Adanna is a Medical Doctor and David a Business consultant, who are based in Dublin. We upload videos every Sunday with the aim to inspire, encourage or motivate our viewers, or just put a smile on someone’s face. “ So reads their bio on YouTube. But Adanna and David have become far more than what their modest description suggests, they are now an institution to their growing and loyal subscribers and followers. Boasting an accumulated 31,077,903 views on Youtube since they began in 2014, the husband and wife duo have made a side career out of sharing their love, their lives and their travels with the world.
Read their interview with our editor Sonia Irabor.
What was your first impression of each other?
Adanna: When we met, it was very platonic. I met him at the ACS. At that time, I had a boyfriend and he had a girlfriend. We were all in the ACS and we were all friends. Every Friday, the ACS had a football tournament. I would go to watch my boyfriend. But David always stood out because he always scored a minimum of three goals. I would say he was cute but that implies that he isn’t anymore. The ACS girls would meet up for a gossip session and would talk about that cute German boy who always scored goals. There were no feelings. I had a good impression of him overall as a friend. Things didn’t really start until a few years later.
David: She stood out from a purely physical perspective. All the boys thought that she and her twin sister were good-looking. I was drawn to her because she was lively and very extroverted. She was always the life of the party. Even though I played football with her boyfriend, she was a very friendly, nice and open-minded person. In the beginning, it was purely on that level. All you can judge is by looks and initial interaction.
In the beginning you talked about you putting up a status and she responded to that. Do you think if she hadn’t responded to that, you would’ve ended up together?
David & Adanna: No.
Adanna: Honest to God, we just wouldn’t
have. Had we broken up with our partners?
David: Yes we had.
Adanna: Good. Otherwise, that wouldn’t have been a good look for me. I thought “Well, he’s single, I am single, and I think he’s cute. I’m not the typical girl that sits and waits for a boy to chase after her. I’m not a slut either. I just know what I want and I go for it. He put up that status and I wanted to start up a conversation. That’s it. Let’s just talk.
And the rest is history…
David: It wasn’t easy. We never had a one-on-one conversation before then.
Adanna: There were so many reasons why we didn’t make it public. Even the most casual meetups were secret. David would offer to cook me dinner and I would come over to his flat. Even that was a secret. We were part of the same circle. David had sort of an unpopular reputation. Everyone thought he was a flirt. Probably because he was good-looking and popular. Not because it was true. They just thought, “Oh you might get hurt.”
David: People were just jealous.
Adanna: Even the people I had mentioned it to had reservations. I just thought to keep it secret until I was sure. We kept it a secret for a long time.
David: At some point, after a couple of months, eventually you get to know the person and see if there’s some depth. I tried to hint a little bit, “I wouldn’t mind taking this public or doing something official.” To be fair, of course, being an interracial couple, you never know how things play out with friends, with family.
Adanna, did your parents initially tell you “we want you to marry an Igbo man?”
Adanna: Yes! Outrightly! My dad’s very Igbo, very traditional. He’s a politician. He said “there is no way my first daughter is getting married to a foreigner.” That’s the way he put it. I think that reservation is based on race, based on looks. But as David said, eventually, with time, when you get to know that the person has substance, he’s nice, he’ll take care of my daughter. That was a hurdle we had to face. Until David wanted to marry me, my parents didn’t know that I was dating him. My siblings knew because we’re all cool. But I didn’t let my parents know because I was worried about their reaction.
David, how was it with your parents?
David: My parents weren’t opposed at all. After a couple of months, there were some funny questions. There were innocent slightly stupid questions. Even at that time, we had gone through so much. All that secrecy allowed us to really know each other. There was less pressure. We knew where we stood. When you know who you are as a couple, it’s much easier to withstand whatever. It turned out to be positive.
Whose idea was it to have a YouTube channel? In what capacity did it exist in the first instance?
David: There are two sides to this story. I was working in the tech sector. Adanna had a couple of ideas. Half-jokingly. Half seriously.
