INTERVIEW: Why I quit lecturing for comedy – Instagram comedian, Zicsaloma


Isaac Aloma popularly called Zicsaloma is one of Nigeria’s hottest Instagram comedians, who came from “nothing” to become an online sensation. Aloma, who is known for his comic female character, is a household name on Tik Tok and Instagram where he boasts over 332,000 followers. In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES, he speaks about his humble beginnings and the dynamics of his industry.

Most of these auditions were very competitive, so it just almost like luck, apart from the fact that you can sing.

PT: Following the spontaneous skit that you shared on Facebook, at what point did you decide to come on Instagram?

Aloma: I had an Instagram account at the time but I was not posting comedy skits. I started posting comedy skits actively around 2018 but it was not until the lockdown that I kept doing it consistently. Even though I didn’t have many audiences then, you know how IG is, I got more engagement on my Facebook page but my IG was not really growing. I only had a few people, they were actually enjoying my skits, but my page was not growing. No blog had seen my content to make it go viral, notwithstanding, I kept doing it.

PT: What were you doing for a living before you became famous?

Aloma: I was a part-time English lecturer at the Kaduna State Polytechnic. I served in Kaduna, finished school in 2017 in Kaduna, then stayed serving in 2018, I served at the Kaduna Poly. After my service, I stayed back with them, I was doing a part-time job in private schools and other things. I applied for my master’s, lecturing
and I was doing a lot.

And I still found time to shoot skits, mostly at weekends. I can shoot five skits for the entire week and come home very late.

I was teaching English in a secondary school after school lessons, I then go to Kaduna Poly to lecture around 4 pm.

PT: When did you decide to move to Lagos?

Aloma: I just moved to Lagos in September 2020.

PT: To face comedy fully?

Aloma: Yes, exactly, because I started gaining grounds in comedy. So,  had to resign.

PT: What would you say was the turning point for your brand?

Aloma: Joining Tik Tok during the lockdown was the turning point. I noticed people started using Tik Tok more, so, I joined and I was very confused at first. I started studying and soon realised that a video can go viral without blogs posting you. You know before I was tagging Tunde Ednut and the likes but they never reposted my content.

When I noticed it on Tik Tok, I kept doing and my content started going viral. At a point, I was marvelled, I got 100,000 followers and started getting crazy likes. Blogs from Instagram started seeing my trends because I was hitting close to 2 million views and some celebrities posted my content and after picking it from Tik Tok.
Before I knew it, I started growing, all my platforms started growing. That was the turning point.

PT: So, you do comedy full time now?

Aloma: Yes.

PT: Is it that lucrative? Enough for you to leave your lecturing job?

Aloma: Yes, of course. In fact, as a junior lecturer, you are paid a little less than N100,000 although you will still get little benefits. And that’s not up to what I charge for one of my adverts or skits on Instagram.

PT: So, you make more than your salary on Instagram?

Aloma: Yes, in one post. You notice that I drop adverts every week, and the higher. There are comedians that don’t collect less than N2 million for an advert and they get that every week. So, it’s way more lucrative and you still have endorsements and other gigs. I didn’t even know being an Instagram comedian was this lucrative. I had no idea.

In fact, the first advert I did was 5,000. When I told somebody, he was shocked because I already had over 30k followers and my accounts started growing. He said I’m not supposed to charge less than 50k with my engagement.

PT: I know that you take on the character of a woman.

So, could it be as a result of your childhood, do you mimic a particular character, is it your mom?

Aloma: Not necessarily. As I said, I am generally a very observant person, I could go to a place for one day and mimic the whole place like I’ve been living there for a long time.

When I started, I noticed that people didn’t really like my male characters, they want the female ones, so they kept pushing me back. Even on Tik Tok, if I a make skit, it doesn’t trend but a female skit trends maybe because I’m more dramatic. And of course, I’ve been around ladies more. In my department in the university, 90 percent of us were ladies.

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