Youtube is a realm that should not be taken lightly anymore. We have already seen many a success stories emerging from the website which may seem crowded with people demonstrating their talents, hoping for a chance. And why shouldn’t they? They have an audience literally waiting for them to grab their attention with the right kind of show. Nadine and Samah took that chance and came up with one of the most entertaining Egyptian Youtube shows to date: Matbakh Sooka!
Where did the idea to start an animated cooking show online come from?
Nadine: I was doing my masters in animation abroad and was completely lost in the kitchen and a lot of funny situations happened so I thought to myself ‘why not put something that is realistic to the audience?’
Your show is funny, witty, informative and one of the few animations in the Middle East that are directed towards adults instead of children. It is still a fairly new territory to be discovered in the Middle East, were you worried about people’s reception?
Nadine: I don’t think we had worries about that. We just had a revolution and people are more open to new things. We don’t want to stick to the same old types of show.
Comfort food is one of the few things that everyone agrees to love, are those family recipes?
Samah: and we add things to them so that they’re different. We then try them out on our friends and family and if nothing happens to them we include them in the show (laughs). We try in the end to keep it light, quick, sophisticated but done in short steps.
There are plenty of entertainers all over the world who consider Youtube their “job” more or less. This is because you can get paid on Youtube. Is the option to monetize your channel available in Egypt or not?
Nadine: Yes there is. There are two ways to do it, you either monetize the video when you are uploading it or you sign a contract with Google Egypt and they will handle it.
Starting a Youtube show is now one of the best things to do to showcase whatever set of talents you were gifted with. If given the opportunity, would you move on to television?
Nadine: We will do what’s best for the audience. If the audience wants us to move to television and if it’ll create a better chance for them to see us then we’ll go. The best thing about Youtube is that you get immediate feedback.
Samah: the interaction we’re having now will create a good base for us so even if we move to television; they will already know who we are and we will have done our research.
Are you planning on branching out to other types of tutorials and how-to’s in the future?
Nadine: It’s not purely cooking. Sooka will be giving lifestyle tips in general. The thing about cooking is that we always eat and this is what brings Egyptians together.
Samah: It’s like cooking with your best friend and talking with her about your day.
Do you believe that anyone can learn cooking or some people are just not very good at it?
Nadine: I’m proof that people can learn to cook. I’m not an A-class chef but still. The show tells you that even if you don’t get it right the first few times, you eventually learn to cook.
Samah: In the intro we say ‘Sooka is going to play in the kitchen’ so we do play but eventually come out with a recipe that is doable.
How can people interact with you? We saw that you have like virtual audience calling as asking for recipes. Do you have a special channel for real callers?
Nadine: We do have plans but it will be in the future because it requires a lot of man-power. We want to have live calls.
With some competitors in the market like CBC Sofra and the well known Fatafeet, do you find this as a challenge?
Nadine: I don’t think of it as a challenge because we aren’t even in the same medium and our medium allows us to present a kind of humor that they would never be able to do. At the end of the day each show has its own audience.
Samah: the fact that it is a 3-minute animation makes it entirely different. Instead of cooking for real like they do, we do it differently. We can have Ramzy the monkey chop onions for Sooka or an elephant bring Indian spices to her kitchen!