When you think of Nigeria and skits in the same context, you cannot scroll through the Tiktok app without the antics of Rodney popping up on your feed more than once. With a following of over four million on the video app and steadily growing his other socials, one can safely call him an influencer in the social media space.
Rodney’s videos present situations or topics that he acts out in a manner that many find funny, relatable and suave; considering his storytelling approach, ability to play the necessary role(s) and showcase his skills in rhymes.
His rise to stardom, he tells us “started around the lockdown period as something experimental.”
Here, we have a talk with Rodney on how his content creation journey began, anime culture in Nigeria and what fame tastes like.
The internet says your net worth is 50,000 dollars. How true is this?
That one is the internet oh! My balance is on the low. I don’t know where they got that figure from. I don’t think my net worth is up to that amount.
What other untrue things about you can we find on the internet?
I’ve googled myself before. I think I saw something that said I did drama in my school and church. Meanwhile in real life, I didn’t even know I could do skits. It was during the lockdown I tried it out to kill boredom.
When you put out your first video, were you expecting the reactions you got?
No. I was just putting it out there. I didn’t think that it would get as much attention as it did. It was just to entertain my friends at the time.
What is your real name and where did “Wisdom Man” come from?
My real name is Rodney Umeh. Wisdom Man is from the kind of content I used to make. When I started, the content was based on word play jokes. I would just add the slogan “wisdom” and because of the consistency, people started calling me the Wisdom Man.
How did that experiment go for you?
I mean, for someone that had never posted a song before, the engagement I got was a lot. On just one platform, ‘Wisdom Drill’ got around 500,000 streams.
Do you think you’ll put out music again?
Definitely. I’ll still come up with something later on, but it doesn’t mean that I’m going into music full time.
What was the first anime you watched?
I think ‘Bakugan‘ was the first. I didn’t really know it was an anime at the time. I think the one I actually started with when I was serious with anime was ‘Naruto’.
Do you have your top five anime in order?
Yeah. In ascending order, I’d say ‘Bleach’, then ‘Dragon Ball’, ‘Attack on Titan‘, ‘Demon Slayer‘ would be next, then ‘Naruto‘ would be my first.
What ways do you think anime culture can be further promoted in Nigeria?
I think a lot of people see anime as a regular cartoon, but with the help of Tiktok, anime has been able to gain a bigger audience. Also with the kind of scripts I’ve produced as well that make references to anime, I feel what I do makes people inquisitive as to what my jokes imply and it spurs them to want to watch anime. It’s a growing thing, you know. You can’t say the anime community is the way it was around 2019 or 2020. It’s way bigger now. It’s having a whole niche for itself here in Nigeria, so it’s a gradual process to inculcate the culture further.
Do you consider yourself a comedian?
I don’t consider myself a comedian. I just do things I think are creative and funny. So when I see people find them funny, it’s a win-win.
Are there things you do aside from TikTok and content creation?
I’m a student at the University of Abuja. I’m actually based in Abuja. I just come to Lagos sometimes.
Where do you find the most happiness in your life right now?
Content creation has been a way to escape a lot of things for me. When I keep myself busy with content creation, I find myself unlocking new things I never thought I’d be able to do. When I’m able to do them, I find happiness. There’s also the added joy of posting it and seeing the video actually go viral with positive comments on what I’ve done. When I’m consistent with my work, it’s not just because I want to grow my followers or go viral. It’s just because I love what I’m doing.
What did you want to be while growing up?
I used to dance. I didn’t know I would go into content creation. I was growing my page and I got to 5,000 followers before the page got disabled. I opened a new account and kept dancing. I tried regular skit videos as well and I found out the engagement I got on TikToks from skits were more than my dancing and in like two months, my videos started topping on TikTok. With time, I drifted from dancing to content creation.
Are there times you try to be serious and people misunderstand you?
I get that a lot, especially with people that aren’t close to me. Everyone is used to the Wisdom Man persona. There’s a face I make when I’m cracking jokes on Tiktok and at some point, I didn’t know when I started making the face while I spoke. So I could be talking about something serious but because I’m making that face, they think I’m kidding and just start laughing. Most times, I don’t even know I’m making that face.
Listen to Wisdom Drill by Rodney here
Summing up a day in Solomon's life would include: anime, manga, marvel breakdowns, writing and workout. If he's not doing any of these, he's either listening to indie pop or fan-boying Dominic Fike.