TikTok and the African Union have partnered to place the spotlight on African content through a month-long campaign dubbed #IamAfrican in celebration of Africa Day on 25 May. The campaign calls on users to share their views on what makes them proudly African across various categories, including music.
As music, along with the industry, continues to be revolutionised by TikTok, the platform has become a powerful promotional tool for the discovery of breakout music and artists. Not only has TikTok changed how people discover music, but the platform is changing music consumption habits too. This is especially evident through the popularity of TikTok playlists – an in-app feature that allows users to group their favourite videos and sounds for easy access at a later stage.
This month, TikTok Africa will programme a line-up of in-app initiatives to highlight African content with genre-specific playlists, including; Gengetone, Afrobeats, Amapiano and an exclusive in-app playlist. Some of Kenya’s top musicians are among the artists whose songs will feature. Names like Sauti Sol, Nameless, Bahati, Bensoul and Nviiri the storyteller. Willis Raburu, Mejja and Sailors are featured among local Gengetone artists on the playlist.
TikTok Content Operations Manager for Africa, Boniswa Sidwaba, explains that TikTok has undoubtedly become a launchpad for music with both upcoming artists and industry’s finest taking equal advantage. She adds that previously unknown music talents are now capitalising on TikTok’s viral challenges and sound features to strategically place their music content on the platform, and have equal chances and ease of reaching the global community.
“Through initiatives like the #IamAfrican campaign, TikTok is playing a strategic role in being a key player in promoting music, shining a spotlight on the amazing talent on the continent and uniting the world. As we continue to prioritise spreading joy, creativity, inclusivity, diversity on the platform, we call on everyone to get involved,” says Sidwaba.
All videos uploaded using one of the songs featured in the playlist with the official #IamAfrican hashtag stands a chance of being selected and shown on the music channel, TRACE, during the month of May.
“As we celebrate Africa Day, it’s important for us to highlight the future of our great continent. This partnership with TikTok and African Union is part of our commitment to empowering the African youth by enabling them to stand up and shine. We at TRACE are dedicated to using our platform to support and promote the brightest stars from Africa and we plan to continue to make Africa proud,” says Sam Onyemelukwe, MD for TRACE in West Africa.
“This partnership with TikTok and TRACE is very exciting for us because, in addition to celebrating Africa Day, it allows us to explore creative ways to implement the One Million by 2021 initiative of the African Union Commission. Our focus is to provide tangible opportunities to the African youth in four key areas; education, employment, entrepreneurship and engagement. The #IAmAfrican campaign will allow youth to showcase their talents across these thematic areas and many more while shining a spotlight on the dynamism of Africans,” says Prudence Ngwenya, Head of the Youth Development Division at the African Union Commission.
As the celebrations for African music continues during this special month, a shout-out goes to the following ten hits which, in no particular order, recently featured on the Gengetone playlist:
- Shamra Shamra by Mbuzi Gang
- Staga Niki Medi by ETHIC
- Lewa by Parroty and Mejja
- TikTok by Boondocks Gang
- Sota by Reckless and Mejja
- Dunda by Sailors 254
- Gengetone Love by Matata
- Kalale by Willis Raburu
- Gengetone – Mashup by Sailors
- Giz Giz by Mbogi Genje
Users can access the #IamAfrican playlist in-app and more here: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSJyJxxTR/