This interview is a republished interview. We’re celebrating African women in eSports and their position in the games industry.
Meet Chikonde Chembe, a Zambian game streamer and player for Team Gematrix. Chikonde streams video games on her YouTube Channel chikobiscuit_. She also plays competitively in Call of Duty tournaments and occasionally MK11. Find out more about Chikonde, her advice for videogame streamers, and the plans she has for chikobiscuit_.
Tell us about yourself Chikonde
My name is Chikonde Chembe aka chikobiscuit_, I’m a streamer and player for Team Gematrix managed by Cholwe Shabukali and a public health student at the University of Lusaka. I am a huge horror fan, music enthusiast, and I have an extremely soft spot for animals. My favourite hobbies are gaming, collecting nature-themed colouring books, singing, and learning about things that are out of the ordinary.
What made you decide to be a video game streamer?
I was inspired when I attended the 2019 Lusaka Comic Con. There were so many gaming-related activities and I just wanted to be a part of everything. I was a casual gamer before then, and I actually never thought of competitive play or streaming. After seeing all the tournaments going on, I felt an unexplainable feeling inside me and since then I decided I wanted to fully immerse myself in the world of gaming.
What games are you currently playing? And what games are you looking forward to playing in the future?
I am currently playing Apex Legends, Paladins, Warframe, MK11, Rocket League, a little bit of Spellbreak and Fortnite, and Brawlhalla. Recently, I completed The Witness, which is a very aesthetically pleasing puzzle game and it is one of the most challenging but fun games I have played this year.
I am very much looking forward to playing Returnal! It is definitely on my list as it is in line with my being a horror fan. I also plan on playing more RPGs this year like Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Little Nightmares 2, Dear Esther, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and many others.
You play competitively in Call of Duty tournaments. How did you get started with taking part in tournaments?
It took a bit of courage and a little push from my friends. At first, I was nervous about it with the whole “will I be good enough” feeling, then I said to myself, “what the heck, I’m in this for the fun of it”. Since then, I made tournaments about having fun, going with the flow, improvement, and learning from the experiences.
What is your favorite part about being a video game streamer?
Getting to interact with the viewers and just overall goofing around and having fun on camera is the best part of it. Having people watch you grow as a gamer; watching your progress as you get better at the game you love so much is the best feeling. It means a lot having your viewers embark on that journey with you.
What is your advice on how to keep your audience engaged while streaming?
Uniqueness is the key to keeping any audience engaged. Be you, stand out from the crowd. Always welcome your viewers, and also, offline engagement is a key factor when it comes to retaining viewers so that they know that you care about them.
What challenges have you faced being a streamer in Zambia?
Do not get me started on the internet connection…
I do not think I have faced a lot of challenges apart from the internet bit.
What does the future look like for chikobiscuit_?
I want to be the platform for any girls out there who are afraid to put themselves out there and help break the “girls can’t game” stereotype. There are so many girls that refuse to play with others for fear of being judged for being a girl gamer, and I want to be the one to take them out of that.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself? A fun fact?
I taught myself how to read, write and speak Korean. It was a very fun experience or should I say ‘is’ because I am still learning so much more.
Chikonde joined Team Gematrix in October 2020 as a content creator. Follow Chikonde’s social media channels below.