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Uchenna Nnabugwu’s Diary: Juggling Family Duties with Multiplatform Content Creation

The Creative Diary is a weekly newsletter exploring the juicy lives of people in various creative fields. Featuring an expressive account of a typical day in the life of the featured creative and a Rapid Cruise section where a series of random personal questions are attempted. It’s a fun and exciting ride you don’t want to miss.

Uchenna Nnabugwu, also known as Your Favourite Igbo Boy is a content creator, booktoker and bookstagrammer actively known for his unbiased book reviews and opinions. Uchenna has converted his deeply rooted passion for reading and marketing into stable sources of income after seasons of longing to study Medicine.

Asides from running his personal pages across several social media platforms, he juggles multiple jobs as a social media manager for Hazel books, and a TikTok content creator for Brittle Paper.

What time do you wake up, what do you do in the morning?

I usually wake up around 5 am. The first thing I do is press my phone. I do that till 5:30 am when we have our morning devotion. After that, I go back to sleep again till 8:00 am and then I have to work. Sometimes I wake up by 9, it depends.

Okay, so what time did you wake up today?

Okay now, this morning I actually woke up late. I woke up past 8 am and made breakfast. 

What did you cook?

I just prepared something quick. I fried potatoes and pepper sauce.

Okay, Sweet potatoes or Irish potatoes?

Yes, sweet potatoes. 

Yeah okay, Irish is better, but then…

I actually like sweet foods so I mostly buy sweet potatoes.

Oh okay.

So I fried the potatoes in the morning and ate them alone. I live with my dad and my brother. 

When I’m cooking, I usually cook two types of food: one without salt for my dad and the other with salt and pepper. For instance, If I’m cooking jollof rice, let me say I’ve fried the stew and I’m dividing the water, I’ll separate it before adding pepper and salt. Then I’ll cook his own separately.

That’s stressful.

Yes, that’s what I normally go through. Just like yesterday, it was so hectic, I had to work in the morning and I didn’t even eat breakfast. I ate my first food by 4 pm yesterday cause I was so busy. I attended to my clients and finished around 12pm. Then I cooked rice. I had to separate it because of my dad. I cooked Ogbono soup. Let’s not even talk about the stress of grinding the Ogbono, slicing the okra, and cooking the meat.

By the time I was done with those ones, I laundered the clothes I was supposed to wear today. 

I returned to work in the evening.

Where do you work, and what do you do apart from creating content?

Okay so I’m a social media manager, but I focus more on the content creation aspect. I’m involved with brands. I help brands create content that helps them connect to their audience. That’s mostly what I partake in. And I work with a bookstore, Hazel books as a social media manager and content creator. I also work with a literary magazine in the US, Brittle paper. I handle only their TikTok. And then I work with a financial service as a social media manager.

So you juggle these things daily?

Yes, somehow. I have to post some content from Monday to Friday, while I’m required to post some three times a week. But there’s another one I have to post every day, morning and evening. 

That aside. I post on my own personal pages. I consider it a business and I’m serious about it. So yeah sometimes I have to create content on my own page. Even though NEPA will frustrate my life.

Well-done.

Thank you. 

Your videos are really nice. You just have this really nice spice to booktok and bookstagram content creation.

Thank you, and that’s my selling point.

Oh, that’s where the money is.

Yeah. Let me say career-wise, I wanted to study medicine, but I wasn’t given the opportunity to study it. 

I did IJMB so I’d use it to get into 200 level. During this period, I was already doing bookstagram and then I was like, if I want to do medicine now, I’ll not have time to actually do this part o. So I finished the IJMB program in 2020, just before the lockdown started.

So are you still in school presently?

No, I’m not even in school. So, I finished the program and applied to ABU Zaria.  I was not given admission that 2020. The next year 2021, the same thing happened. But over time, during all these, I was actually creating content for myself and also working with brands, Then the realisation hit me. Is it not better for me to just go and study marketing or mass communication since that’s what I’ve been doing and interested in?

Initially, what I knew growing up was that professional courses were lucrative. That was one of my reasons for wanting to do medicine. 

I feel like that’s before. Right now, Nigeria is a mess.

Hmm, that’s true. That was the mindset I had back then. Until reality hit me and I was like please, I don’t want to do anything science. I would have gone to study marketing, but I’d have to rewrite WAEC again and start over with a new subject combination.  Currently, I don’t think I can handle that while doing all this work. I also have to take care of the family. I’m like the main breadwinner.

Well done, let me commend you.

So I’m currently taking courses related to social media marketing and marketing in general on Coursera. Though, I’ve always wanted a university degree. But at the same time, hm, I’ll just wait.

You just have to find yourself and find your happiness. You can chase other courses later. There are so many ways to get a certificate. Don’t put pressure on yourself. You’re doing something now that is actually worth it.

That’s true.

So we’ve covered your mornings, what do you do after work?

After work, on social media, I still check on what’s happening, reply to comments, engage with other people’s content, and at the same time, I also read. Sometimes I can just decide to chill and read a book. When I’m busy, I mostly listen to audiobooks. That’s one of the reasons I’m able to read more. 

