Kenya cannot pay me enough & I’m not doing charity work - Kitt Kiarie

#VoicesOfOurTime

Kitt Kiarie

Kitt Kiarie is exactly who she thinks she is. She is so full of life and a go-getter at that. She emanates a powerful aura and you can bet she’s going places. We had a lovely chit-chat with Kitt and here’s how that fun conversation went down.

Who is Kitt?

I am Kitt Kiarie. I am an infant and toddler sleep coach. This means that I teach parents how to teach their babies how to sleep at night. I am also a content creator mainly on Instagram and YouTube.

Who is an influencer? And what do they do?

A taste maker! An influencer tries things and tells their audience that the thing is dope and the audience is drawn to try it because they trust them to tell the truth. Anybody who does that whether for a living or not, whether they have many followers or not; that's an influencer and yes I think I’m one. It doesn't matter if I'm getting paid or not. I have always been able to draw people to do what I’m doing or buying and I have been doing it for long.

Tell us a little bit about your journey

I can't. (Laughs). I don't know what the journey is. I'm still on it. It’s not linear. It’s up, it's down. It's left, it's right. Sometimes I'm actively creating content and sometimes I'm on a hiatus. I'm still getting followers and I have kind of found myself in this space. I didn't purposely want to do it but I have found myself here and I am enjoying it.

I started posting on Instagram probably in 2018 and YouTube in may 2020. I really really like YouTube and I am consistent on it. When I started creating videos, I was like ‘oh, this is fun’ and I’d say YouTube has been the intentional content space I've been on. For Instagram, I am getting intentional about it because I'm getting paid. Laughs.

Walk us through your day...

My children wake me up at 6. Haha. After that I will try to work out. I support the nanny or my husband to prepare the kids for school. After that, I am either shooting, editing or running online meetings with parents I support. My day is usually finished by 2 because I pick my children from school and then that's my mum time from there. We do homework, hair and help pick clothes too.

How would you describe your content?

Transformational. There's different types of knowledge and different types of content. There's knowledge where you get to learn more, and knowledge on something you didn't know. It's like I didn't know this thing about this field so I am going to make myself into a genius about it. I sort of jolt people into transformational thinking. I want people to think about ordinary stuff in an extraordinary way.

Are Kenyan influencers doing it right as compared to other international influencers?

Yeah!!! Kenyan influencers are bomb! Also, I am not going to compare us to international influencers because they don't compare themselves to us. They only do them . I'm going to compare us to us. A lot of us are doing what we need to be doing. The space that we work in is primarily local. Some Kenyan influencers are getting into the international space and that's a big big plus which makes me hopeful about the industry. When I started out and was doing these videos on Instagram, I didn't see myself local. I still don’t. I am a local girl but I want everybody in the world to consume my content. That's why I translate text in my videos because I'm not only creating content for Kenya but also for the world. Kenya in itself cannot pay me enough and I’m not doing charity work. I want to make money out of this job. It's so exciting to see Kenyan influencers in the international space. I wouldn't compare because we are a very different market. Kenya is not a space that acknowledges or looks up to art and influencing is art. It's not a science. We are special and we are doing our very best.

What do you then think about people who find it cool not consuming local content? How do we support you as the content creator?

Most content creators don't have normal jobs. There's this assumption that we do what we do as a side job, which is partly true but we are trying to do this full time. Support us by buying the product, by subscribing and watching our channels. Support us by watching our ads.

Are there any rules when it comes to creating content as an influencer?

Yeah. There are certain topics I would rather not discuss because they are controversial and hold a lot of weight. Politics, for sure. I also don't endorse alcohol or cigarettes or any type of drug; well except working out. I am a family friendly content creator and I just want it to be clean. That's what I go for.

How did your Mum and Me channel start?

We've been asking my mum to start a channel. She will not do it. One time, and this was one of my first videos, I was shooting and asked her to be in it. My sister then suggested that I should make this a segment. So when I started content creation I invited my mum and we never looked back.

Is there a specific audience for Mum and Me?

My audience ranges from 18-year-old girls to 60-year-old women. I am blown away by the range of people who watch my channel. It's young women/men and older women and men. I attribute that to having my parents on the channel, a sort of multigenerational type of conversation.

Any challenges to it?

I have not faced any challenge in the digital space. I ignore trolls. Block and report. I do not engage them.

How do you separate your online vs personal life?

The line is so big. One time, a person I've never met told me, “Kitt the way you share your life is so wonderful because it looks like you're sharing everything when in fact you're sharing this small sliver of your life.” There are certain things I will never share. I will never talk about or share what I don't want to share. It's the emotional intelligence to discern where to put the barrier.

Take us to the Kitt before the influencing

Normal. Life was normal. I was still a sleep trainer. At a certain point I was in a marketing firm. My life was just normal; travelling, visiting with family and friends, recording my husband sleeping. Laughs. My life has not drastically changed. The thing that has changed is more people know about my life but in essence the life has remained the same.

Give us one online hack

I would recommend doing something you are most passionate about. Some people think you should do popular content and be popular but people can see right through that. People will see something off when you do what you don’t want to. If you do what you truly truly believe in; that authenticity is what is going to make it viable.

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