refer others to your page if you are doing something wonderful. I never thought of coming online to be posting any skit. I was just doing comedy for fun, for my family and friends, who would laugh and compliment me. But afterwards, others discovered me and wanted to see more of my funny side. So, in August last year, I posted my first video skit on Instagram. CONTINUE…
I think I got just about 80 views on my first post. By the time I posted my second skit, it got about 110 views. I didn’t let the few views discourage me because I was not seeking fame in the first place. So, I just kept doing what I loved and enjoyed and that’s how the following grew. Today, I get thousands of views on my skits. So, I didn’t do any special thing to get followers on Instagram. I didn’t buy them and I didn’t also promote my account. It just grew because of my consistency and because there is a message in my skits.
Why do you use the ‘wide mouth’ filter for your skits?
I like the feature because it gives me a distinct look and voice in my videos, thereby making them to be unique. I had been using the feature on Snapchat but when I learnt about Instagram and that the feature was also available on it, I didn’t think twice before adopting it for my skits. And so far, the feedback from people has been good. People like the way I use the filter in my videos.
Where do you draw inspiration from while creating your skits?
Many ideas go on in my head and I write them down if I don’t have my phone with me. Some of those ideas are as a result of my frustration or tiredness. I always try to turn every experience, whether positive or negative, to an inspiration. And it doesn’t have to be a big experience. My inspiration sometimes comes from small experiences. For instance, I might be looking for fresh bread in the neighbourhood and if I don’t get what I’m looking for, I get tired and frustrated and from there, it could become the theme of the next skit I’m creating. I also listen to people when they share their experience. Through what I hear, it can also motivate me to create a skit. But overall, the desire to become better day after day is the major source of my inspiration. When I wake up, what I think about is how to make better impact on the lives of people through my skits.
So, would you say you have made impact on people’s lives through your skits?
Yes, I have and it’s in a great way that has given me joy. I have received tons of messages from Nigerians complimenting me regarding my skits. Some would say when they were in the hospital on the sickbed; it was my skits that made them not to give up on life. They would tell me my skits kept them happy and sustained them throughout their stay in the hospital. Some would tell me they were once frustrated but that my skits made them to have a rethink about life. Some would say that when they lost a friend or family member, my skits made them to smile and forget their sorrow. Others would say when they lost their job or relationship and they were down, my videos helped them to wade through those hard times. Sometimes when I read the messages, it pushes me to work harder towards putting smiles on more people’s faces. And I promise to do that. So, yes, I have made impact on people’s lives through my skits.
Have you ever been a victim of online bullying and how do you handle it?
Yes, who would say they have not been bullied online? The hustle has not been easy, but I don’t pay attention to the bullies. I pay attention to my work.
What are some of the weird requests you get from your fans, especially the female ones?
There is a lot of weirdness out there, but what I try to do is to turn the weirdness into sources of inspiration. I don’t let them put me off. Concerning my female fans, some of them usually tell me that I am cute and that they would like to have s*x with me. Some who don’t request for s*x would tell me that they just want to have a date with me.
Do you grant such requests?
Of course not; one should not lose focus because of those things or else, distraction will set in and success will become farther away. I don’t want to be carried away.
Has your social media presence opened doors for you?
Certainly yes! It has opened doors for me. Through my skits, I have been invited to perform at functions that ordinarily, I would never have been able to attend. I have had conversations with people that I wouldn’t have ordinarily met. I have also received gifts from people because of what I do. So yes, my social media presence has brought breakthrough for me and it is a testament to the fact that if you love what you do and you are consistent at it, someday, it would bring blessing.
Have you ever come across some of your online fans in real life?
Yes, many times. In fact, some minutes ago [Wednesday evening], I met some fans and they were kind of excited. Sometimes now, I get scared of going out because of the attention. But I guess this is something I have to learn to adapt to.
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