Partners in Love and Business: Meet Michelle and Kenney, the Content Creator Couple Helping People Navigate Relationships
#CreatorStories showcases the honest personal experiences of digital creators who monetize their knowledge of a skill and sell it on Selar.
We share these stories every week to inspire you to create and sell a product out of your wealth of knowledge and be a part of the digital creator economy.
This week, we turn the lights on Michelle and Kenney Erima, a couple and digital creators, sharing their life journeys and inspiring people to love the right way.
Let’s get to know them, shall we?
How did you two meet?
Michelle: We met at UNIBEN in 2015. We were both in Christian Fellowship International, the campus fellowship for the Church of God mission. He was teaching Bible study, and I was in the class where he was teaching Bible study, and that was where we met for the very first time.
Kenney: If I add to that, while I was teaching Bible study in that class, I noticed that she was paying the most attention. She also asked me a couple of questions that amazed me because it’s not common to see a beautiful woman like my wife asking questions or paying that much attention in a Bible study class. So yeah, that was the first point of contact.
How were you both content creators online before you met?
Michelle: My creative journey started with a business. I am a makeup artist. So I had to create content around it from the beginning. The majority of my content was about makeup transitions, before and afters, and jumping on trends to showcase my skills.
Kenney: I was also creating content, but mine was primarily text-based and on Facebook. It then evolved gradually to video-based content when I got my first smartphone. My content was around what it still is – faith. So before we began to create content together, she was doing her own individually as a makeup artist, and I was doing mine as a preacher.
Michelle: The only content we created together was in 2020 when he helped me do my makeup on Valentine’s Day.
God when? So when did you decide to create content together in your relationship?
Kenney: We deliberately started creating content together when we got married. And it wasn’t a decision. It just came naturally. It felt like the proper thing to do.
Michelle: We are always involved in each other’s business (laughs). So anytime we create content, we tease each other to feature the other person. There’s nothing to hide.
How did you manage the public eye being in your relationship and Nigerians giving unsolicited advice?
Michelle: We do a lot of ignoring (laughs). It’s not everybody’s comment we respond to or take into consideration. Because we both agree on any content we put out there. So regardless of the comments or where the post gets to, we’re ready to defend ourselves and stand up for each other.
If anybody comes for me, he’s coming for the person (laughs).
For example, when I was pregnant, a lot of people were not okay with the fact that I was sharing content about my pregnancy. And for me, I had just discovered that a lot of women are lonely when they are pregnant, and seeing videos of women on TikTok sharing their experiences helped me, so I tried my best to create content about pregnancy to help others too and educate them on the most common pregnancy changes, but some Nigerians were obviously against it (laughs).
Kenney: I’m a pastor, and my wife is a minister in the church. We don’t create controversial content, and we’re not chasing clout by any means. We do our best to create the same educating and inspiring content. So when we receive unsolicited advice or awkward comments, the first thing we do is ignore them or nip it in the board.
And most of the time, we don’t even have to do that. A lot of people comment and respond on our behalf. Some of them know us personally or have followed our content for a long time. So they are able to help us tackle those comments.
Have you had times where you both disagreed because you thought your partner overshared on social media? How did you handle it?
Michelle: There’s never been a time we overshared because before I upload anything, I show it to him to see if it’s too much to share. He tells me what is too much and what to cut out of. The same goes for him too.
Before he uploads anything, I always go through it. We review each other’s content before it goes online. So there’s never been any content that was accidentally shared online or content that people will tag “too much information.”
The things we share online about ourselves are things that, first of all, we are comfortable with. We have unwritten processes that we take our content through before it gets out of our phones.
We are deliberate about the things we share and the kind of content we create. There’s no pressure trying to keep up. There is no “mistake content” you’d find of us that we put out online. There is no “mistake content”.
Everything was thought about and discussed. Of course, there are some things we create and realize that they shouldn’t go online, so we don’t post them. But whatever we put online is something that we’ve put through our process.
Kenney: Also, all our content has a goal. It’s objective-based in a way that we are not just creating content for likes or follows or to meet up with trends. We’re creating the content we create because we have a goal we want that content to achieve on the screens of our audience.
What’s the goal behind creating positive content?
