Driven by mass poverty orchestrated by unemployment and embolden by the limitless opportunities provided by the internet, African youths have since tapped into the creator economy, a sector believed to be worth over $100 billion with over 300 million creators globally, according to an independently written report by Richard Florida, titled The Rise of the Creator Economy.
According to a UN report, the creative economy industries generate annual revenues of $2.25 trillion and account for 30 million jobs worldwide. Nearly half of these workers are women, and these industries employ more people ages 15-29 than any other sector. Television and the visual arts make up the largest industries of the creative economy in terms of revenue, while visual arts and music are the largest industries in terms of employment.
In recognition and celebrating the creators’ contribution in terms of talent and creativity to its platform in 2022, TikTok has announced the first eight Top Creators and Top Creator Runner-Ups to win its #TopCreator2022 Awards across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The announcement was made at an award ceremony held at the Mövenpick Hotel & Residences Nairobi in Kenya and in attendance were the media community and fellow creators across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Winners of TikTok Top Creators in Sub-Saharan African 2022
The eight winners chosen after a highly competitive eight-day-long public voting process on the app across Southern, West, and East Africa, are as follows:
TikTok Top Creator 2022 West Africa Winner – @e4ma from Nigeria
TikTok Top Creator 2022 West Africa Runner Up – @berby_picxy from Nigeria
TikTok Top Creator 2022 Southern Africa Winner – @Pilot_onthegram from South Africa
TikTok Top Creator 2022 Southern Africa Runner Up – @.lindokuhle_khoza from South Africa
TikTok Top Creator 2022 East Africa Winner – @natasha_gwal from Kenya
TikTok Top Creator 2022 East Africa Runner Up – @beautyby.nita from Kenya
In addition to the publicly-voted category and decided by the TikTok judging panel, the winner and runner-up of the overall Top Creator Award across Sub-Saharan Africa are:
TikTok Top Creator 2022 Sub-Saharan Africa Winner – @theroamingchef from Kenya. The roaming chef is a former Kenya 7s rugby player turned food vlogger. While Dennis Ombachi is the
TikTok Top Creator 2022 Sub-Saharan Africa Runner Up – @charityekezie from Nigeria
According to Boniswa Sidwaba, TikTok’s head of content programming in Sub-Saharan Africa, “this award ceremony is TikTok’s way of recognising storytellers, creativity and the positive impact all creators bring to the TikTok community. We are thrilled to be celebrating our creators who have been a driving force behind some of the exciting trends for 2022. 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.”
What you should know about the creator economy
According to Taylor Lorenz’s report for The Atlantic, the term creator was originally marketed by YouTube, as an alternative to “YouTube star,” which was a time when only a few famous public personalities could succeed on the platform. However, the term is now used to describe practically anyone producing any form of content online. Yuanling Yuan in her article for SignalFire defined the Creator Economy as: “the class of businesses built by over 50 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders including social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers, plus the software and finance tools designed to help them with growth and monetization”.
TikTok users are “TikTok creators.” Members of the invitation-only real-time voice-chat app Clubhouse are “audio creators.” Instagram users are content creators and so on and so forth. What this means is that everyone and anyone who posts content on any social media platform can be considered a “creator”. Creators are not influencers, but nearly all influencers are creators who have achieved a large following because of the content they create within the creator economy.
According to the Cbinsights report, the top-performing YouTube channels reaped $211M between June 2019 and June 2020. Famous Instagram influencers and celebrities can make up to 6 figures per post. In September 2021, Yahoo Finance reported that 58% of users are willing to pay a monthly subscription fee between $1 and $15 to access their favorite creator’s exclusive content. Top Substack writers can earn up to $1M annually.
In Nigeria for instance, the creative sector currently accounts for 1.45% of its GDP according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as employs about 4.2 million Nigerians, making it the second-largest employer in the country, and has the potential to create an additional 2.7 million jobs by 2025 according to a Jobberman research.