Obasanjo’s Internet – Salem King

Did you know that there are approximately 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide? Can you imagine how differently we all use the internet? Obasanjo’s Internet is our interview series where we talk to some of our internet favorites about how they relate to the internet and what it means for them and their work. This week, popular content creator and storyteller Salem King talks to us about how he uses Obasanjo’s internet.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I’m going for a long walk. At first I didn’t know what it was doing to me. All I knew was that I liked going for walks. Sometimes I walked for about an hour or two. As my career started to grow and I started to feel pressure from the world, walking became a thing I did to control my day because as soon as I pick up my phone and open the apps my attention becomes steered in different directions.

How do you use the Internet: professionally or privately?

Both tbh. I use different platforms differently. When I get on Instagram, it’s work; Instagram isn’t really where I do my mindless scrolling. And even if I scroll mindlessly, it’s still work.

What moment or episode in your life do you think captured the essence of the internet?

For me it was one day when I posted a random post: It was a picture of me with the caption “What’s bothering you?”. I have a very engaged community, so everyone started responding with whatever was bothering them. I thought they were saying things related to social media or Instagram, but people were sharing very deep life things and I saw it and I was like, ‘God, who sent me?’ I was overwhelmed, so I hung up just take my phone away. I later came back to the post and saw that something interesting had happened. Apparently when people saw the post and read the caption, people went to the comments section and started replying to other people. At the end of the day I didn’t have to reply to anyone because people started helping each other. It was so nice to see.

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Your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram. It’s the one that has blessed me the most.

What was the last meme you saved?

Do you remember the first time something you posted went viral? What was it? How did that make you feel?

I can’t really remember. From these moments I move on a little too quickly. I made a post a few days ago that has almost 500,000 views. After this post I made 4 more posts. Some people would rather just chill and let the post keep gaining ground; I would do another video the same day – I don’t care. A video I made that went super viral (has about 800,000 views) is a very silly video: not the type of content I would normally create. It’s a video where I went to the Landmark Hotel and Beach Resort and fell into the water.

What was the biggest outrage you’ve ever felt about something you’ve posted? How did you react to that?

I guess I was lucky not to have been on that side of things. I think my content is not very polarizing. It’s stuff that most people will agree with. Some of this might challenge your beliefs, but not in a way that makes you want to fight me.

What rules do you live by on the internet?

I don’t follow anyone I don’t really like. I don’t post anything I don’t feel comfortable with being on the internet forever. I interact with my audience as if they were real people: I don’t see them as numbers in my bio.

What is your guiltiest online pleasure?

tick tock

Would you say you have an online persona?

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Definitive. I’ve had people meet me in real life and ask me, “why are you acting shy?” because my online personality is way out there. It’s not really an online persona, but more of a persona for my videos. I morph into character in my videos and my videos grow to define how people perceive me.

What’s your favorite emoji and why?

🚀. That’s exactly how I feel about life: We’re going up. It’s also my favorite emoji because I’m out of this world.

Do you attach particular importance to your food?

nope I used to be, but I don’t care anymore. Instagram has postponed what they prioritize. For me, all of my content is black and white, so instead of buffing a “weakness,” I just double down on whatever I have on me. I’m just trying to keep everything consistent and not post colors in a way that yells at you.

YouTube or TikTok? Which do you prefer and why?

I prefer YouTube because of YouTube Premium: videos play in the background, I don’t get ads, etc. YouTube takes up a big part of my day; I use it at the gym, in the shower and while cooking. I can’t do that with TikTok because I have to keep touching the screen.

Which Nigerian creator do you think the world should see and hear more of?

Erich Gugua.

Who is the coolest person you follow and the coolest person to follow you?

It changes, but right now, Don Jazzy is the coolest person to follow me. Dontae Catlett is the coolest person I follow.

What is your favorite Nigerian podcast?

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I don’t really have one. If I had to choose, it would be Joey Akan’s Afrobeats Intelligence. This is a solid podcast.

Have you ever hooked up with someone you met online?

I met my girlfriend on Instagram.

5 people you’d like to see answer these questions

Amazing Klef, Tariq, Kagan Tech, Layi Wasabi and Nonye.

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