If you are consistent with trends on social media, then you probably must have come across the Instagram handle of a group of Nigerian kids who have proven without reasonable doubts that when the question of creativity is posed, less can mean more. Your guess is right, they are the Ikorodu Bois. Muiz Sanni, 15, and Malik Sanni, 10, with their 13-year-old cousin brother, Fawas Aina, make up the team and are managed by their 23-year-old big brother Babatunde Sanni. The group based in Lagos state, south-western Nigeria has become Instagram sensation by simply using household items to recreate shot by shot, music videos and Hollywood movie trailers.
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It all began with a decision made in 2017 to turn something which started as a bit of fun into a career in the global entertainment industry. Babatunde Sani who manages the group and edits the videos, felt their handiwork deserves to reach the world through the use of social media, birthing the Ikorodu Bois Instagram page.
Our house is like a comedy house — we play too much. I felt like ‘these things we are doing in our house — why don’t we start putting them online?Babatunde Sanni
Today, the boys have about 548,000 Instagram followers with world class celebrities such as LeBron James and rapper Roddy Rich showing great admiration for them by reposting their videos. Earlier this month (April 2020), US actor and rapper, Will Smith, with an Instagram fan base of 43.9 million followers shared the group’s clip with the caption
“Looks like we got stunt doubles for the next one, @martinlawrence!!”This is GENIUS @ikorodu_bois!!,’’
something that surprised the group. Muiz Sanni recalls the feeling:
I was very surprised firstly, and I was like ‘Wow!..I woke my brother up and I was like ‘My God!Muiz Sanni
A lot of celebrities and popular figures within and outside Nigeria have gotten the Ikorodu treatment; from Dwayne ‘’the Rock’’ Johnson to President Muhammadu Buhari.
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We are just using this medium to send our love and light to everyone. Since we started, the encouragement we’ve been getting globally and everywhere has been a very big motivation for us. This is why we kept doing what we are doing. We just kept upgrading our content.Fawas Aina
With productions taking from 90 minutes to several weeks to shoot, the Ikorodu Bois replace luxury cars and basketball hoops with their props, made up mostly of mops, pots, wheelbarrows and bins. If there is need for extra characters in their shoots, other family members and neighbors are enlisted for successful production. The group only spends money on props that can be reused for production.
We intend to make people understand that there’s no limit to creativity. The fact that you don’t have a car — you can use something that looks like a car. Just for you to move from one place to another, so that’s why we are using a wheelbarrow.Sanni
Though the group have not turned their new-found fame into a revenue generating stream, donations from fans and admirers go a long way in helping the boys as earning from their art is not easy. Also, parental support proved necessary for the group to maintain and keep pushing when things were really hard. Sanni stated that their success is owing to support received from their parents who trusted and believed in their art without discouraging them one bit, and will equally be the source of their motivation towards advancing into the next level.
Looking at us now, what actually brought us to where we are now and what is actually moving us to the next level is actually the support of our parents They are supporting us financially…If they (parents) notice what their children can do, they should just give them full supportSanni
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I am a Lion, I love to hit heights that seem impossible so I can motivate others and prove doubters wrong. For me, impossible is nothing. I'm open to learning and I love to read, travel and meet new faces.