In one of her videos, unprovoked, Alice Marve takes to the streets and pours sand on the road, even as the janitor was still sweeping the floor. In a more recent video, again unprovoked, she spanks a random man on the streets. When he turned back to know what the problem was, she held her ground, staring into his eyes, to see his reaction. It took him a while it seemed to realise that he had done absolutely nothing. He chased her and she ran. That was the point, for him to chase her.
That video has been watched 4.8 million times.
Alice Marve is part of a new community of young Nigerians who have found a home on TikTok, the Chinese-based social media platform popular with gen-z. The influence that they wield from making prank videos, dancing videos, lip-syncing videos and all kinds of video content, has become so resounding, that TikTok has opened an office in Lagos, complete with Nigerian staff.
“I saw random posts about TikTok and liked the way the whole app looked. There was no special invitation. I just saw the app, and I liked it,” she said in a new interview exclusively with Technext. That was barely a year ago.
Now, Alice Marve owns one of the fastest-growing accounts on the platform, accounting for almost 300,000 followers from just October last year till now.
The making of Alice Marve
“I started my skit making in October last year,” she said.
But it was in January this year that she started taking it seriously. “I saw the response from people. I saw how people liked the first videos that I did. I just continued.” With no strategic planning, she started making her prank video just for fun while holding a 9 to 5 job. “Sometimes things just happen unexpectedly,” she said.
Her bet on herself has paid off drastically. Already she has become a household name on the platform, posting sponsored content, employing a team to assist with her skits and making money while at it.
“I got calls for people to advertise their songs and run ads for their product,” she said. “It’s just something I love doing.”
About making money
Though when she started making money “it felt good,” she said that there is still so much she would like to achieve with the brand. “I felt like, at least, I am making progress. Not satisfied, but happy,” she said.
She said that the nature of her prank skits as they are presented on her TikTok account is intended to capture the reactions of random strangers. And, she insists that she isn’t in it to make people angry unprovoked. “It’s a prank comedy,” she said.
“I don’t do the skit to make people feel mad. I intend to make the prank as cruise. It doesn’t hurt anybody. Its just for fun.”Alice Marve
Some unpleasant experiences
But this her pursuit, “cruise” as she calls it hasn’t been without some repercussions. Many times she has been in trouble which subjects who don’t take her pranks well. she told the story once when a subject at the gym didn’t take it well and that landed her in trouble.
“It was at a gym where the guy almost got mad,” she said. “It was through the intervention of my backup team that I got out of it.”
Much ado about monetisation
Monetising directly from TikTok is still a problem for many Nigerian creators. When influencing money doesn’t come as it should, history shows that influencers can have all their following and still see it as insignificant.
Other social media platforms are seeking to solve this challenge in a different way. Snapchat has announced they are working on plans to give creators a cut from what they make from advertising. YouTube has been paying influencers for years.
Though TikTok has been paying creators since 2020, Alice Marve said that many Nigerian creators are not being paid for their content. “They should start paying us,” she said.
What lies ahead for Alice Marve?
In the meantime, her focus is to make her followers happy with her videos.
“This life is too short to be too serious,” she said. “I want people to be happy. I create my skits for fun because I just love creating skits. Expect the very best.”
Her advice for people is a version of living your best life. “Don’t be scared to express yourself. Feel free to do what you feel like doing. Enjoy yourself. Catch cruise.”
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