When we entered the venue of the first edition of that Digital Influencer Awards (DIA) organised by a prominent service agency in the city at a five-star hotel on Wednesday, we could spot many Tollywood celebrities such as Shraddha Das, Archana Vedanta, Siddhi Idnani, Niharika Konidela and Vishwaksen Naidu. A photo booth at the entrance of the event was understandably full of activity, with stars and influencers getting their pictures clicked.
However, we were more interested in another set of celebrities — those being felicitated for their great work on the digital sphere, from various backgrounds on the sphere, including YouTube actors, mum-influencers and the like. These celebs, or digital influencers, from the two Telugu States, were utilising the social media to achieve their goals.
Hyderabad witnessed its first digital influencers’ award show aimed at encouraging content writers, bloggers, actors and others in the digital sphere to keep up the good work.
The song and dance of it
Hyderabad-resident and YouTuber Harika, who has more than one million subscribers for her channel and who was awarded the “Star DIA award for YouTuber”, used to work with an MNC company earlier but didn’t find the work motivating enough. “I wanted to do something that was creative through which people would notice me,” she tells us.
Instead of sitting around twiddling her thumb, Harika chose to do something about it. “I came up with an act for a channel on YouTube, called “Dhethadi”. I enacted a typical Telangana girl, with the apt Telugu dialect. And people loved it, commenting and liking my posts,” adds Harika, who now wishes that her acts will bring her good roles in movies, which help her stand out.
Unlike Harika who found inspiration in her desire to make a statement, Nabeel Afridi, known for his channel “Warangal Dairies”, that received more than a million likes and subscribers that posts short films on social issues, songs, etc., found his motivation through the dark times he had lived through. Soon after Nabeel the winner of the “Rising DIA Award for YouTuber”, completed his class 12, he met with a tragic accident that broke his wrist. With nothing do through the recovery and not many friends visiting him, Nabeel was staring at depression that lasted over six months. “That made a huge change in my life,” remembers Nabeel.
Slowly, he began making videos in different dialects such as Hyderabadi Hindi and Andhra Hindi. “People loved my acts, and when I posted those videos on Instagram, they got even more traction,” adds Nabeel, who nevertheless prefers YouTube to other media as he believes the reach it has is far greater than any other medium currently available.
Inside four walls and on the streets
However, the event didn’t only cater to those posting videos on social media, funny or otherwise. Food bloggers and mum-influencers also graced the occasion. We spotted a rather chuffed Zubair Ali, who is famous on social media for his “Hyderabad Food Dairies”. This self-confessed foodie, who won an award for food blogging, has been rather regular with his content involving the amazing cuisine of the City of Pearls. For Zubair, it all started with his job in a five-star hotel, which made him write about people who made different cuisines. “I have worked really hard for over eight years to reach where I am today,” he tells us.
Namrata Sadhvani, who won the “Award for Parenting Influencer”, is a mother who started to post videos about the reality of motherhood on the ‘Momspresso’ channel where she works. Parenting is quite a task, stating how she had to go through a lot of ups and downs during her motherhood. She also had to face many trolls for the work she did. “Back then, people would only show the glam side of being a mother and so I wanted to show the reality of how it is to be a mother. Apart from positive response, I got trolled too. But that never let me down.” says the spirited mum. “Very soon I will start a lifestyle channel.”