From being an ordinary teenager in Otjiwarongo to becoming a huge name on Instagram with 100k followers and 3.6m on TikTok, it is undeniable that he’s taking the social media world by storm. I am honoured to [re]introduce you to Steffen Miro.
Hey Steffen. How are you doing?
I’m great, thank you.
How did you end up on TikTok?
I started with YouTube around 7 years ago but it didn’t go well for the first few years. I got bullied a lot and didn’t reach a greater audience, then one video went viral on YouTube, getting 1 million views which led me to 15k subscribers, but I had stopped with YouTube at the time. One day I posted a TikTok video which blew up and here I am. During that time, I learned how to make viral content for social media. I now have a video with almost 100 million views so that’s amazing.
Did you start up with hopes of being a star or was it just as a hobby?
When I started, I had the dream to become famous but I started making videos for fun otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing this anymore.
You mentioned being bullied when you were younger; why do you think you were a target?
I think it’s because when I was starting, many people didn’t know what I was doing and most of them thought it was weird. However, some watched my videos and loved them.
The burning question on our readers’ minds is, how do you get it right to damage phones and replace them with brand new iPhones?
The videos are planned for entertainment purposes. I also mentioned that in my Instagram and YouTube stories but they’re in German so very few understand. Many people don’t have the guts to admit it publicly but I think that lying to my [your] audience is very disrespectful.
Irja’s reaction was the bomb! Was she expecting you to prank her that way?
That video was not planned at all. We couldn’t even have known it was going to blow up like that but it had 1 million likes after only 5 hours of posting it.
Do you feel like TikTok [and social media in general] has become an important part of your life now or could you still make do without it?
Yes, it has become important. I would find it weird if I just dropped everything right now, but I could live without social media. I just don’t plan to stop at this point. Also, it may not look like it, but it’s a lot of work, too. I wake up at 5 every morning and only get about 5 to 6 hours of sleep every night because there is a lot behind a 15 second TikTok video or a 10-minute YouTube video.
How would you advise someone just starting and hoping to be as successful as you are?
I would tell them that they should be themself and never do it for the money as it will come with time. Most people start because of money and fail because the passion isn’t there. I would love to see more people starting and because of that, I want to create something similar to The Hype House in Windhoek to get Namibia’s social media up.
From your experience, what has been one advantage and one disadvantage of being a huge public figure?
An advantage is that I get the chance to influence people positively and make their day better by entertaining them. A disadvantage is that I don’t really have a private life anymore and I need to be very careful with what I say and do on social media.
Does constantly being careful with what you post restrict you from being yourself?
No, not at all. I post what I want to, however, there are some things that I would rather stay away from because I know some people will react differently to it. Plus, I keep in touch with people who are in the same boat as I am so I know what to post and what not to post.
How do you handle the pressure that comes along with both your public and school lives; how do you find a balance between the two?
There is a lot of pressure because in my school everyone knows me from TikTok. Often times kids shout out my name when they see me at school but I just ignore it.
Lastly, how do you bounce back from the hate and discrimination that comes with popularity?
I am a person that can laugh at myself and because of that, I don’t take hate personally. I knew from the start that there will be hate in some form. Plus, a little criticism isn’t all that bad as long as you know how to take it and use it to your advantage. I always dreamed of this life and it’s just the beginning, why let haters stop me?
Follow Steffen on Instagram: @steffen.miro