I am not okay! Really! For the past two months, I have been unable to breathe properly with the constant headaches, anxiety and panic attacks.
This is a paradox because for the past two months almost all the videos I post on my social media goes viral; I am meant to be pleased as that’s every producer’s dream, but sadly this came with a huge price- My YouTube Channel.
For almost two months, my YouTube channel has been terminated because my former place of work flagged all the snippets I had of myself during my time as a broadcaster at their channel as copyright.
This all began sometime in December; I had woken up to my phone buzzing, a certain video of mine arguing with my co-hosts on if children should wear short surfaced on twitter – the video had been sitting on my channel for over 7 months and I had even completely forgotten about it- I make at least 2 videos every week- it is not possible that I remember every video.
I check and I see that the views are increasing, it has now moved to other social media platforms and in the blink of an eye, almost the whole Nigeria had seen the video. My two former co-hosts are now feeling the heat; the online community is coming down hard on them for daring to sexualize girl children.
My phone is still buzzing, people are calling me and congratulating me for standing up for the girl child, which is my default setting; some are sending me messages that I have finally gotten my lucky break but still, I refused to engage.
Hours passed and this flame seems to only be getting bigger, I am now being accused of manipulating the footage to position myself in a good light and tarnish my former co-hosts image and reputation. “All for success and cheap fame” – that was the tagline.
These accusations are obviously untrue because how can one manipulate a 7-minute video that was downloaded and shared by another person on Twitter; how can I manipulate a video that I had even forgotten existed!
Now my anxiety is off the roof, I usher a statement to beg the online community to take it easy on my co-hosts because they had been blasted from every corner.
I go to bed and wake up to find out that Rave TV had reported my channel; they had begun to speak on how that video was released to tarnish the image of their channel! Till tomorrow, I still cannot understand this line of reasoning!
Nobody from the channel called me to take down the video or find ways to resolve this amicably! I called everyone, from the MD to the producers to retract their statement to YouTube but everyone basically made me realize that I was alone and I should deal with it on my own.
People advised me to bring it online and feed them to the mob, as people are constantly looking for whom to bash and boycott, but I had refused to follow that route; as I speak against the outrage culture online and will be a hypocrite to use it just when it benefits me.
I decide to email YouTube to counter this copyright but till now- nothing has happened (I am still sending messages)
You know I have been wondering why I have been unproductive, unable to schedule tweets or make new videos; I guess I am grieving. I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing because I remember that 4 years of hard work have been erased.
I had over 100 videos, spanning from 2014 during my time at the university. How can I possibly be functioning right? Not only does this reduce my chances at fellowships, grants and job opportunities as I have no track record to show as evidence; it wiped out memories in my life.
It is not merely about the views and the hard work I put into them but the fact that every video had a piece of me.
It was visual evidence of my humble beginnings; I started shooting with a webcam at my school library and in front of the gym. I would walk around campus promoting my channel; speaking to anyone that was willing to listen.
Or do we talk about the videos that I shot with no power, sweating and taking breaks to fan myself and clean my sweat before shooting or is it the video where I had to pause halfway to run to the barber’s shop across the road to charge up my battery so I can finish shooting
I had wanted to be able to go back to the beginning one day and look at how far I had come; I had wanted some young person who wants to do what I do to look at my old videos and tell themselves that they too could do it with the little they had.
I refused to accept that the channel might truly be gone because when I think about it, I get dizzy and forget to breathe. I don’t know! I wish anger was what I felt, at least I could handle that but this feeling of loss and grief has left me heartbroken!
I decided to open a new channel and post some videos I could find but I have been reluctant to push it because that meant that I was acknowledging that my YouTube channel might be gone
But I am tired! I want to breathe; I think I am ready to start afresh and make new memories.
I cannot deny that these few months have taken a toll on me. Yes! I’m still pushing content, recycling old videos and writing blog posts because I can’t check out! Whether I am okay or not, I have to work and the show must go on!
I know this is a long personal essay but its therapy for me; a way to unburden. I am not looking to start trouble with Rave TV; I just need you to help me make this transition as smooth and painless as possible.
So please! Subscribe to my brand new channel and make some new memories with me