Arewa Voices

These Content Creators Are Making Their Voices Heard

By Aisha Kabiru Mohammed | Mar 23, 2024

In today's vibrant media landscape, content creation has become an avenue for self-expression and storytelling. Northern Nigeria's cultural tapestry is woven with the narratives of talented female content creators who use social media to showcase their creativity and perspectives. 

Through a series of interviews, Document Women delves into the experiences of five such creators from Northern Nigeria, spanning diverse genres such as lifestyle blogging, travel content creation, and skit-making. 

Each contributor reflects on their understanding of content creation, shares insights into their creative processes, narrates personal journeys to becoming creators, discusses challenges encountered in their growth, and outlines aspirations for the future. 

As female content creators in Northern Nigeria, they encounter obstacles like gender stereotypes, societal norms, and resource constraints. Despite facing scepticism and lack of support, they persevere.

Together, their voices illuminate the multifaceted landscape of content creation in Northern Nigeria, offering glimpses into the complexities and triumphs inherent to their craft.


How would you describe content creation?

Amira Maryam Shuaibu(@shnookums):
Content creation, to me, is an expression of self. I am a creative being. Bursting at the seams with the creative energy I want to bring to life. It is the best way I can express myself to others. It’s the way I make sense of my ideas and string together my thoughts. It’s also my safe space because my creativity shines through, and I become my most genuine and authentic self.


Simnom Emmanuel(@radioratt):
It's everything. I have a series on TikTok that I hope to move to YouTube soon called “ A day in my life”, where I document my day-to-day activities. I always look forward to camera placements, editing tools I can explore, and sounds and voice-overs to use.

I love to record my life and the places I see to give the world another view of what it feels like to be northern, single and living alone. I love to tell my stories through my lens and capture moments and places stereotypical people didn't know could exist in Kaduna. I also love to see the look on my client's faces when I am done creating content for their brands.


Vetum Gima Galadima(@vetumgaladima)

Content creation can be both educational and entertaining. The purpose of creating content varies between individuals. My artistic nature and career mean content creation is often about what inspires me and what could inspire my audience, as well as about community building. I like to touch on subjects that deeply affect society, humour or just out-of-the-box concepts.

Zainab Mustapha Ismail(@Craxyxeey1):

I take content creation as a passionate job, something I could call an achievement in my life; one fact about me Is I’m not a people person; everyone was shocked I started content cause I just woke up one day and thought about it and that is all I couldn’t stop ideas kept popping and I became good at it. 

What is your creative process like?

Amira Maryam Shuaibu(@shnookums):

 For me, it all starts with music. If my creativity were an engine, music would be the fuel. All it takes is a good song, and I’m transported to a world within my mind filled with endless possibilities. From there, the thoughts come together, and I have a concept or script I’m ready to bring to life.


Simnom Emmanuel(@radioratt):

I am not sure how to answer this question, but technically, I think of the ideas in my head sometimes before I shoot, other times it's at the spur of the moment, but I keep shooting, and when it's time to edit I discover that I could even make the clips better, I think of angles, I research on sounds, sometimes it's the song I have been listening to all week, sometimes I write the script for the voice over, other times I just say it as it comes. So, there isn't a specific way or process for me while creating content.

Iklima Babangida(@sunshineinapod):

My content creation process is deeply rooted in storytelling. I immerse myself in Kaduna's cultural tapestry, finding inspiration in its people, traditions, and landscapes. Through keen observation, I pinpoint compelling narratives that resonate with my audience. With my camera, I capture authentic, often overlooked moments, showcasing the vibrancy of daily life, cultural celebrations, events, and Kaduna's diverse communities. 

My process goes beyond visuals; I incorporate narrative elements to evoke emotions and provoke reflections. This holistic approach reflects my commitment to preserving Kaduna's rich heritage through a lens that tells stories beyond what meets the eye.

Vetum Gima Galadima(@vetumgaladima):

My process is enjoyable because I am still growing. I cannot say, “This is my process yet”. As a young lady, I am still studying my environment and building a team so that what I create can stand the test of time. My hobbies/skills include painting, writing and travelling. I often post videos of myself painting, videos in timelapse motion of myself travelling or doing house chores, and I enjoy capturing moments with food, sunsets or colour-dominant environments.


