Many people who venture into creative fields will attest to the fact that finding adequate funding to pull off their dreams is one of the toughest hurdles to overcome.
Actress and filmmaker, Nengi Adoki hit that hurdle when she tried to raise money for a web series. Well, instead of letting her dream die, Nengi was inspired to think outside the box, looking to her fans to crowdfund her prospective series, The Most Toasted Girl.
With a pretty relatable plot and a solid strategy, it is no surprise that Nengi Adoki was successful in her crowdfunding efforts. Now, Nengi boasts the first crowdfunded web series in Nigeria, and The Most Toasted Girl is in full swing.
With each episode no longer than five minutes, The Most Toasted Girl is a bite-size course through the tumultuous love life of Nengi, illuminating the ups and downs of the crazy Lagos dating scene, specifically from her point of view.
So far, The Most Toasted Girl is on its fourth episode, and in anticipation of the nine remaining episodes Nengi promised, we at Konbini decided to chat with her regarding everything from her biggest challenges to her inspirations.
What made you decide to pursue a career in entertainment?
My drama teacher, Lubomir Mykytiuk, encouraged me to start working professionally as an actor, and I ran with it and stayed focused.
What has been your biggest challenge as a screenwriter?
Writing is tough and important work! It’s hard finding inspiration to write truthfully about scenarios outside my immediate experiences when building a scene. But that’s where research comes in and lots of it!
And your biggest challenge as an actor?
Accents. Languages. Voice Acting. I’ve been working on all three and getting better!
Do you prefer acting, writing or producing?
Throw dancing, singing, song-writing in there as well! I like them all!
What has been your experience as a creative in Nigeria?
There is no creative bubble. All the problems in Nigeria ultimately affect your work and process. But then I’ve always believed that creativity is birthed in constraint. So, everyday problems effectively task me into getting creative about how to ’surthrive’, as I like to put it.
How did you come up with the concept for 'The Most Toasted Girl’?
It was born out of a need to share my story as a young woman in Lagos, as well as reach people who want to create and acquire quality Nigerian cinematic content. I have to give huge shout outs to Bovi Ugboma, Bolaji Kekere-Ekun and Ayuba Audu for inspiring and creating with me even beyond Toasted Girl!
Do you have an ending in sight or are you learning more about your character as you go along?
To have an ending now would be the most Anti-TOASTED GIRL thing to do. The toasting never ends!
Why did you decide to crowdfund the series instead of going down the conventional route of seeking a production company to get behind it?
I’ll confess that we tried the conventional route, and I’m glad that didn’t work out because THE MOST TOASTED GIRL is now the first crowdfunded web series in Nigeria! The process showed us that if people want to see your content, they’ll back it if you guide them on how to do so.
Would you encourage others to go down the crowdfunding route?
Yes! And not without a solid strategy to determine your audience, how to reach them productively and a trusted platform for your backers to support!