Thursday, 15 December 2016

"Hardwork, consistency and a very thick skin got me to where I am today"- Bandy Kiki of Kinnaka's Blog


Beta Girls hooked up with young Cameroonian entrepreneur, and online influencer; Bandy Kiki. She is the Creator of top influential Cameroonian blog; Kinnaka's Blog and also creator of top Cameroonian TV website; Kinnaka TV. She let us in on her personal life and her journey to success! Here is what she shared with us:

How would you explain your childhood? What spectacular aspects of your upbringing influenced your entrepreneurial drive?

I had a very "normal" childhood. However, if you think inciting fights in school can influence entrepreneurial drive then I had a lot of it, joking! I think watching my mum closely influenced the person I am today. She is a born leader and tried so many businesses when we were young. I would like to think she was well ahead of her time and thus influenced my ability to envisage and pursue my dreams. 

What was your personality like, growing up? Were you always competitive? Nerdy? Eager to learn? Focused? 

I was a combination of many things, I still am. Stubborn, inquisitive, smart, rebellious and much more. I had a lot of fun growing up. By the way, I am looking for my childhood friend who I only remembered as Joyce. We went to Government Nursery School, Jakiri together and her mother was our class one teacher. My family moved after class one and I have never seen or heard from her since then. No one in my family remembers her surname, so it is difficult searching for her on social media. If you are reading this and you know her, please leave a comment in the comment section. 

What did you study, and where?

After a catholic primary education, I proceeded to Saint Augustine's College (SAC) Nso, where I studied for 7 years and obtained my A'Levels. I spent a year in Yaounde 1 studying Geology and due to language barriers (I can't speak French), I moved to the UK and started to study Microbiology which I would like to think I am very good at. 

Did you choose your field of study? Or was it your parent’s influence. If you chose it, why did you choose that particular field of study? 

I did choose my field of study. My parents are teachers and therefore understand the need for one to choose what they want to study. The dream was to work as a Microbiologist with international NGOs around Africa. Unfortunately, I can't handle the sight of a diseased body or anything with weird patterns!

What inspired the creation of Kinnaka’s Blog?

My love for the web, juicy stories and news inspired Kinnaka's Blog.

What inspired the creation of Kinnaka TV?

A lot of things inspired the creation of Kinnaka TV, but the ultimate inspiration was, the fact that Cameroon doesn't really have a well run and branded video content entertainment platform online. The creation of Kinnaka TV was my way of filling the market gap. 

Describe how you felt when you had the idea and what moves you made towards making it happen.

I see time as a luxury and believe that people shouldn't sleep on brilliant ideas. Immediately I was sure that this is what I wanted to do, I started working on it. Probably took me a few days to decide if it was what I really wanted to do. 

How did you succeed to create an influential blog like Kinnaka’s Blog within a  short space of time?

Hard work, consistency and a very thick skin got me to where I am today. I know a lot of people who started and stopped because they didn't have time to put in enough work or because someone insulted them. I also used and am still using every little opportunity and outlet to introduce the blog to a new audience. 

What challenges did you face and still face in growing your audience to what it is today?

I think keeping up with new trends is really hard. People's interests change fairly rapidly online. The ability to tag along with the trends, or figure out what my audience or potential audience are into can be very challenging.

Your blog is known for posting gossip and controversial stories. Why did you choose that particular line? 

I love juicy news and I think people enjoy it too, which accounts for the great viewership we have on Kinnaka's Blog

You get a lot of negative comments, insults and backlash on your blog’s social media and the comment thread on your blog. How do you handle it?

I take them the way I take the positive feedback. I would be worried if everyone liked or hated the things I do. I think 70% of the negative comments, insults and backlash aren't really personal. Just people expressing themselves in whatever ways they know best. All feedback be it negative or positive is important to my growth, so I welcome them all.

Many people say you are the Linda Ikeji of Cameroon, do you think they are correct in saying so?

Linda is an inspiration to a lot of online business owners around Africa. It is humbling to be likened to her. However, I don't want to work this hard and live in someone else's shadow. Kiki is Kiki...

Kinnaka TV is just a few months old and it is a consistent source of Cameroonian entertainment. How do you manage your staff, given that you are  in the UK and they are in Cameroon?

Some people say I am shrewd...maybe it is down to that. I tell you what though, building a reliable team is the hardess thing I am currently dealing with. Most young people I have worked with have no work ethic and ZERO accountability. It takes a lot of phone calls, voice messages and texts to get most of the work done. I never expected it to be this hard, but then challenges like these separate the weak from the strong. I will like to use this opportunity to thank everyone who has made Kinnaka TV what it is today especially Zinnia (Kinnaka TV's Unplugged Host) and Vicky Fokala (Kinnaka TV's Vox Pop presenter). Thank you for believing in this vision ladies!

Vicky Fokala

What is the success quote or mantra that you live by?

"The GOAL is not to be loved but to live life on my own terms"

What advice would you give to any young girl who wants to start a successful  online business?

Any young girl who wants to start an online business should first understand that it is a crowded market place. Secondly, people easily get distracted by new trends online. It is therefore imperative to be CONSISTENT, CURRENT and PASSIONATE about your product or the services you are selling and tag along with the new trends if you can. 

What are your 5 year entrepreneurial goals?

The goal is to introduce the Kinnaka Brand all over Africa. We want to be recognizable to every one in the African continent. The Kinnaka TV team is currently in talks with a few companies and organisations across. If the talks go well, the partnership and collaborations will make us more visible and propel us towards our goals. 

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  2. Taking action and realising an idea isn't easy, not to talk of nurturing that what has been realised to keep up and exceed standards. Well done and all the best! I hope folks can appreciate.

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