Internet stardom is a double-sided sword. It gives you a convenient platform to create and broadcast your content, but is also volatile and unpredictable in many ways. For Dubai-based Malayali influencer Ahmad Muhammed Mustafa Salahudeen (@ahmadalkaashekh on Instagram), content creation has always been one of his passions. Hailing from Vellayambalam in Thiruvananthapuram, Ahmad was born and raised in Dubai, and his 50,000 odd followers are largely Arabic and Malayali. “I try to balance the content in terms of what each of them would follow. As a content creator, the most important thing you need to look at if you are planning to release content online is quality and consistency. It is important to understand what people want from you, and structure your content accordingly,” he says.
Also a man of science, he studied applied physics and astronomy and is now employed with the Sharjah Academy of Astronomy, Space sciences & Technology. But if you look through Ahmed’s social media presence, it reveals many more layers of him. He is a singer, automobile enthusiast, stand-up comedian and filmmaker. His initiation to video creation was as the ‘accents guy’. “I can do quite a few international accents. When I was in college, I realised people are quite amused when they hear it. So I thought of doing it for a wider audience, and that is how it all started,” he says.
Though he likes to trade in harmless cliches and situational jokes, Ahmad’s recent video on YouTube where he called out a prominent female TikTok star from the state for deep routed misogyny and manipulation had gone viral. He highlighted clips that justify domestic violence and emotional abuse in the pretext of romantic relationships.
“I was a content creator before TikTok. That process involved shooting, editing, and a lot of work before you actually post something. But the new video sharing platforms let you just record a video, add a filter and put it out there. There is very little effort involved, and so people think they can just say whatever they want,” he says, adding that the content in such platforms is not safe for children. “They have community guidelines, but are hardly followed. There is too much toxicity in it,” adds Ahmad.
According to Ahmad, though his observation on this issue he posted about was far from a roast and more of a reaction, the response he got was extremely narrow-minded. “I was a bit shocked to see how my religion and faith are being quoted and highlighted. I make it a point to never body shame, or pick on anyone’s personal life. But most people don’t stick to such ground rules,” he adds. The 28-year-old is however, picking his battles sensibly. “My idea was never to put anyone down. I was trying to tell people how social media can be a safe and knowledgeable place. But I don’t see a point in being dragged into the negativity cross-fire,” he adds.
1. A joke that backfired?
I tried a Trivandrum accent once, which offended few people.
2. Creepiest DM you received on Instagram?Someone asked for a picture of my knee.
3. Malayalam phrase you frequently use?“Thalle, enthirappi”
4. Favourite Kerala cuisine?Porotta and fish
5. Describe social media in two words?Make believe