A Conversation with Mohamet Mbaye, Sephora Squad 2023 - Ep. 76
Last updated on
October 16, 2023
In this in-depth conversation, James and Mo discuss how he was able to switch influencer niches, his mission as a member of the Sephora Squad, how he manages content on Instagram and TikTok, his advocacy for men’s skincare, and more.
Below is a portion of the episode transcript for your reading pleasure. Make sure to subscribe to the Fohr YouTube channel to get notified of new episodes, and watch the full episode below.
James: Welcome, Negronis with Nord, episode number 76. We have a very special guest today, LA's most handsome man, potential model, Sephora squad member, creator, fitness guru, all of the things. Mo, welcome.
Let's start off with just a bit of who you are. How did you get started in this space? What should they know about you?
Mohamet: Yeah, so my name is Mohamet Mbaye. I was born and raised in Gambia, West Africa. I moved to the U. S. in 2010 for sure. And, right away I was super excited when I first moved. But, quickly my excitement turned into kind of like a bit of a horror because I started to get picked on because of my dark skin, because of my accent, and so it took a toll on me.
And because of that, I struggled a lot with self-confidence. I was very insecure about a lot of things. Like, I felt like even having conversations and being able to look at somebody face to face, I wasn't able to because I was just so cautious. Like, okay, what is this person thinking? What is this person thinking about?
Fast forward, I went to college. And then right after college, I just was like, even while I was in college, I was like, I really want to start talking about my experience and helping other people that look like me because I know so many other people are struggling with the same things that I was struggling with.
So that's when I first started my YouTube channel, talking about dark skin, talking about how to appreciate and how to love your melanin, and things of that sort. Getting into social media, and started modeling, I saw how much confidence I gained. And I saw like how my work was impacting so many other people.
People say like, ‘You make me feel so comfortable. You make me feel like I can do it. You made me feel like I can appreciate myself and, and deserve to feel beautiful.’ And from that, I just started. And that led us to here.
James: So you started with YouTube then probably onto Instagram, onto TikTok. When did it start like really working for you? I feel like most content creators start from this place of wanting to help or just being interested in creating content, right? And then you have a moment where you feel like oh shit, like I might be like good at this This might like this might be something I could do for a job. What was that moment for you?
Mohamet: I always knew that I wanted to do content creation and I always knew I wanted to be in a position where I'm able to help people. So to me, it was a non-negotiable. I'm like no matter what I'm doing I'm I know for a fact that I'm always gonna be doing this it was probably once I, when the first time that I got like a TV gig to do like an award show for BET and the younger me would've never even imagined being in this position, let alone now.
Yeah. So I think that's, that's when I started to realize that, wow, I can actually really go far in this industry. But overall, my goal has always been to touch the end user and to give back to my community. So, that has always been my driving force. And so I kind of had my focal point.
And nothing else was going to deter me away from it. So I didn't even know this was possible to make a career out of this. So, I just knew for a fact that I always wanted to do something great moving forward.
James: You have to talk about skincare and beauty a lot, right? How do you think about introducing that? How did you get your audience ready for that? And what's the reaction been?
Mohamet: The reaction has been actually amazing. I feel like the way that I create content, I create content, like I said, just based on the end user.
And what I realized is that I'm having a human experience just like anybody else is. So I don't want to... Put myself in a category or in a box, even though I, I love fashion and I love skincare— if I also want to talk about mental health, if I want to talk about the struggles that I'm dealing with, I'm also like willing and more than open to talk about those things.
So I feel like my audience is already so flexible in terms of me being able to jump from topic to topic without seeming like I'm talking about something that doesn't necessarily relate to me. So I'm very much creating content based on my own personal experiences. And so I realized that, like, you know, my audience is very, you know, acceptable to anything that I'm talking about, whether it be, you know, talking about semen retention and all of these things that I felt like most men don't necessarily get to talk about.
I'm able to talk about my audience and I realized that even, you know, my woman audience, my woman audience also, they're like, Oh, you know, I've actually been thinking about, you know, exploring in those realms and things that are short. My audience is very much so I feel open to whatever I have to talk about or whatever content I get to create.