Niki Nihachu Streams for Empowerment and Change

Niki Nihachu Streams for Empowerment and Change

Niki Nihachu turned to streaming at a time of isolation. Gaming filled in the doldrums of boredom.”When I was 17, I had leg surgery on both of my legs, so I couldn’t walk for about a year,” she explains. “Right before that, I had just moved to a different country, so I didn’t really know anyone. I always played video games and I always had online friends. However, when I went through my surgery, all my friends would be at school or at work during the daytime, and I didn’t really have anything to do. I kind of just started streaming to have something to do and have a schedule. It was really fun.” Her online circle, already robust, soon exploded through Twitch. She is now one of the most popular women on the platform, boasting 2.7 million followers. Her streams became an escape for those looking for comfort or relaxation. Content has the power to brighten someone’s day. Niki has transformed into the role model she once craved. “I’ve always wanted to help people since I was really young, I’ve always wanted to become a therapist. Streaming has allowed me to help so many people. I’ve done a lot of charity work. I get a lot of messages every day from people telling me, ‘I love your streams. You’ve helped me so much.’ I really appreciate that because when I was younger, I would watch YouTubers or streamers. Today, I can give people what I needed when I was younger. That’s the most important part for me about streaming and my community.”

The channel also functioned as a wellspring of generosity towards worthy causes. Viewers could seek out the resources that they might be reluctant to pursue in other spaces. “When I first started streaming, I would do these 12 or 24 hour streams where I would donate everything that I made from that stream to different charities. It was usually charities that either my community would choose, or if I had an important topic, I would donate to organizations in that field. I’ve donated to a bunch of charities. I’ve worked with this charity called RAD (Rise Above The Disorder) and they connect people with therapists. We did these Mental Health Monday streams where I would sit down with professionals each week. They would tell me about their jobs and answer chat’s questions about mental health like, ‘How do I get a therapist? What if I can’t afford a therapist? What if my parents don’t want me to get a therapist?’ I remember that had a really good impact on my community, and that’s something that’s really close to me because mental health is important to me and I really like working in the mental health field.” 

Charity provides her a sense of purpose. She recognizes her position of privilege and wants to use it for good. “I used to volunteer outside of streaming, so I would volunteer at soup kitchens. I would volunteer at homeless shelters. It’s honestly a big passion of mine because I want to give back to people. As a streamer, I’m so lucky and I’m so fortunate to be doing this job. I just want to give back to people.” Niki had the revelation that having a background in streaming makes her uniquely equipped to understand the mental health challenges within content creation. “I’ve always wanted to become a psychiatrist. I wanted to work in psych wards with children. But when I became a streamer, I realized there’s so much about this industry that I feel like a lot of people don’t understand, especially therapists and professionals who are older and maybe didn’t grow up on the internet. They may not understand pop culture or fandoms. I think I have enough experience and I would really like to help out other YouTubers, streamers, or anyone in the industry.”

She’s ready to branch out of her comfort zone and experiment with new formats. Self-expression speaks to her on a different level. “In the last two years particularly, I’ve gone through a transition where I want to move away from gaming. I do love gaming and I love playing video games, but I have so many other interests and I don’t want to put myself into a box. I’ve been experimenting a lot recently. I’ve been doing a lot of makeup, a lot of fashion, a lot of just getting ready with me and talking. I’ve really enjoyed that because I feel like my content has always been my personality and that’s why people watch me. I feel like now I can show a new side of myself to my audience and that has been really, really nice. My content really feels like me nowadays. I think I just want to keep going and do what I want to do.” A new dimension of Niki is unlocked. Keep watching to see her shine!

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Niki Nihachu Streams for Empowerment and Change. Photo Credit: Jackson Gray.

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