Very excited to introduce August’s guest contributor to you all! Vuvu from vuvuvena_reads is a South African bookstagrammer and booktuber. Her love for stories landed her a master’s degree in Journalism Studies from the University of Stellenbosch.
She obtained her degree whilst single-handedly raising 2 kids. What a Queen!
She has worked in the media industry for 12 years, specifically 11 years in journalism. She is currently employed full-time as a content developer and manager in the Public Relations sector. She also still finds the time to run her bookstagram, blog and booktube channel.
Blogging is her form of self-care and her contribution to the world while reading is her zen. Reading has, in many instances, kept her alive.
Vuvu is a huge inspiration to me and I’m sure she will be to you to. Her piece is about being a South African booktuber, she tells us her story and shares some advice on starting a booktube yourself. I love her contribution so much and found it really moving and honest, I think you will too.
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. I will, as usual, leave links to all of her social media at the end of the post. Do check her out and give her all of the follows and subscriptions. Until next time. . .
On being a South African BookTuber
By Vuvu Vena from Vuvu Vena Reads
To be honest, I stumbled upon BookTube, in fact it’s Bookstagram that led me to BookTube but I can’t for the life of me begin to tell you what on earth I had been doing to find Bookstagram in the first place, or perhaps I can.
Most great stories begin this way, so no, I’m not complaining.
In 2017, life had become a little suffocating, you know, as life sometimes will and I rekindled my love for reading. Over the years I had had an on and off, non-committal type of relationship with my ‘above average’ bookshelf. But everything I was going through at the time called for a complete dive in.
Reading saved me, it rescued and it healed me. It formed a fortress over my being that nothing else could and it assured me that everything would be okay. Page after page, story after story, hope after hope, beginning after ending, it kept a positive thread of continuity and a future. It filled me up and as can be expected, in an internet world, I had to find out if anyone else was feeling this way. I think this is how I ended up on Bookstagram. Something on my timeline must have led me down the rabbit hole, needless to say I’ve never looked back.
When I discovered BookTube it made sense to me. At the time I already had a very small YouTube channel where I used to share beauty, hair and lifestyle tips and experiences. Having been in possession of the equipment already, it seemed only a matter of time before I’d venture into this. I had also already been blogging on that topic for some time.
While allowing the dream to simmer, I decided to start with Bookstagram, just simply sharing the books I was reading, some quotes and other bookish things. It took me a year to finally launch my BookTube channel and Book Blog. In May 2018 I uploaded my very first video.
I remember being largely overwhelmed by this new community I had discovered. It’s almost as though because they loved books and you loved books they loved you. And I am yet to find a place quite like it online. What drove me to start this channel however, after a year of debating, was finding no active South African BookTubers at the time, and a small minority of black BookTubers globally.
Add to this I also realized that as much as everyone loves a new book, I was still reading what many would consider as old books, but I really liked that about myself. I thought it showed the timelessness of literature and how relevant it remains even years after its release date. Perhaps the most motivating reason of all however was creating this platform for my children. I would be blessed if because of me, my son and daughter fell in love with reading. This space then is an archiving of my love for literature in anticipation for such a time. So, for these reasons and more I ventured out on this journey and nothing has been more fulfilling.
Lately I’ve seen a lot more South Africans on BookTube and honestly nothing brings me more joy. They are thriving and they are passionate about reading and sharing stories. It’s really one of the few things that give me a thrill to watch.
My advice to anyone looking to go into the local BookTube space is to take the plunge. There is literally so much room for more it’s actually ridiculous. Don’t over think it, don’t postpone it, just dive right in! Be authentic. Stick to what you love, but also expand your pallet. Be consistent – I’m still learning to do this. Start with what you have – if that is a cell phone camera, then use that to record, if it’s your laptop webcam, start with that, don’t worry too much about what you do not have. Forget the numbers, don’t do it for that, you need a higher reason for the seasons where the numbers fall or don’t come at all, your drive will have to come from a greater place of compulsion. Be willing to learn, teach yourself the medium, continue to read, question what you read, have an opinion – it’s your channel after all and for crying out loud, don’t be stiff. Reading is fun, its animated, it’s emotional, it’s real. Be real.
Vuvu’s blog: vuvuvenareads
Vuvu’s booktube: Vuvu Vena Reads
Vuvu’s bookstagram: vuvuvena_reads
Vuvu’s twitter: VuvuVenaReads
Vuvu’s facebook: vuvuvenareads