Zainab Mustapha Ismail(@Craxyxeey1): 

I edit my videos myself sometimes. Even before I got a ring light and a tripod, I used to beg and bribe my siblings to help hold the camera. From there, I started dragging them into it, though I often suffer before they accept or gather them to do some specific videos. We shoot together, which is the most fun out of the process, but at the end of the day, it comes out beautiful as always. 

Did you always want to create content? Could you walk us through your journey to content creation?


Amira Maryam Shuaibu(@shnookums): 

Not entirely. But I had unknowingly been creating content for quite some time. It started on a platform called in 2015. The app was mainly for lip-syncing to songs and funny audio. It was always just for fun, and I found it quite therapeutic. Later, in 2018, it was rebranded as the TikTok we know today.

Around that time, I started to dabble in mixology. So, I shifted the direction of my videos to that instead and started to get a bit of traction on it. A couple of years later, I got married and decided to shift the direction of my videos once again. This time, the concept was an online visual diary of navigating my new life. I would say I’ve been at it for the longest time.

But honestly, I feel as though my mocktail videos were the start of my proper content stream.

Simnom Emmanuel(@radioratt)

Of course, it's not every day I feel like capturing moments, but when the muse comes, the thing is that I create content specifically for me. I am among the people who will rewatch my videos a million times and will keep showing everyone close to me, “See what I created”, but there are days that it will take a lot of time to edit videos I've shot or days I'll shoot and not like the angles. I have been creating content since my days on radio, where I would shoot myself working on air and post on Instagram and Facebook. 

Still, at that time, I didn't think much of it as content creation or times I'd gather students in my class in ABU and interview them on various issues. I guess it grew on me during NYSC when I started creating content to promote my podcast and random videos I'd do and edit on TikTok till I realized I could develop a career path when I began my tech journey; it's mostly just about creating/ documenting things I love to do. I have always been drawn to seeing content; content creation is everything, in the books I write, the projects I execute and how.


Iklima Babangida (@sunshineinapod): 

Yes, creating content has been a passion of mine since I first discovered the power of storytelling. Whether through photography or other mediums, I've always been drawn to capturing and sharing narratives that reflect the richness of my surroundings, especially in Kaduna.

It's a fulfilling journey to document and contribute to the cultural tapestry through my creative lens. As a photographer, it is second nature to me to want to share my work with the world. My journey into content creation began organically. Inspired by the vibrant stories and traditions, I used my camera to capture and share these narratives. 

I started in 2017. When I first joined Instagram. Navigating this space as a woman, I discovered strength in spotlighting diverse stories. It's a journey of shattering stereotypes, amplifying genuine voices, and championing women's representation in the creative realm. Through this path, I've evolved beyond being a content creator and becoming an advocate for diverse narratives.

Vetum Gima Galadima(@vetumgaladima):

I’ve always wanted to be admired. But to also be appreciated for it and to make others feel good about themselves. Time, space, hard work and creativity just clicked, and I began Professionally in 2020. 


Zainab Mustapha Ismail(@Craxyxeey1): 

Yes, I started creating small videos with my Nokia when I was 13. I'll make videos of random things, but I stopped since I didn’t have a bigger phone and was in school most of the time. Lockdown and TikTok gave me the time and motivation to start content creation entirely. I made a lot of videos on TikTok, but I didn’t know I had a WhatsApp TV, too, where I posted them for friends and family but all in all, Instagram blew me up. I got more recognised, and here I am now.

When I started making videos, I’d show my family members, and we’d laugh it off even though some family members tagged it as rubbish. My close family motivated me, especially my dad. So, I had the support of my family, and I didn’t give up. I kept on making videos back to back and kept on posting even without likes till I got recognised. 

What challenges have you faced in your growth as a female content creator working and living in Northern Nigeria?


