May 27, 2021
Translated by Shahnilla Fayaz
No one knows when the electricity goes off and when it will be restored. I don’t even trust the internet, when it stops working. Despite all these difficulties, Rabia Naz Sheikh makes a video every day and uploads it on her fashion channel on YouTube.
YouTube is Rabia’s hobby as well as her source of income.
While for many people in Pakistan, building their own house is not less than a dream, Rabia succeeded in building her own two-roomed house with the income generated from here.
This source of employment has changed her life.
Rabia Naz, a 25-year-old resident of a samll town Rahuja, district Khairpur of Sindh, created a channel called ‘Fashion Addiction’ on YouTube a year ago, which now has more than 160,000 subscribers.
On top of that, YouTube has given her a silver play button to encourage her.
Rabia studied up to Inter and according to her, she voluntarily discontinued her studies.
Speaking to the BBC, she said that she was very fond of YouTube and she had been watching YouTube on the internet since childhood.
Many young people in Pakistan, including Rabia, consider Google as her teacher.
In such a situation, Rabia came up with the idea of creating her own YouTube channel and letting people know about things that are interest to her.
“I have mostly learned to make videos on YouTube from the internet. Help and training is available there. My brothers taught me video editing and I did the rest myself, she narrates her story.
She learned to sew and made clothes for herself and her family by looking at designs on the internet, Rabia Naz told BBC. Due to this passion for sewing, she became associated with the fashion industry and started a fashion channel.
Rabia Naz makes a video every day. She says that before making her video, she looks at the work of the fashion channels that are functioning, what is their topic.
Then she looks at what kind of designs the women’s clothing brands are showing, that is, what kind of cuts are in the clothes, what style her arms, pins, etc. are in and what is more popular in today’s fashion.
A well-known fashion company has thousands of employees for all these tasks, but Rabia is the ‘One Man Army’ for her channel.
“I used to visit different sites and download pictures,” she says and added, “then I write the script what to say. I will do voiceover in the next stage.”
“I connect all these things to the pictures with the help of software and edit them. The whole process easily takes two and a half hours. When the work is done, I will upload this video on YouTube. ‘
Rabia Naz has a simple smartphone available to make videos of her channels, which is probably available to almost everyone nowadays.
She doesn’t has her own computer or a table or chair. She does this by sitting on the bed, leaning against the wall.
‘Deleted all videos’
After launching the channel, Rabia had a difficult time and there was a time when she was disappointed with the success of her channel. But a friend on YouTube helped her and showed her a new way.
Rabia Naz says, “In the beginning, I used to put music in videos and when I took pictures, I would put them together and make music.”
This worked well, the viewers of Rabia’s videos reached thousands, but her channel was not able to monetize, which made Rabia less interested in her work.
Then her a friend on YouTube said, “Unless you voiceover, you won’t make money.”
“I was unhappy to hear that I’ve been making and uploading videos for so long, but deleting them meant wasting a lot of effort.”
“But I did not give up and deleted all the videos and re-voiced and added new videos,” she says. It took a year after the whole process to monetize the videos.
‘How to make money from YouTube’
By the time Rabia Naz was trying to improve her channel on YouTube, the corona virus spread around the world and offices were closed. Rabia says she had a hard time because of the COVID-19.
“When YouTube monetizes someone’s channel, it sends a code via mail that pays. I didn’t get that code. We made several trips to the local post office, but no mail arrived. After that I emailed YouTube several times and finally they accepted my national identity card and released the money.
The next step after verification from YouTube was the bank account and it was not easy.
According to Rabia Naz, when she arrived to open an account at a private bank in her area’s Tehsil headquarters Pir –jo- Goth, the manager asked as to why she was opening the account.
When Rabia told him that she would get money from outside and YouTube will send it, he wondered how it was possible to earn money from YouTube as he had never heard of YouTube paying before.
“You just open an account, the money will come, and when the money came, the manager was very surprised,”
‘A monthly income of 40 to 50 thousands rupees’
Rabia Naz says she earns Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000 a month from her channel, with the help of which she has built a two-roomed house for herself which is still under construction but the roof and walls have been constructed.
According to Rabia, she wanted to have her own house and she is the first girl in her village to build her own house.
Rabia Naz lives in a joint family system with her uncle and her family.
Rabia says women in her area are mostly illiterate or engaged in agriculture. Some of them teach but most women do not know much about YouTube.
“When I told my peers that I had set up a YouTube channel like this and that, I had an income, they couldn’t believe how someone in the village was making money sitting at home.”
Telecom companies based in Pakistan are claiming 3G and 4G technology, but in rural areas of the country, there is a load shedding of six to eight hours a day.
Rabia Naz says electricity supply is unreliable and internet and sometimes there is power outage idefinite period at her village or no internet.
She makes videos after charging her mobile at night and as soon as the internet is restored and the speed improves, she uploads her video.
In addition to surfing the internet and preparing videos, she is also responsible for household chores.
Being girl no concession
“Girls are never excused from housework, whether they are married or unmarried,” she says.
“The concession for boys is that if they are earning, they should be fed.” In the case of girls, it does not happen that they sit down and eat. They have to do their part and I make videos after these responsibilities.
Courtesy BBC Urdu
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