By: Toluwalope Ayeye
A deep look into the entertainment scene in UI might not necessarily bring up much for discussion as it is no news that compared to other schools, the University of Ibadan suffers a lot in terms of its distribution of student creatives and entertainers. This is not to say that there are no entertainers or creatives in the university community as that would be false; musicians, actors, artists are just a few of the categories of creatives that make up the UI entertainment scene.
An aspect of entertainment that suffers greatly amongst others in the university’s entertainment realm is that of stand up comedy and skit making. This can be attributed to various causes including the little room in existence for their growth. For this piece, Indy press spoke to a number of skit makers of the few that make up the community in UI while looking into the scene if skitmaking in the University.
The journey to skitmaking
For every creative who makes a conviction to focus on their craft, the defining moment when this decision was made and the events leading up to it differ. While it takes some a period of conscious advance planning, strategizing and familiarization with skit making before diving in, others flirt commit fully after brief flirtation with the idea. For Rae Timzy (Timehin Akingbile), it was a mixture of both.
While the name, Rae Timzy, might sound familiar to only a few Uites, Akingbile (or more accurately, Dr. Akingbile) would definitely ring a bell to many. Rae Timzy, a 400 level medical student and skit maker known for making content focusing on relatable happenings in medical school, first started making what he called ‘dry jokes’ in 2018. At that point, he had not considered what he did a skit and viewed it as ‘playing with his phone and camera.’ While he only posted a few videos between 2018 and 2019, he decided to go all out in 2020, eventually deciding to stick to it.
Juggling skitmaking and student life
Being a Uite is hard, and juggling other activities alongside the studentship can make it even more difficult. Perhaps, skitmaking would be one of those activities that takes the cake. To grow in the realm of skit making means fulfilling a lot of conditions including being consistent however that might prove challenging with the tight UI schedule.
Rae Timzy admits that although at some point he intended to stop skit making and focus on school, he didn’t. ‘’I believe if you have something you enjoy, doing it would not be stressful and this is something I enjoy.” He apprised Indy Press of his love for both skit making and medical school and how that has helped him in balancing these two demanding activities.
Chibunna, with the stage name, _samblingz, acknowledges his inconsistency in skitmaking, attributing it to the demanding nature of his studentship. He explains that it isn’t easy balancing it and has sometimes thought of quitting. The thoughts do not last for long, however, as he still manages to find a common ground between skits and academic life at the Department of Chemistry.
Being consistent with these important parts of their life seems a yardstick for deciding if truly they can effectively balance them. Consistency might however be a hassle, as some would even say it takes a lot of dedication and time. This is why they’ve turned to routines to stay consistent. Rae, for instance, only shoots his videos during weekends. He goes to his home in Ibadan every weekend, where his sister helps with recording videos on his phone, and returns to school on Sundays. This way, he can consistently churn out videos and balance school with work with skitmaking.
Adeglossy has a pattern she follows every semester. A pattern which she admits is not advisable, but has been effective for her. “I use the first 7 weeks in the semester to do more content and less reading while I use the remaining weeks which are close to exams to do more reading and less content,” she stated.
Drawing inspiration for the creative process
During interviews with these skit makers, a common theme emerged: their unwavering commitment to creating relatable content which heavily influences their creative ideas. For Ade Glossy, inspiration stems from her immediate surroundings, including school, hostel life, interactions with friends, and even comments on his videos. These everyday experiences serve as a rich source of material for his skits.
Timzy, on the other hand, focuses on crafting content that resonates specifically with medical students. He endeavors to make his skits relatable to his peers, incorporating medical terminology and experiences from his own journey as a medical student. His “Olodo” series is a testament to this approach. Meanwhile, Chibunna finds his inspiration during moments of quiet reflection. These periods of introspection allow him to tap into his creativity and generate ideas for his skits.
For skit makers, inspiration and motivation serve as vital driving forces that keep them engaged in their craft. While the presence of a mentor or industry figure may not be universally crucial, it can still play a significant role in shaping the direction of their work.
Take Rae Timzy; he was heavily influenced by Femi Uche, aka ‘I am Spreado’ and Sydney Talker early in his skit-making journey. These individuals impacted the type of content he produced. However, it was after watching Layi Wasabi’s videos that he underwent a significant transition in his approach. “When Layi Wasabi came, he brought a different kind of content and I just liked it. So I just like tried to do something similar, you know? Shoot videos of yourself talking to yourself stuffs like that.”
Similarly, Chibunna, the 300-level chemistry student, found inspiration to start making skits by watching Oluwa Dolarz and Brother Shaggi. Their comedic styles and storytelling techniques motivated him to enter the world of skit making.
When creativity meets strategic Skitmaking
Through organic and inorganic means, viewers find themselves on a skit maker’s page. However, it takes more to keep them enthralled. Algorithms play a significant role in determining visibility, while relatable content ensures resonance with the audience. Additionally, the quality of the video production is crucial in retaining viewer interest. These skitmakers understand this and that is why they make it a point to not just make relatable skits, but also ensure that it is captivating. This however doesn’t necessarily need as much as many would expect, just a phone and simple editing skills.
Adeglossy reiterates this, saying that while it might be a surprise for many she doesn’t use any special equipment for shooting her video, as she only uses her iPhone XR and ring light. This approach is similar to that of Timzy and Chibunna, who also prioritize low-budget content creation over expensive equipment.
For editing their videos, all three skitmakers prefer to handle the editing themselves as they believe they can achieve the desired results more effectively. They opt for user-friendly editing apps like Inshot and Capcut, which offer a range of features without requiring special skills. This DIY approach allows them to maintain creative control over their content while maximizing accessibility and efficiency in the editing process.
In addition to creating relatable and clear videos, maintaining a consistent audience requires strategic promotion efforts. Skitmakers employ various methods to ensure their content stands out amidst the sea of videos on platforms like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. Chibunna, for instance, leverages group chats where members engage with and repost his content, while also relying on algorithms to boost visibility. Glossy focuses on producing relatable content to attract viewers, while Timzy utilizes multiple social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. He has even utilized Instagram ads in the past and emphasizes the importance of viewer assistance through reposting and sharing. These promotional strategies help skitmakers expand their reach and cultivate a loyal audience base.
A non-existent culture of skitmaking in UI
When Indy Press decided to highlight the skitmakers at UI, it revealed a stark reality: the skitmaking community on campus is barely existent as acknowledged by the respondents for this article. Many Uites are apprehensive about engaging in activities outside academics, fearing it might affect their performance. Adeglossy emphasizes the importance of balance, asserting that excelling academically and socially is achievable without one suffering.
“Many UITES think engaging in other activities will probably derail them or bring them down academically. I think teaching them balance and making them know they can excel in both (Academically and socially) one doesn’t have to suffer.” Timzy and Chibunna echo these sentiments, citing the lack of mentorship and guidance for aspiring skitmakers as a hindrance to their success.