Adanna: Until we had a YouTube, we had talked about it a year prior. We normally have deep intellectual conversations like most couples do. I thought wow, this is gold. We bounced off each other but never really set up that page. The YouTube channel was set up after [the] Instagram video [ went viral. We had lots of people who commented wanting to know what we sounded like, who we were. So they asked us to create a YouTube channel where we could put longer dance videos and tell them about ourselves. A lot of people on our Instagram at the time migrated to YouTube. When people ask about the YouTube story, it was honestly just preparation meeting opportunity. We had talked about the content and then the opportunity came when we had an audience. After we did the intro, we put one or two more dance videos, I was like “David, hang up. I’m not a dancer.” I had even gotten a few messages from my Dad asking why I was dancing on the internet. We need to put up content we had talked about a year or two ago.” David did the career videos. We did the pregnancy videos and we became vloggers as well.
It’s interesting in this age of social media how invested people become in strangers’ lives. It’s voyeuristic. Did you reach a point where you felt you were revealing too much?
Adanna: David and I are very confident in our decisions. We’re very strong-minded people. I just don’t think we can ever be pressured into revealing what we haven’t both agreed on.
David: It is sometimes shocking how entitled people feel to some certain information. They feel “well you’ve started to show us this so you have to show us the other thing as well.”
Adanna: When I decided not to film the birth of my child. I made a video showing the journey of the pregnancy. I’m not going to pull a “Kourtney Kardashian” and show the child coming out of me! People got upset! There’s the threat of unsubscription. We have an advantage that vlogging is not our job. I am a doctor, David is a business consultant. We do this as a hobby. So we are not scared of those threats. We love our subscribers. We try as much to make out time to relate with them. With Kian now in the picture, you’re sharing stuff about him as well.
Did you decide to keep it open?
Adanna: We knew we weren’t going to hide him from the cameras. We felt that it would be unfair to hide him from all the people who had been supporting us online. We are lifestyle bloggers. We put up a bit of our lives and Kian is part [of that]. What’s the point of turning the camera away from him? Of course, we wouldn’t show him naked at bath time. We wouldn’t show him when he’s cranky. We’ve had the camera on and Kian is cranky, we would turn the camera off. That has been misinterpreted as us trying to portray him as the perfect baby. I feel like if my baby is crying, it is pretty mean to turn the camera on him just to prove that he cries. I’m not going to show my baby cranky to prove a point. As David said, it is important to keep talking as we make decisions. We are different people, some things I find comfortable, he might not.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your social media journey?
David: Since we’re doing it together, we get to spend time together.
Adanna: It’s turned into a business more or less. That’s because that’s the way social media is going. We’ve also learned what part of this job that the other person is good at. As a person, it’s made me tougher. I didn’t think that was possible. It’s made me stronger in terms of taking criticism. It’s tough to take in when it’s a stranger, not a family member or a friend. I’ve learned to take that without being upset. Like David said, we get to work together. I can come home and talk about my patients, he would have no idea. Same for his business stuff. It’s good to have something that both of us are doing together.
You have your main careers and social media has become its own beast. Would you ever just hone in on your social media career alone?
Adanna: I’ve thought of it in terms of how to combine medicine and social media. If I was to choose, I wouldn’t quit medicine to just focus on social media. I can’t do that forever and leave medicine. I’ve thought of a way of balancing both and that’s where the honing in comes in. For example, I can film my adventure delivering medicine to someone in a rural village. Combining both, but not quitting one for the other.
What is next for the brand in terms of expansion and other aspects?
David: There are constant opportunities that we are offered or provided with. We are careful with what we accept. We are always trying to combine elements of our main jobs with social media and make social media as the vehicle, rather than the end goal. We have reached a level where people do take our word seriously. This creates great opportunity. [But] our focus is always going to be the right content. We’re too committed to our main jobs to just let them go. We’ve worked too hard to just throw them away.