We spotlight some of the brightest African creators on TikTok.
An innovative social media app launched by Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok has etched its name in internet users' minds around the world as the go-to social media platform for exciting short video editing tools. Tiktok allows users to create and share 15-second videos on anything. Although other apps like Instagram and Snapchat were still in vogue, TikTok found its goldmine in trending hashtags and challenges. By creating challenges for users to engage with, TikTok found an edge used to gain market-fit. This made the app an instant favorite during the covid-19 pandemic, which forced people to stay indoors.
Since Tiktok cemented its reputation, it's been caught in a diplomatic and technological row between several global leaders who are either craving a slice of TikTok’s delicious pie or enacting laws to curb its influence. Aside from its increasing reputation, investors and workers at TikTok have no “monetary headache”, at least for now, as the app generates income through its in-app purchase and sale of adverts.
In July last year, TikTok officially had over 689 million users across the globe, according to CNBC. Among these rising numbers are African users whose culture and entertainment traditions have found a haven in TikTok. “(We’re) currently the third-ranked social media application among Nigerian users and the sixth-ranked social media app among Kenyans in the Google Play Store,” TikTok said to Quartz Africa in March 2020. This means that African users and creatives, through their various videos, are showing and promoting the beautiful story of Africa like never before.
In a bid to further stay true to our mission of aptly documenting the present-day African youth culture at all levels, we’ve curated a list of TikTok stars in Africa, whose witty, rib-cracking, engaging, and informative content is drawing the world’s attention. We’ve found these individuals worthy because they’ve comfortably made Africa a force to reckon with despite the economic and political turmoil each country on the continent might be going through.
This young Nigerian comedian curates videos centered on what it means and how it feels to be an African mother. Through his video, Mc Shem highlights the lifestyle and various ways African mothers discipline and nurture relationships with their children and society. When he is not acting like an African mother, Mc Shem is entertaining his 4 million-plus TikTok followers with videos of him cracking jokes. The ability to switch personalities has ensured an endless supply of the comedian’s content. His videos on the social media platform have over 107.4 million likes.
Shandor Larenty is a South African TikTok influencer who creates awareness on the loveable side of wild animals through his videos. The 25-year-old posts mind-boggling videos of him at a Safari park warming and cuddling up with wild animals like a Lion and Tiger. In 1999, Shandor relocated to South Africa with his wildlife expert father Alex who passed on his skill of wildlife taming to him according to Daily Mail. Shandor’s disruptive narrative has shown the cosy and friendly side of wild animals. Simply put, he is the poster boy for charming, adorable wild animals. Shandy has a following of over 4.5 million users and 43.5 million likes on his TikTok.
An attempt to describe the videos she makes would be putting her level of creativity into a box. Owraigbo Christabel Efemena, better known as Efemena on TikTok creates duet videos where she lets her facial expression do the talking. Efemena’s videos would catch you off guard and leave you laughing hysterically. She has a following of over 215, 200 TikTok users with about 5 million likes on her video content.
In showbiz, the only route for an entertainer to stay relevant is through the power of evolution. From his years as the brainbox of Mo Hits hit records to being the Founder of Mavins Records, Don Jazzy has found and developed ways by which he stays relevant while marketing his arts. Having conquered Twitter, the certified hitmaker found a new home on TikTok.
Through his videos, the 38-year-old has effortlessly shown that age is just a number and not a limit to having fun. Don Jazzy is one social media influencer who has successfully converted his digital social relevance into a money-making venture. Betway, Hantec Markets, Vbank are some of the few brands tapping into the music producer’s influence. Don Jazzy has a following of over five hundred thousand TikTok users and his videos have garnered 1.3million likes.
The moment a light-skinned man with a hoodie over his head appears on the screen of your phone, your best guess would be Nathan Molefe. He is a South African creative with a loyal following of over 530,000 TikTok users, amassing a whopping 11,400,000 or about 11 million likes on all his videos. The dreadlock creative makes short visual content on relationships and South African cultures and tradition. His sense of style and love for good clothes make a bold statement in all his videos. Nathan is a young creative with an undeniable potential to be in our faces for a very long time. Little wonder his account is verified by TikTok.
Social media is an undeniable tool for every Entertainer with a vision for global dominance. Since making her debut in the Yoruba movie scene, Iyabo Ojo and her brand have survived one controversy or the other even as she keeps minding her business while featuring in top movies. A while ago, unconfirmed reports claimed the actress was allegedly married to a former Nigerian lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye. Iyabo Ojo via her Instagram vehemently denied these reports.
Iyabo Ojo’s romance with TikTok began during the lockdown last year. She says having no choice but to stay indoors led her to create short videos via TikTok. Her followers fell in love with her contents and soon she found herself with a loyal audience. Since then she's gone on to amass 500k+ followers and over 3 million likes on TikTok.
Her mixed-colored braid has become a sort of signature look as it constantly appears in all her videos on TikTok. The theme of her videos is centered on fashion, Ghanaian culture, music, and lip-syncing. The Ghanaian TikTok creative has 428.3k followers and her videos have racked up about 5.4 million likes. Jackline recently met with Ghanian singer, Shatta Wale at the singer’s thirty-sixth plush party which was celebrated in his newly acquired mansion at Trassaco Valley Property in Ghana. In a post via her Instagram handle, Jackline described meeting Shatta Wale as a memorable day for her.
The South African TikTok creator describes herself as a multi-talented singer, dancer, and actress according to her bio the app. Her visual contents range from her displaying her vocal talent to her dancing to good music. Thando has used TikTok as an opportunity for her to develop and embed herself in the arts of acting. Since her arrival on the social media platform in 2018, Thando has been able to grow her followers from 0 to 185,900 with her videos having over 2 million likes.
Elsa Majimbo is a perfect description for the popular saying: “Adversity is the mother of all invention”. The 19-year-old Kenyan found solace with her phone during the lockdown. With her phone in one hand and snacks in the other, the gap-toothed Comedian records herself smiling as she talks on diverse subjects. Her videos began to gain traction which led to her father discouraging her from posting more videos.
Recounting her experience with New York Times, she said: “My dad said, ‘This is not how a Christian girl in a Christian home behaves’ and I tried to explain that it’s meant to be funny” Ms. Majimbo added, “He said, ‘I don’t see anything funny here, stop making videos of this nature immediately.’”
A heavy voice behind Nigeria’s call for an end to Police brutality. Elsa used her platform in promoting and advancing the course of the #EndSARS protest. Her support went a long way in amplifying the demands of protesters while also bringing the message home to Kenyans.
Born Gbemi Anthonia Adefuye, the Nigerian media personality is widely known as Toni Tones. Following her return to Nigeria in 2009, she began her journey into show business. Since then till now, She has featured in several films including the blockbuster, Kings of Boys where she acted as the younger self of Sola Sobowale. Armed with her experience in Nollywood, Toni Tones found it quite easy to create and publish videos on TikTok. In her short stay on the platform, her videos have garnered about 1.5million likes.