Amira Maryam Shuaibu(@shnookums):

Alhamdulillah. I have the most incredible support system anyone could ever ask for in my husband and the rest of my loved ones. So, my challenges are something I overcame with a little bit of ease. Acceptance was one. We live in a very modest and conservative society, so thinking outside the box and veering from the norm doesn’t come without criticism. Especially when you’re female and putting yourself out there. 

But I try as much as possible to stay true to myself and always do things following what is morally right. Not just follow cultural and social constructs. Resources were another. Nigeria is still a third-world country, unfortunately. So, being a content creator in these parts comes with many limitations. There's so much potential in all of us that we’re unable to reach because of the inadequacy of our systems. Be it access to the right kind of clients, materials, amenities, exposure and so on.


Simnom Emmanuel(@radioratt):

Mostly, all eyes are on you while shooting, and you will answer many questions. Some people also say you are just lazy if this is the career path you want to choose; people also see it as you showing your life to the world, and you could quickly be targeted for kidnappings and bad omens; people don't want to take you too severe enough to help your brand go viral. 

I don't have all the right tools and funding to venture into this 100%; it is more challenging to grow a following cause I am not too exposed or twerking in the videos, so it's harder to say now I'll get ads to run for more prominent brands, the equipment isn't there enough, we don't have content creators studios or hubs that one can use, I am always at risk in using window stands on my iPhone for videos.

There isn't support or funding to cater for this career. Also, local brands don't pay enough; they see it as a skill, you know, so they don't pay enough for your services.

Iklima Babangida (@sunshineinapod): 

As a female content creator in Northern Nigeria, I've encountered unique challenges. Overcoming gender stereotypes and misconceptions about the role of women in creative spaces has been a significant hurdle. 

Additionally, balancing cultural expectations with my creative pursuits required navigating delicate nuances. Despite these challenges, I've embraced them as opportunities for growth, using my platform to challenge norms and contribute to a more inclusive narrative for women in the region.

Vetum Gima Galadima(@vetumgaladima)

It's often not taken seriously. Being a Christian minority has its challenges, as well as the issue of insecurity.


Zainab Mustapha Ismail(@Craxyxeey1): 

Well, it was not accessible at all cause I made a lot of videos, and I kept wanting to go viral, but I couldn’t. I kept on trying, kept on making it more dramatic, yet I couldn’t get viewers. Only those on my WhatsApp TV recognised me. 

I opened all the necessary social media accounts, but I still got no followers till one day. Kudos to Arewa Wedding, who posted one of my videos. First, from there, people started following me, and that was how I continuously got recognised. 


What are your plans for this year?

Amira Maryam Shuaibu(@shnookums): I plan to be the best version of myself yet. In 2023, I opened my halal bar - COSMO. So, it was a whirlwind of a year for me. It came with much stress, pain, challenges, and sacrifices. But it also came with growth and blessings. In 2024, I want to put myself first. I like to give my best and love every bit of the process. I plan to take Cosmo and my brand to new heights, and I pray that Allah SWT grants me the strength to do so.


Simnom Emmanuel(@radioratt): Be more consistent and deliberate. To show up regardless, take breaks when necessary, but show up. To learn more as I grow, not close my eyes and ears to learning, to collaborate, reach out to these brands regardless, get the rejection letter and continue reaching out till it turns to Yes. I am planning to transition to YouTube shorts and YouTube in general. I have more ideas to put out and see how close I can get to being a full-time content creator.


Iklima Babangida (@sunshineinapod): My plans for 2024 revolve around further amplifying positive narratives of Kaduna through my content creation. I aim to delve deeper into diverse stories, explore new creative collaborations, and continue challenging stereotypes. Additionally, I aspire to contribute to the growth of the artistic community in Northern Nigeria, fostering connections and creating a positive impact through my work.


Vetum Gima Galadima(@vetumgaladima): I want to make art and travel more.


Zainab Mustapha Ismail(@Craxyxeey1): For 2024, I’ll keep pushing hard and being more passionate as I’ve always been on the job. As I said earlier, I want to start my photography and videography, and I hope I’ll get supporters as I get on my content creation.

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