What you need to know:
- Undoubtedly, Tiktok’s popularity is on a steady rise.
- Many users are now capitalising on the platform not only to entertain but also earn a living.
- In that sense, some have launched part-time careers as social media influencers and product promoters. Life&Style spoke to some of the Tiktok stars in Kenya.
Lip-synching, supple dances and witty comedy are some of the activities that have become synonymous with Tiktok use in Kenya.
The social media platform, formerly known as Musical.ly, has made indelible footprints in the country. Many have embraced the idea of freely creating and sharing content that appeals to their loyal fans, whether it be comedy, music or dances.
Undoubtedly, Tiktok’s popularity is on a steady rise. Many users are now capitalising on the platform not only to entertain but also earn a living.
In that sense, some have launched part-time careers as social media influencers and product promoters. Life&Style spoke to some of the Tiktok stars in Kenya.
Antony Siajabu Ilondanga, 25 (antony_siajabu_ilon)
Anthony is not your everyday Tiktok guy. With over 1 million impressions on his videos, he creates both music remakes and comedy for his 79.4K fans. He has had an exciting journey on Tiktok, consistently and continuously creating for the love of it, but also the reward.
I joined Tiktokin 2016. Over time, I learned that you could gain a massive following by being consistent and creating videos that entertain people. Ever since then, I have been creating multi-genre music remakes, with a bias for African music. My fan base has grown to 78.1K followers and 1 million likes or impressions to my videos.
I graduated in 2017 from Machakos University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. I secured a job in a local bank, and I have been there six months now. Tiktok has given me a chance to create a side hustle. Although it is not yet huge enough to warrant quitting my day job, I do not doubt that it has good rewards.
I have collaborated with Lato, Coca-Cola and Infinix brands who have sponsored videos on my platform. I am convinced that Tiktok experience will only get better in future, as the platform appeals to people of all ages. Also, you do not have to be a celebrity for your videos to go viral. All you need is to create entertaining content for your loyal followers.
Mohammed Ali, 25 (that.guy_moha)
On his videos, you will occasionally see him dancing alongside his friends. He is a team player even in comedy. Perhaps, that is why he has managed to pull a considerable support base of over 31K followers. His videos have had over 297K impressions so far.
I am a construction liaison who thoroughly enjoys creating videos and sharing on Tiktok. I shoot short comedy skits and remakes of music that I enjoy listening to. My love for entertainment is what drew me to Tiktok.
Occasionally, my creator-friends make videos with me. Besides extending the fun, it is a way of building essential networks and supporting each other. It also connects us to the audience, primarily the teenagers and the youth. I believe the content that is popularly shared on Tiktok is much relatable and will remain as such for years to come.
Tiktok has offered me an opportunity to make some cash on the side. I have worked with several companies on sponsored content, among them, Club Soda. It is possible to have a career on Tiktok, as all it calls for is creativity and passion for doing what one loves.
Although the US is threatening to ban Tiktok, I have no doubts that it will be a considerable platform even in years to come. It has a wide market in Africa and Asia, and it is safe not to worry about it.
Julian Kilasi, 21 (@miss_kilasi)
Former Miss Amboseli, Kilasi is a jovial human being. You can tell that from the effortless characteristic smile as she speaks. Besides her Tiktok platform, she is also a budding YouTuber.
I discovered Tiktok and its power to spread entertainment when Covid-19 struck. It was a way of killing boredom, as there is no school to attend or outdoor activities to take part in. Since then, I have used it as an interactive platform. My audience base is steadily growing, and I appreciate the following that I’m enjoying.
One of the most significant rewards is that Tiktok has helped me understand myself better. For example, I never knew that I could make a great dancer. Now I know, and I take that to be part of character development. Also, I didn’t know that I could perform as an actress. I can confidently say that Tiktok has helped me unravel my hidden talents.
I am a student at Amboseli Institute, where I study a course in hospitality. I am also a budding model who learns a lot from other models on Tiktok. As an aspiring makeup artist, I get to pick a lot of inspiration and lessons from other makeup artists as well.
Wangari Maina, 21 (@maina_mal)
She enjoys a following of 28.7K. Her wittingly crafted funny videos, which are impossible to scroll over, have amassed 483.1K impressions so far. You don’t go away without falling for the sense of African parenthood that she describes by impersonating an African mom.
I’m currently a student at the Technical University of Kenya, pursuing a degree in Industrial and Applied Chemistry. I enjoy making short comic videos which I share on my Tiktok account. It never used to be so, until March this year. I started creating videos way back in 2017 after finishing high school. I would gladly share them on my WhatsApp status as I was afraid of going mainstream for fear of being cyber-bullied. But I decided to give it a shot, eventually.
I share most of my experiences through my videos. And yes, I do all the work, from shooting to editing to compiling them. My hack has been to write down ideas that come in my mind and work on creating videos each at a time.
My Tiktok journey has been an exciting one. I appreciate the baby steps I have made so far, but I’m yet to monetise my content. I have a very supportive family. My parents love and encourage me to keep on and help with Gikuyu diction, while my lovely brother critiques all my videos.
Tiktok has become a great platform on which to experiment on art, while at the same time sharing the fun with my fans.