How Kenyan TikTok became a haven for questionable talent
It has become a little too obvious just how comfortable many Kenyans are getting on the famous video streaming platform, TikTok.
The app is built to draw attention from users and it seems many people have taken this to the next level.
Whereas the platform is a hub for many talents, and a place for self-expression and showcasing creativity, it has also seemingly given people an avenue to make the most of the attention it gets by uploading videos of themselves doing weird things that many people find amusing.
However, in as much as the videos speak for themselves by the range of views they garner at the end of the day, the question that has been raised by many TikTok users is if the platform has become an enabler of fake talents.
Whatever is amusing to the eyes and soul is what people digest on TikTok, and quite frankly any other video streaming platforms. Sure, there’s even room for oddity and semblance. But what is drawing the attention of people most and making some go viral in a matter of days is not something that’s of value, on social media and the society at large.
When we look at the many videos on TikTok that have amassed considerable traction they include those that serve substantial purposes that encourage learning and growth. The likes of Kenyan TikTokers like Azziad Nasenya, Moya David, Dance General, and Ajib Gathoni to mention but a few, are young people who not only entertain but also showcase their dancing skills on the platform which in term people appreciate because they get to learn and join in on challenges and trends.
However, there have come some new Kenyan characters that have seemingly redefined the grounding perspective of what TikTok aims to showcase or push for. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good that TikTok encourages people to step out of their comfort zone and express who they really are, and in turn, help them push their content, but nowadays it’s like literally anything can make you go viral.
In this article, I would like to share just what I mean by Kenyan TikTok enabling fake talent and passing it up as something worth going viral. If you ask me, what is apparently meant to be entertaining nowadays completely lacks substance, and I think it’s giving people (who don’t necessarily deserve it) free passes. Let’s have a look at some of the Kenyan characters that have gone viral over weird content.
Can somebody explain to me how screaming at the top of your lungs in public is a talent? Better yet, something worth going viral for. The fact that he got thousands of views on TikTok because he has the courage to scream in places where noise is not tolerated, including government offices is utterly nonsensical. Think about it, If indeed his content was substantial and worth for the masses on TikTok to digest then I believe he would still be relevant to date. Where is he now? What great deals has he bagged from his “talent”, or rather content? He is just another Kenyan who is walking amongst us.
Priscilla Wa Imani
A lady who made it big on TikTok by just whistling and spewing out words loudly. In a matter of days, Priscilla had already caused a stir on TikTok with many people lauding her for her whistling skill. I’ll admit, whistling like that is pretty fascinating and impressive, especially for a lady. But how is it that that one thing unlocked the doors to partnerships for the confident woman?
Priscilla managed to land herself an ambassadorial role just days after her whistling TikTok videos went viral. How does that even work? All she did was whistle loudly in public, asking radio personality Maina Kageni to send her fare, and in another video asking Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja to meet. Where exactly is the talent in doing so? It’s only a matter of time until she’s another forgotten one-hit wonder.
A TikToker who thrives on criticizing famous personalities. Looking into the kind of content Mwiti shares, it simply tells you what many people are willing to encourage, and apparently dirty unsolicited comments about celebrities can give you great viewership. Ask Mwiti.
He has butted heads with the likes of Mummie Francie, Marylinda, and Kelvin Kinuthia to mention a few. Under a segment dubbed “411”, Mwiti has made a name for himself by having something nasty to say about popular figures. Talent? I think not, but it’s something that seemingly draws the attention of many.
Speaking of weird characters, who would put their life on the line just to get a few thousand views? Well, this guy can. His content is just as weird as it is stupid.
Having made a niche for himself on TikTok for eating weird animals like bats and spiders, this Meru hailed youngin has definitely grown his audience and made his name recognizable on social media.
The thing is when he is not eating something weird, his relevance drops and nobody talks about him anymore. He could literally kick the bucket and nobody will be affected, in spite of him risking his life in the name of unique content. Eating weird animals is not a talent, it’s stupidity.