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How Izzi Boye Went From ₦5k Lesson Fees To YouTube Success

Izzi Boye’s following on social media is quite impressive. The tech content creator has 150,000 followers on Instagram, over 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, and almost 250,000 followers on TikTok. This level of engagement has unsurprisingly brought several brand sponsorships his way. 

In a chat with PiggyVest, he talks to us about finding and rediscovering his love for tech, his rise as a content creator and how he turns his influence into money.

Tell me a bit about your upbringing. 

I am the second of six kids. I was born and raised in Delta State; around Ekpan, near Warri. My dad is a businessman and my mum was into fashion. I liked to play football growing up. You know, there were no smartphones. [Laughs]

What did you study?

Chemistry Education at DELSU. I wanted to study Pharmacy, but it didn’t work out. Then I wanted to study Marine Engineering, but my mum didn’t want that. [Laughs] There was also just one university with the course. 

Chemistry Education was quite notorious for being a department where great results were uncommon. At one point, I also considered going to Canada to study something in tech but that, too, didn’t work out. 

You were already interested in tech. How did that come into your life? 

It was around when phones came to Nigeria. But I couldn’t afford one and you know you couldn’t touch your parent’s phones. I later got a phone and was so curious about how everything worked. 

What sparked that curiosity?

Maybe it was boredom, but I don’t think so. My curiosity was just piqued. I already used to take apart gadgets. So when I got a phone, I wanted to know everything about it. 

Did you get into any business when you were in DELSU?

Not really. I was into teaching before university. I was hosting WAEC lessons and things like that. I think my salary was about ₦5k. Home lessons were about ₦3k to ₦5k. It was not great money. This was around 2009/2010. 

So in school, nothing much?

In my final year, I did some freelancing. I had learned a bit of graphic design and someone I worked with recommended that I join a platform now known as Upwork. I opened a profile and that’s how my online journey began. 

Were you able to earn something?

It was tedious but it became better. My first payout on Upwork was about ₦150k, which was more than anything else I had earned, but I got robbed after withdrawing it. It led me to start thinking about what else I could do on the platform. 

I learned a few things like digital marketing. I even started android development, but I dropped it after a while. It also helped me during my NYSC, which was in Lagos. I met someone who got me posted to a firm where I did digital marketing. They were paying ₦20k. 

Plus your NYSC allowance?

Yes. So I had the Upwork gig, the allawee, and the firm. 



What happened next?

I attended a programming class during NYSC. At the end of it, they connected us to some employers. I worked for a company that paid ₦70k. I went back home and then returned to Lagos. 

How did your people take your return to Lagos?

My dad wasn’t too happy at first, but when he understood that I had a regular job and my freelancing was going well, he became supportive. He even gave me money for a generator, fuel, and things like that.

Great guy. How good was the job?

It was okay, but I wanted to leave after a while. I wasn’t earning as much money as I was when I was fully freelancing. The distance between where I lived and where I worked wasn’t great either, especially for someone coming from Delta State. 

I think I was there for about six months. I got a job with a recruiting agency for a telco and resigned. But that was a mistake.


The telco was having issues and so, suddenly, the recruiting company ghosted me. I didn’t have a contract so I couldn’t resume with the telco. And I had already resigned. 

Omo! Were you compensated?

They said they wanted to, but I think the person in charge went on leave or something. They just stopped responding, and I had to move on. Thankfully, I got a remote job offer through Upwork later on. 

It almost fell through because someone I had worked with years before left a bad review about how there’s no electricity in Africa. Luckily, these new guys asked me about it, and I told them that I’d moved to Lagos and my working conditions were better. 

They said they’d try me for two weeks. They did and I got the job! 

Belated congratulations! What was the salary?

It was $1,000. And the job I had lost was only to pay me about ₦200k. Plus this new job had bonuses. 

Eating good. Was that your last major job? 

Yes. But I had side gigs. Around my second year there, I wanted to do travel blogging — visit places and write about it. While I was researching what phone to use, I realised that my interest really was tech. Why not do that instead? I don’t even like writing. 


I didn’t even know there were Nigerian YouTubers. But then I saw that we were there too. And that’s how I joined them in 2019. 

Weren’t you nervous about starting? 

I didn’t think too much about it. If I had, I would have never started. I took a loan from a loan app…

Really? How did that go? Some of these loan apps can be predatory.

For the first three phones I reviewed besides the one I bought at the start, I used the loan app. Phones were not as expensive as now. For about ₦120k, I could buy those phones. I had a decent salary, so I could pay the apps back on time.

Were you thinking about money at the time?

Not really, but I knew it would happen. I just wanted to get the numbers up to 1,000 subscribers. Then there is the 4,000 hours before you can get monetised. 

How long did it take?

Between six to eight months. 

That’s a long time. How come you didn’t give up?

I didn’t have unrealistic expectations, and I could see my process. 

Looking back, what do you think you did right?

I focused on devices that the bigger creators were not reviewing. And I tried to post almost one video a week. 

What was your next milestone?

10,000 subscribers. If I got there, brands would start reaching out. AdSense wasn’t really bringing in money. I was mostly getting under $60. Even now, I think the most I have made from AdSense is $800. 

So were you right that at 10,000 subscribers you’d get brands reaching out?

Yes and no. 

What do you mean?

It happened before I got there. I’d just crossed 5,000 subscribers when I got my first brand deal. I just got an email and was offered the deal. The next big thing happened in 2021. I had close to 9,000 subscribers at the time, and that’s when Tecno reached out. 

What’s the biggest deal so far?

I did something for a finance company with an app. The payment was in dollars, and I had to talk about their app. 

How do you do pricing?

Well, I ask some of my peers. We share information and have standard rates. We try not to charge in a way that puts anybody else out of business. 

That’s a rare form of unity.

We try.

So what are your sources of income now?

There’s a company I kinda work for. Then there’s YouTube AdSense. Then brands that contact me via YouTube and from Instagram, where I did a daily posting project with my friends that grew my page from five digits to over 100,000 followers in a month.

That’s crazy growth. 

Yeah. We just decided to post daily or pay the other guys in the group some money. It worked out.  

Which is the most lucrative?

The Instagram reach outs. But sometimes, the videos go on other platforms. 

What’s a good month financially?  

Sometimes, it could reach the mid-seven digits. 

So around ₦3m to ₦6m? 

No further comments. [Laughs]

To what do you owe your success?

Consistency. I started when it wasn’t too common to do YouTube content, but because I liked what I was doing, I continued. 

What’s your advice to aspiring creators?

Have realistic expectations. You won’t start and make it today. It will take time. Then, don’t feel like anybody owes you anything. I made that mistake at the start. So I would say you need to be producing good enough content before anybody will help you. 

Lastly, you have to make use of what you have at the time. It isn’t about the equipment; it is about the content at the beginning. I reached 5,000 subscribers using just my phone. You can as well. 

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