Travel Vlog That Paid Off

Youtube be­comes the new travel in lu­encer, with some earn­ing from it, writes Eu­nice Mu­rathe

Business Daily (Kenya) - - TRENDS -

E[^VVX]V Xb QTR^\ X]V P QXV Qdbx]tbb fxcw b^\t EXST^ Ratpc^ab TPA]X]V \X[[X^] ^U BWX[[X]VB AD­VEN­TURE ON VIDEO 64 per cent of trav­ellers watch videos when think­ing about tak­ing a trip. GOOGLE RE­SEARCH

Farhana Ober­son, 23, had no idea what vlog­ging is all about. She was just doc­u­ment­ing her trav­els and killing bore­dom while study­ing in Malaysia. That was be­fore Youtube be­came the new in­flu­encer in travel.

“I was go­ing through a dif­fi­cult time in Malaysia dur­ing the sec­ond year of my stud­ies. Then my mother en­cour­aged me to go out and ex­plore the Langkawi Is­land, film and share the videos with them back home in Kenya,” says Farhana.

She filmed dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tions in Malaysia us­ing her iphone 5 and as a way of keep­ing a per­sonal di­ary, she posted them on Youtube and that is how her video blog—rafiki Squad— be­came a pas­sion and a ca­reer.

“I didn’t start it to be fa­mous, I merely up­loaded the videos to show my fam­ily back home about the trips that I would go on alone in Malaysia. How­ever, friends started shar­ing my videos and that gave me the en­cour­age­ment to con­tinue shar­ing my ad­ven­tures.”

She would up­load one video every four to five months but now she posts twice every week, on Tues­day and Satur­day.

Her Youtube chan­nel now boasts 14,152 view­ers and earns her some money.

For each up­loaded video, she earns about $3 to $4 (Sh300 to Sh400).

Glob­ally, Youtu­bers are be­com­ing the new in­flu­encers in travel and vlog­ging is grow­ing into a big busi­ness with some suc­cess­ful video cre­ators earn­ing mil­lion of shillings an­nu­ally.

Farhana’s suc­cess has seen her part­ner with ho­tels such as Ser­ena Beach Re­sort and Kenya Bay in mar­ket­ing their re­sorts on­line.

Snapchat and In­sta­gram have also helped her build a fol­low­ing and pro­mote her travel con­tent.

Farhana has just com­pleted her Bach­e­lor’s de­gree in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion and she is now fo­cus­ing fully on build­ing her travel vlog­ging.

“I was shocked when a Saudi Ara­bian tour­ing Africa sent me pho­tos of every place I had video­taped. It was a photo of a cof­fee shop sell­ing

kawatungu and halua and a diner lo­cated in Old Town in Mom­basa. That re­ally amazed me,” says Farhana, adding that it in­spired her to do more videos.

She has show­cased Naivasha, Maa­sai Mara, Lamu and Mom­basa des­ti­na­tions in her travel vlog.

She says she shoots videos of the ev­ery­day places that we go to and of­ten take for granted. ‘‘You don’t need to go to fancy places. Some ideas just come while I am in the shower and they turn into a huge suc­cess. While shoot­ing, I am al­ways imag­in­ing that I am talking to my Rafiki Squad.’’

To Farhana, film­ing the Eid Mubarak fes­tiv­i­ties was the most elec­tri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as she got to show the way of life of peo­ple.

“I love most the Eid Mubarak and Wel­come to Italy videos on my Youtube chan­nel. In them, I not only showed the places but I was also able to tell a story of the peo­ple of the place.”

Video blog­ging has also en­abled her to tell the story of hi­jabs. In a so­ci­ety where peo­ple be­lieve that be­ing a Mus­lim woman hin­ders one from dis­cov­er­ing the mod­ern world, she says, her par­ents have been sup­port­ive.

“I have been crit­i­cised a num­ber of times but re­li­gion should not limit any­one from do­ing any­thing pos­i­tive. Hav­ing a scarf (hi­jab) should not limit you to ex­plore all pos­si­bil­i­ties the world has to of­fer. I al­ways ig­nore all the com­ments on my wear­ing of a hi­jab and some­times such crit­i­cism mo­ti­vates me to work harder,” she says.

Her Youtube Chan­nel won the OLX Soma Awards re­cently and she is look­ing to en­cour­age other girls to wake up and see what the world has to of­fer.

“I want to make an im­pact while earn­ing. I am plan­ning on adding ed­uca­tive con­tent to my chan­nel. “I have girls who text me on the chal­lenges they are fac­ing and I have been their ray of hope and in­spi­ra­tion.’’

One of her chal­lenges has been bal­anc­ing be­tween film­ing and en­joy the mo­ment.

“Vlog­ging in Kenya can also be ex­tremely hard, peo­ple think you are go­ing to sell their videos when you film them, oth­ers sim­ply stand and stare straight at me while I talk to the cam­era and oth­ers come and join in the fun by mak­ing funny faces,” she says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.