Fyjo Molly uses an unusual way to phoneticize her English YouTube handle name. The Chinese characters for Africa, 非洲, are typically spelled “fei zhou” but writing it as “Fyjo” Molly put her own little twist on the name, much like her video blogs where she presents an upbeat, quirky view of African life that is rarely seen by outsiders, especially Chinese.
Molly, a Beijing-native, moved to Johannesburg three years ago after working in the video production business in Berlin. Earlier this year, she launched her Instagram and YouTube channels with the goal of showcasing the people and communities that she interacts with daily, challenging the widely-held negative perceptions that so many in the US/EU and China still have about Africa.
Unlike a lot of social media content creators, Molly’s isn’t trying to amass huge amounts of views, sponsorship deals or online fame, though, of course, if that happens she probably wouldn’t mind. She could have chosen Chinese social media platforms that would have given her much more exposure than YouTube and Instagram. Instead, she wants to reach a larger, more diverse non-Chinese audience and focus on telling interesting, compelling stories even if each one doesn’t rack up a lot of traffic.
Although she lives in Johannesburg, Molly travels around the continent to shoot her videos, including recent vlogs shot in Ethiopia and Zambia among other countries. We were fortunate to catch her for a quick discussion just before she headed off to Tanzania.
- The China Africa Project: New Generation of Vloggers Aims to Tell a Different China-Africa Storyfeaturing Zhao Huiling
- RADII: This Vlogger is Trying to Change How Young Chinese See Africa by Mayura Jain
- The three videos referenced in the podcast:
About Fyjo Molly:
Fyjo Molly is a South Africa-based video blogger and social media content creator who produces compelling videos distributed on YouTube about daily life and travel in Africa. Molly is originally from Beijing, China and has an extensive background in video production both in China and later in Germany where she moved with her husband. Molly has been in Johannesburg for three years and started her vlog on YouTube in 2019.
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