Sometimes in a day, when listening to audiobooks, I’m able to finish one book in a day and maybe start the second book. I return to physical books when I’m less busy. I currently have more than 20 unread books here with me.

Oh, that’s quite a lot.

And at this stage, I can’t kill myself, I have to work and pay bills and since most of the books are PR copies, I can’t spend my whole day trying to read them when I have work to do. And sometimes when I’m tired, I’ll just watch a movie and sleep.

How long do you work?  

Let’s say from 8 till 11. But during intervals, I might go out to buy okpa.

What’s that?

It’s Bambara nut, and I really like it. It’s just that I don’t have it at home normally.  Sometimes I prepare it. I think I’ve not prepared it this year at all, so I mostly just go out to buy it in the morning and maybe I’ll take it with pap or sprite. I  also respond to my personal chats and other things. Honestly, I feel 24 hours is not enough again these days with what I do. I have to work, I have to be a brother, I have to be a friend, I have to be a lot,  and 24 hours is not enough. 

Yeah, well done.

Sometimes I have to keep up with trends. 

Although there are days that batch-creating content comes in. Let’s say for the brand whose TikTok I’m handling, I would take a day or two to plan and write down one month of content ideas. After writing them down, I’ll use another day to batch-shoot the content, so at the end, I’ll have like 12 videos.

That’s actually a very smart move.

Yes, so after that, I’ll try to edit some the next day. If I can’t edit all at once, I’ll edit for that week. As for the captions and hashtags, I’ll also take a day to research them and put them there so I’ll know all that’s left is to post.  

The second brand is almost the same thing too. I always batch-create the content.

What I do is, maybe if I have a content idea and just write it down, once it reaches morning or evening or a day before I’ll just think about what I’m creating and do the content.

For my own personal feed, batch-creating depends on the type of content I want to create. Most times, I cannot shoot more than 1 content in a day, because it takes me time to do those transitions because it’s only me. I shoot my content by myself, so, I don’t batch-create content, I just create content when I can.

Let’s say I see a concept and I want to recreate or take inspiration from there and add my personality, I need to think, how did they come about this? How did they do this?

Sometimes,  I might see a fashion influencer or a fashion content creator engaging in a trend going on in that niche/industry and I want to create that in my own bookish way, I’ll now think, how do I do this?

But for TikTok, I can actually batch-create content because I don’t do a lot of transitions where I’m turning here and doing this, appearing and reappearing. TikTok is mostly vibes, I can create like 5 or 10, it depends.

Hmm, that’s interesting. Super interesting. I think it’s a lot of work to have to do all of that. How many hours of research do you do before creating content?

It can be one hour or two. One thing I actually try to focus on and have control over is the quality of my content.  I consume content with two eyes. I consume it like, okay, I love to see it, but also from the aspect of I’m a content creator.  

Alright, that’s cool. You probably have a lot of favourite books, what’s one book that stands out for you, and why?

Hmm, this question is hard. For me I can not say one book, rather I’ll say, author. There is Jennifer Makumbi Nansubuga, an Ugandan author. She’s the author of The First Woman, Kintu, and Manchester Happened.  

I love fiction, I love when books are able to take me into another world. I get to learn and at the same time I’m fascinated. Jennifer’s books do that to me.

What are your top 5 books?

A Broken People’s Playlist and Tomorrow Died Yesterday by Chimeka Garricks, Jennifer’s The First Woman, 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Tomorrow I Become a Woman by Aiwanose Odafen. 

Would you rather be the villain or hero in a story?

I think I enjoy villains more. Sometimes I might even be rooting for the villain in the story. 

How fast can you finish reading a book?

It depends on the book I’m reading. Some might take a day, some books might take a week. I read multiple books, I can read 4 books at a time. 

Do you ever DNF books?

Yes, there are some books I’ve DNFed. The most recent one is Wahala by Nikki May, The book was not doing it for me.

Okay, let’s do the Kiss, Marry and Kill for books. Which book would you like to read again for the first time?

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

Which book do you wish you had written?

Tomorrow Died Yesterday.

Which book do you wish was never written?

Harry Potter. Anybody that wants to drag me should come and drag me. I’ve never even read the book, and I have no interest in reading it.

Harry Potter fans are coming for you. What do you love most about yourself?

No matter how rough it gets, I always show up. I feel like I’m lazy, but at the same time, I know how to get things done.

What’s a secret you can share with the world?

I love eating golden morn, is that one secret?

Okay. So what’s a funny meme stuck in your head?

This ‘the pressure is getting werser’. 

What are four things you’ll never be caught doing?

I don’t even know. Stealing, I’m always of this principle of doing unto others what you’ll have them do to you so I don’t like cheating. I don’t like drinking coffee, because of the flavour, I don’t like coffee. 

What’s your Zodiac sign?

Taurus. That’s it.

What can you be caught doing when you’re not reading or creating content?

Cooking, or eating.

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