Michelle: The internet is full of trash, and we don’t want to be among the people sharing content that doesn’t help anybody or is not edifying. We want to be part of the people inspiring others to do better and be better people. There’s more negative content than there is positive content online. And we want to be a part of those sharing positive content to inspire others.
Let’s talk about the viral pregnancy video on TikTok that got people talking a lot. How did it feel to see your face everywhere?
Michelle: The truth is that it felt good. It felt good because, first of all, I knew that what was happening to me was a blessing. It’s the greatest blessing that has ever happened to me, apart from being saved, that I had the privilege of going through my pregnancy and having a healthy baby.
When I created the content, it was majorly for laughs. It was the day of Mimzy’s naming ceremony and I just thought about the way I changed during pregnancy. So I made the video and left my phone because of the ceremony we had that day. When I later picked it up, I saw many people talking about how I changed and I was just excited to see that many people were amazed by it.
Kenney: I got calls from some of my friends outside the country saying, we’re seeing your wife on xyz blog, xyz whatsapp group etc. And I was shocked. At the time, I didn’t know she had posted the content. She showed me before but I didn’t know it had gone live until I started getting calls. It was very interesting and I’m grateful that I captured all those moments where she didn’t look like the woman I married (laughs).
Michelle: It was also a funny time because I received some comments from people saying “I pity the husband,” But my husband was the one taking all the pictures (laughs).
Kenney: Like I keep telling you, babe, all through that time, I didn’t notice the changes until you made that video.
Michelle: It’s true (laughs).
How did you handle the aftermath of the video’s virality in your relationship?
Michelle: When I uploaded the video, I was already going back to my normal self. So when it went viral, people went back to my other content and they were no longer talking about how much I changed but that they love my content. So when I met them in person, it was an “Oh Michelle, we love the content you create”, not “Oh, it was you that changed during pregnancy.”
What were some adjustments you had to make in the way you shared content online when you had your baby?
Michelle: From the beginning, there wasn’t any special way we shared content that when the baby came we had to change anything. We’ve always been natural with our content and when he came, he just made everything more fun.
Kenney: He came with the best smile.
Michelle: Yes. He just added more value to whatever we put out there. It wasn’t until I had him that my content started to go viral. The only thing that changed was that our content started to attract more people and people loved us more because of how cute he is.
Kenney: In other words, he came with an anointing for exposure.
Michelle: Yes, he did.
What have been your biggest challenges in creating and sharing relationship content? And how have you managed them?
Michelle: The only challenge we’ve had is time to edit the content.
Kenney: There is no challenge when it comes to the ideas, or what to say or do.
Michelle: We’ve tried to put ourselves in control of how we create content, when we create content, and the type of content we create. So there’s no pressure on trying to meet up on anything. We are moving at our own pace.
Kenney: The reason it’s time is because I run a business and she runs a business. I’m a pastor in church, and she’s a minister in church. Now we have the most amazing baby that just wants to be played with almost every time. So all of this is very time-consuming. Sometimes we have to wake up as early as 4:00 AM to create content.
What’s your advice to other couples interested in sharing their creativity together?
Kenney: Be honest and genuine. Just create content that is natural with your personality. Be original and let your originality speak. Also, have boundaries or limits. It’s not everything you have to share on social media. Focus on creating original content and try to inspire.
Michelle: Work on yourself and add value to yourself. The more value you add to yourself, the more you have to give.
Kenney: Read books and listen to important podcasts.
Michelle: Don’t seek validation from strangers online. Our validation comes from within us, from just the three of us. So whatever you see out there on the internet, for example, engagement, whether it’s crazy or not, it’s not more important than your partner, your child, or your loved ones. We prioritize each other, our emotions, feelings, attention, love, and care, above every other thing that is outside us, including engagement, content creation, the audience, and every other thing.
Kenney: Lastly, every creative at some point in time would experience a creative block. When you do, it’s not the time to try to do more. That’s the time to just chill out and relax. That’s the time to focus on yourself and rest your mind.
For example, a couple of weeks ago, we were stressed out. None of us had the strength to want to create content or post or do any of that stuff. So we took a trip to relax and unwind. That’s an important thing for anyone doing any creative stuff. Learn to take time out and just unwind, feel good about yourself, then come back. The internet and your content are not running away.