[Lashara Van Heerden | Features Editor]
Instagram has revolutionised the capabilities of start-up businesses. Being dubbed an “Instagram celebrity” often comes with the opportunity to establish a following for upcoming business ventures. Munira Nur is an Instagram celebrity and has roughly 10,000, and counting, Instagram followers. Nur is known as a comedic personality with various comedic skits showcased on her Instagram page @MuniraChoco. 20-year-old Nur is in the midst of launching a YouTube channel in September 2016, a small business and a series of short films.
Nur credits Instagram for her success with her upcoming business ventures. Taking her success to YouTube is a “smart move,” says Nur. On average, YouTubers earn $10,000 per 100,000 views . Nur’s fans constantly request videos longer than the 15 second Instagram standard. “People are telling me that I can actually blow on Youtube,” says Nur, who believes that she can be very successful on YouTube.
Image: Munira Nur
Nur hopes to film comedic skits and advice videos on her YouTube channel. Collaborations between YouTubers is another way of securing more views. Nur states that she has had multiple invites for collaborations and she is eager to take part. Her channel will launch in September 2016, allowing her enough time to prepare numerous videos.
Nur’s is in the midst of launching a fashion label. She notes that her outreach within the Muslim community has improved as a result of Instagram. Nur is currently making a website to sell handmade headscarves. “Being a Muslim,” says Nur “I know that there is a huge market to sell to. I mean most of my followers are Muslim and I want to start a business that agrees with my faith.”
“I didn’t think I was good at acting until I started making Instagram videos.” Nur has never been to drama school and holds only a GCSE Drama qualification. Despite this, Nur is enthusiastic about acting. She has written and is due to star in a series of short films. The release date is yet to be finalised, but Nur is aiming to release something by the end of the year.
Aside from these projects, Nur is also a full-time student in her first year studying Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire. Nur notes that her plate is very full at the moment, but for now, everything is manageable.
Nur’s popularity began when she uploaded a picture with the theme of #TransformationTuesday, popular on social media platforms at the time. Nur transformed as Captain Phillips star Barcad Abdi (see below). “Being Somali I thought, there is no one doing #TransformationTuesday that’s Somali. So I did it, and did someone Somali.” After Nur had posted the picture, it went viral on multiple popular Somali Instagram pages with people reposting the picture. The success of this picture was followed by numerous Instagram videos and pictures posted by Nur. “The more videos, the more followers. The more comments, the more likes.”
Image: Munira Nur #TransformationTuesday (2014)
“Me and my personality” is what you can find on Nur’s Instagram page. “It’s my Instagram, my page and I post what I want.” Finding inspiration for posts is relatively easy for Nur. “Because I’m not confined to a box, like being a fashionista for example, I can pretty much post whatever I want,” she says. Nur finds inspiration from everything ranging from EastEnders to Instagram itself. Follower Muna Ali says: “MuniraChoco is so random with her videos, love it!” Nur has not changed the type of material she uploads since her success. She notes that this is has been key to her continual success on Instagram.
Regarding her success, Nur states that it is possible for anyone to reach the same level of success as herself. “I was lucky,” says Nur, “one picture on Instagram can change everything.” She encourages people to keep uploading and using hashtags to connect with a wider community.
With such a big following, Nur accepts that she alters her videos to suit the needs of her viewers. Nur mentions the particular example of swearing. A follower asked Nur to limit her swearing and, after thought, Nur followed through with this request. This decision came after Nur noticed a growth of her younger followers aged under 16-years-old.
Image: Munira Nur
“I know what I enjoy doing and what I want to explore,” says Nur. She wants to use her success on Instagram to get into acting and stand-up comedy. Nur adds that she wants to attract followers from a different cultural backgrounds. “I don’t just want to be popular within the Somali or Muslim community, but every community. That’s when you’re really successful.”
Nur states that her favourite followers are @Hakneysfinest a comedic Instagram page and @BasmaK, a fashionista on Instagram, who has set up her clothing line as a result of her Instagram success. Both of these Instagram personalities have used Instagram as a platform to achieve other things. Nur hopes to follow their steps in regards to her business ventures.
Munira Nur, @Munirachoco, 07720925343
Muna Ali 07446087840
 Alleger, J. (2015). How Much do YouTubers Make?. [online] Penna Powers. Available at: http://www.pennapowers.com/how-much-do-youtubers-make/ [Accessed 27 Mar. 2016].