My family skits inspired by personal experiences — Perpetua Chris

Perpetua Ugwu, aka Perpetua Chris, is an online skit maker and content creator. The social media personality, who has 204,000 followers on Instagram, telks to KEHINDE AJOSE about her career

Tell us about your background?

The ‘Chris’ part of my brand name was taken from my father’s first name. I am the third born in a family of six children. That is why I do a lot of skits that have to do with first, middle and last children. I can relate to a lot of things like that.

I studied Mass Communication at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu State.

How will you describe your childhood?

I won’t say growing up was really tough. We were well trained by our parents, and that is why some of my skits have to do with how African mothers relate with their kids.

Who did you get your sense of humour from?

I believe I got my sense of humour from my dad. He is actually very funny. My mother is also funny.

How did you venture into skit making?

I have been making skits for a while now. I started in 2017. My first skit was shared on Valentine’s Day. I had just bought my first iPhone at the time. I said to myself that one could use an iPhone for other things, aside from chatting. I heard that the camera quality was good, so I decided to use it to make a video. I was in my third year in the university then. An idea popped into my head and I decided to create something. When I made the skit, I was very nervous. I asked myself, ‘Won’t my friends criticise me’? Amazingly, they all loved it. I had shot it a day before, and posted it on Valentine’s Day. However, it did not really do well; though my friends encouraged made me to do more. A popular social media page reposted my third skit, and it gave me a lot of exposure. As of then, I was posting content on Instagram and Musically app, which later became TikTok.

What motivates you to stay consistent?

I have stayed consistent because I started enjoying the attention I was getting. Back then, I was not making money from it. I did not start making skits with the intention to make money. As of that time, I did not even know that people were making money from skit making.

What were the challenges you faced when you started out?

Frustration is normal. I had actually wanted to give up on several occasions. There are times when things wouldn’t just go the way one wants. One would work so hard on a particular skit, and it would only attract few views and comments. That could be frustrating. At times in the past, I would just delete such video because I would be angry with myself. For someone like me who shoots and edits alone, it could be so annoying when things don’t go the way I expected.

However, on some occasions, it is skits that did not require much effort that would ends up doing well. I guess that is just how life is.  There have been instances when it was videos that were created in minutes that would ‘blow up’.

How financially rewarding has skit making been for you?

It has been very financially rewarding. It started paying off for me when people began reaching out to me to advertise for them. That is where I basically get money from. I started getting adverts in 2017; the same year I started out, when I had 10,000 followers. At that time, having 10,000 followers was a big deal.

However, I do this for fun. But, I am enjoying the fact that it comes with money.

How did your parents react when you started out?

At the onset, my parents did not even know about it. They were not on Instagram. My mum was the first to know. She actually loved it and said as long as it was not affecting my studies (I should continue). My dad did not know I was making skits until 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown. When he found out, he did not really like it. But, by then, I had graduated from the university two years earlier.

What makes you different from other skit makers?

I have my style, which is unique to me. I don’t copy anybody. I just do my own thing. Though there are other skit makers who do the African mother concept, I also do school concepts. Meanwhile, I am still trying to create other concepts. I try to stand out as much as I can. Most of my skits revolve around how people handle family and school affairs. I have realised that people relate with such concepts. So, I focus more on people’s life experiences.

Have you done skits based on a personal experience?

Yes, I have. All the family skits I have shot were drawn from my personal experiences.

When do you regard as your most memorable moment as a skit maker?

My most memorable moments were when  bigger platforms shared my content. When people like Tunde Ednut and Don Jazzy repost my skits, I always feel so happy. I like it when celebrities comment on my skits as well. Things like that usually give me more engagement, and that tells me I am doing something good.

The competition among skit makers is fierce. Does it put you under pressure?

Being a skit maker is very competitive right now. Everybody has a phone, and lots of people want to be content creators. These days, people are now even more interested in skit making because they hear that content creators make a lot of money. Since the advent of TikTok, content creation has become more competitive.

Right now, one of my regrets is the fact that I did not focus on TikTok, Facebook and YouTube when I started.

How has social media helped you grow your brand?

Social media is a powerful tool, though some people say it does more harm than good. However, I believe that social media does more good than harm. It has brought a lot of opportunities for so many people. Who would have thought that people would be able to pay their bills through social media? It has helped my brand a lot. I am grateful for social media.

How do you respond to funny requests from men?

That is normal. I get such messages almost every day. But, I ignore anything that is not focused on my work as a skit maker.

How do you unwind?

I unwind by watching movies. It is a form of relaxation for me.

How do you like to dress?

I wear all kinds of outfits; provided they look good on me.

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