… East Africa’s YouTube King.
Meet Shaquille Oneill, a 19 year old undergraduate at the United States International University (USIU) Africa. Known as ShaqTheYungin on Social Media platforms, he got his first major break on YouTube and garnered almost a hundred thousand views in less than a year. He has since gone on to host major events and a TV show in his homeland. He also bagged an Endorsement deal with major clothing brand Yédu.
Prayzzz’s Blog got to meet this Sponsor. Check out the full interview below:
PB: Please tell my readers a bit about yourself.
STY: Well I’m shaq…obviously , no one ever believes that’s my real name but it is. It’s short for Shaquille O’Neill. I’m a 19 year old student at USIU studying Internatiomal Business Administration. I’m also a Youtuber, a TV host and a radio host and of late an event host.
PB: What was Growing up like for you?
STY: Growing up for me was a real hustle. I was raised by a single mum with nothing really to our name, I wasn’t the richest kid on the, neither was I the brokest. My life before always had seasons, the highs and the lows were extreme. When cash was there it was there, when it wasn’t, it wasn’t. I was raised by society and I believe I grew before my time. I knew the hustle when I was still in school and once I knew I’d be the only one to change my life, I just never stopped working towards doing so.
PB: When did your journey with YouTube begin. What inspired you to start your channel?
STY: It kicked off in April about 7 months ago. I’ve always wanted to be on TV and to host my own show where I decide what is said and who is on. The bigger idea however was to have a platform where my views actually matter and I get to express myself without having to have an expectation from people on how to express myself. And so that’s it, one day my hommie had a camera and after one take of blubbering with it , I asked him to edit and bam! one thing led to another, the first YouTube video came up.
PB: Did you have any professional help?
STY: Nope none at all. I got two hommies to help me out and they loved my idea one had a camera, one knew something about editing and so together we grew from that, each of us learning.
PB: What have your experiences been like since you began?
STY: It’s been a very long journey to be honest. YouTube brought with it a lot of things. New friends, new associates. It came with fame, it came with love it came with hate and also money. I wake up everyday and find the need to remind myself why I started and I won’t stop. I’m going into 2016 a different Shaq all because of YouTube.
PB: You’re a YouTuber and TV host. How do you combine both?
STY: Yeah, well for starters YouTube got me into TV, so I had to bring some YouTube into TV. My concept was the same; entertain but educate and that’s what I’ve been doing all along. I used the same tactics from YouTube and only polished them a bit because although TV is a whole different ball game, its all the same formula. I’ve had to create time for both and also double up on content. It’s been crazy and at times I find myself slacking.
PB: Any endorsement deals so far?
STY: Haha I wanna keep that private, might get your answer in 2016.
PB: The name ShaqTheYungin has become synonymous with the title Sponsor. How did that come to be?
STY: Oh well sometime back when the term Sponsor started becoming popular because of all the drama that was going on with socialites and their lifestyle, I was thinking of a name that would be able to stick in people’s minds. The fact that my name is “Yungin” helped me find a way to infuse Sponsor to my full ‘nickname’ Nairobi’s Youngest Sponsor. That name has however expired since I retired from being a sponsor .
PB: *Laughs*Why did you retire?
STY: People actually took the name seriously and kept asking me to sponsor them. I couldn’t just say I don’t have money to some people anymore *Laughs*.
PB: Since your channel began, have you done any collaborations with YouTubers?
STY: Yeah I have , I’ve worked with three youtubers so far and its been amazing just sharing ideas with other people. I’ve worked with Elodie Zone , Kavenya (kulture takeover) and Wise Nganga.
PB: What was it like working with them. Was there any bad blood initially?
STY: None at all never had any bad blood with any of them, beautiful friendships were built especially with Elodie. I learnt a lot from her and we are still close till today.
PB: Who is your favourite Youtuber?
STY: Well I like this girl called Superwoman’s style and Vitalis too, plus Elodie!
PB: How would you describe your personal style?
STY: My style…well I hate going out and looking like everyone else or anyone at that. I’m urban in my dressing and its very easy to tell me apart from a crowd. I’m into that swaggy but clean look, it works for me everywhere.
PB: Will we ever see Shaq in a suit?
STY: *Laughs* Best answer I’ve given you so far.
PB: Who or what inspires you Fashion Wise?
STY: Well I mix a lot of styles , from Kanye to Chris Brown to Tyga to Wizkid to Davido…a lot of people.
PB: What would you say sets your channel apart from thousands of other YouTube channels out there?
STY: I think that my channel is one of the realest around and it’s evident. I’m not a fan of scripting of direction, it’s not my thing really. I tend to just go with the flow and the people I’m always with on set also feel the independent energy I give off. That’s why I feel people like my channel most, there’s a connection between myself and the viewers.
PB: Awhile ago you became the host of one of East Africa’s TV shows, YOLO. How did you bag that?
STY: All through YouTube, all I can say about that is people are always watching what you do, so do it the best way you can and never give up. It wasn’t easy but I made it and for that I’m forever grateful.
PB: Besides YouTubing and being a TV show Host, have you tried other ventures?
STY: Yeah I’m also a radio host at usii radio. I MC a lot of events. I’m also an entrepreneur, I have a couple of businesses around that are on the come up and hopefully they’ll peak in 2016.
PB: You have school, your channel, a TV show, a radio show, going on. How do you manage all of that?
STY: It all takes balance. You just have to plan yourself and know your priorities. The hustle is important, but education is key. That’s what I believe.
PB: What do you do for leisure?
STY: Well for leisure I’m a chilled out guy. If I’m not at home watching YouTube videos I’m probably trying out different restaurants or driving around Nairobi finding adventure in new places. I spend a lot of time alone…I don’t know why but I like it like that.
PB: Now for the juicy stuff. Is there a lady in your life?
STY: Haha that’s one thing everyone’s been asking it’s been a question for long and as always I’ll say maybe .
PB: Being a YouTuber and a TV show Host, do you receive privileges?
STY: Yeah I can’t deny I do…there’s a lot of free stuff that comes with it all and also a lot of exposure to things most people my age wouldn’t get easily. I’m grateful for it all though at times it feels too easy.
PB: Any awards or nominations yet?
STY: At the moment none but 2016 , assured they’ll come with God on my side.
PB: What’s next for ShaqTheYungin?
STY: I have a lot of projects coming up this year but one thing for sure is I plan to go international. It will take work but I believe I’m ready for it. Expect to hear and see me more on tv and radio and more events.
PB: Any advice for upcoming YouTubers and aspiring TV show hosts?
STY: First things first is if you start, be sure you want to do it. Don’t do it because someone else is doing it. Don’t do it like someone else is. Do it as yourself. Let it be evident that its your content. Your passion. Your style.
So there you have it! Our very first Personality of The Month 2016 :D.
Don’t forget to follow Shaqtheyungin on:
Instagram >>>> @shaqtheyungin
Twitter >>>> @shaqtheyungin
And check out Facebook >>>> Shaqtheyungin
You can also check out his channel on Youtube:
Remember if you liked this interview, follow me on Instagram @iamprayzzz and add me on Snapchat also @iamprayzzz.