Content creators from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa dominated the inaugural TikTok Top Content Creators Awards 2022.
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Former rugby player turned food vlogger Dennis Ombachi, also known as @theroamingchef, emerged victorious at the inaugural TikTok Top Creator 2022 Awards.
The Kenyan content creator, known for his culinary exploits, took home the Africa Winner award, while the runner-up was Nigerian comedian Charity Ekezie (@charityekezie).
The awards hosted in Nairobi saw winners walk away with #TopCreator2022 trophies across various categories.
The ceremony followed a highly competitive, eight-day-long public voting process on the app.
According to a statement by TikTok Africa, the inaugural award “recognises and awards content creators across Sub-Saharan Africa for the immense talent and creativity they brought to the platform in the past year.”
Boniswa Sidwaba, Head of Content Programming for TikTok in Sub-Saharan Africa, explained that the award aims to recognise and reward content creators for their positive impact on the platform’s users.
“With these inaugural awards, TikTok aims to give creators in Sub-Saharan Africa the recognition they deserve and to encourage them to tell the African story while spreading joy at all times,” he explained.
Dancing queen Ifeoma Efiokwu, known as @e4ma on TikTok, emerged the winner of the West Africa region in the awards, with fellow countrywoman Maduakor Faustina Chisom (@berby_picxy) following as the runner-up in the category.
South Africa equally dominated the southern Africa region, with @Pilot_onthegram, an aviation and lifestyle content creator and the first South African pilot to be verified on TikTok, emerging top in the region while Lindokhule Khoza, @.lindokuhle_khoza, was the runner-up.
Natasha Gwal, popularly known as @natasha_gwal, a beauty enthusiast, and @beautyby.nita, both from Kenya, emerged as the winner and first runner-up, respectively, in the East African category.
Roy Kanyi, a content creator on TikTok from Kenya, considers the rollout of the awards as a motivating development for creators like himself.
“Many will be more committed to the platform because the award confirms that the platform cares for its creators and pushes for networking among them, which, of course, comes with its share of benefits,” he explained.
With the growth of the social media market, TikTok has continued to appeal to audiences from across the continent.
According to Dataxis, a digital data hub, TikTok had built a 31.9% market share within Nigeria by 2020 and the popularity of the platform on the continent has prompted TikTok to invest further in its growing customer base.
In December 2022, TikTok Africa collaborated with Ghana to put together one of the biggest Afrobeats music festivals in Black Star Square in Accra.
The platform’s African content creators are seeing increasing demand for their creative skills as fintech and marketing agencies leverage their experience to create and amplify marketing campaigns. According to Forbes Africa, TikTok has an advertising reach of 28.9 million users in Northern Africa and 7.9 million in southern Africa, as of 2021.
While the platform has started paying creators through its Creator Fund, most creators use other means to make money on the platform.
“Lately, creators are actively approaching corporates. But only as long as the product and services to be marketed are consistent with the creator’s content,” he explained.
Nkululeko Dladla, a South African-based social commerce specialist, added that because TikTok is visually driven, it is more appealing when showcasing products and services.
“In South Africa, TikTok can be a powerful tool for fintechs to reach a younger, more digitally savvy audience,” he explained.
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