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African creators triumph at 2023 TikTok creator awards

Lungile Msomi
By Lungile Msomi, ITWeb journalist
Johannesburg, 13 Feb 2024
The 2023 TikTok Top Creator Awards were held at Vodacom World in Johannesburg.
The 2023 TikTok Top Creator Awards were held at Vodacom World in Johannesburg.

South African-based content creators are leveraging short-form video social media platform TikTok to sign lucrative deals with leading brands.

This emerged at the 2023 TikTok Top Creator Awards held last week at Vodacom World in Johannesburg.

The event celebrated the African creator community, highlighting creativity, innovation and impact.

Organised by TikTok in collaboration with Vodacom, the gala recognised content creators across various content creation categories.

TikTok noted the awards emphasise the platform's commitment to empowering creators through resources and monetisation opportunities. It noted the platform is pivotal in enabling creators to sustainably pursue their passions.

Bianca Sibiya, TikTok head of content operations in Sub-Saharan Africa, commented that the awards are designed to inspire, guide and empower the next generation of talent.

“The awards give us an opportunity to recognise and celebrate our talented content creators from across the continent. We're incredibly proud and inspired by these creators, who significantly impact their communities through innovative, engaging and captivating content.”

The creators were given various prizes, including a Sony ZV-1F vlog camera, a Xiaomi robot vacuum, Hisense Infinity H50 smartphone and wireless headsets, Volkano UPS and smartwatches.

Mathys Venter, managing executive for prepaid and loyalty at Vodacom South Africa, said: "Through this initiative, in collaboration with TikTok, we hope to continue shedding light on the ever-evolving creative industry across Africa. We remain committed to providing creators with solutions that empower their entertaining content creation."

Bianca Sibiya, head of content operations in Sub-Saharan Africa at TikTok.
Bianca Sibiya, head of content operations in Sub-Saharan Africa at TikTok.

South African creator Princess Sachiko (Sachi_Himes96), awarded the entertainment creator of the year, cited TikTok as a transformative platform, despite initial challenges. Sachiko has worked with international brands such as Disney, Shein and Universal.

“TikTok has allowed me to work with brands in marketing. I had pursued teaching, but I realised I could actually could get into marketing through TikTok and work with different brands, different companies that I actually looked up to and want to work with,” said Sachiko.

Cape-Town based creator Jade Oliver (Afrolecia), who won the Africa rising creator of the year award, credited TikTok for shaping her content creator career and facilitating brand partnerships. She has worked with cosmetics brands like K18, Denman Brush and Clicks.

“I chose TikTok because it is the platform that gets me the most interactions and brand deals. The platform has really helped me grow my content and with these awards I can see that my hard work over the year has paid off,” explained Oliver.

The creator industry continues to grow, with the global market estimated to reach R1.7 trillion by 2027, according to research by wpbeginner. There are currently over 200 million content creators worldwide.

Keagile Makgoba, TikTok communications lead for Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighted the value creators bring to brands.

“By working with creators, brands tap into the power of community commerce and peer-to-peer reviews to influence purchasing behaviour. Today, popularity is no longer the driver of influence; it is expertise, meaning, knowledge, ability, interest, passion, skills, competence and know-how. That creates real influence on an interest-based platform like TikTok.”

Other winners include:

  • Sports Creator of the Year – Nezcatt (South Africa)
  • Gaming Creator of the Year – khalamanja_ (Nigeria)
  • Lifestyle and Education Creator of the Year – iremide (Nigeria)
  • Trailblazer of the Year – olaoflagos_ (Nigeria)
  • Publisher of the Year – PulseNigeria247 (Nigeria)
  • Song of the Year – Mnike by Tyler ICU (South Africa)