Social media influencers have turned influencer marketing into a solid career where they earn thousands of dollars from product endorsements and social shopping, which is the use of social media to influence others’ purchasing behaviour. We have identified five African influencers who are making big bucks:
1. Khaby Lame (Senegal)
During the early stages of the pandemic, Khabane Lame lost his job as a factory worker in Chivasso, Italy. The Senegalese social media star resorted to creating TikTok videos, under the name Khaby Lame, where he mutely pokes fun at life hacks and D.I.Y. videos. His vivid, nonverbal facial expressions ultimately made him a viral sensation.
The twenty-one year old has the second highest number of followers on TikTok, amassing 127.7 million admirers thus far. He charges an estimated $50,000 per promotional video, and reportedly earns $200,000 per month.
Whilst most of his earnings stem from brand sponsorships, Khaby has further optimised his social media fandom to cash in on his virtual store, where an assortment of items can be found, ranging from juicers to magic candles and t-shirts. His online prominence has also enabled him to feature in numerous collaborations with diverse personalities, such as Ed Sheeran, Greta Thunberg, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and J Balvin.
2. Ayodeji Balogun aka Wizkid (Nigeria)
Singer and songwriter, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun — famously known as Wizkid — launched his musical journey when he was just eleven years old. In 2001, the Nigerian pop star released Lil Prinz, a debut, collaborative album with Glorious Five, a group comprising Wizkid and his church-going companions.
In 2016, Wizkid attained global fame by partnering with Drake on the international smash song, ‘One Dance’. The tune topped the charts in fifteen countries, including Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States. On 30th October 2020, Wizkid released ‘Made in Lagos’, his fourth studio album, and one that features big names, namely Burna Boy, Damian Marley, and Ella Mai. The record continues to garner rave reviews.
Wizkid has more than 13m Instagram followers. He is believed to earn an estimated $77,000 from each Instagram-endorsed post. The Nigerian is also currently the fourth richest African musician, with a net worth of $21 million.
3. Sarah Langa (South Africa)
Johannesburg-born content creator and influencer, Langa is well-known for her travel lifestyle and fashion tips. The female entrepreneur is also an ambassador for several high-end brands, such as Brutal Fruit, Stylista, Vince Camuto, and Woolworths.
Langa’s blogging, social media channels, and modelling career have helped her generate 625K followers on Instagram, and close to 90K followers on Twitter. The South African native has a net worth estimated at $700,000.
Langa additionally uses her influence and voice to help her community. She is involved with multiple charities supporting the education of children from low-income households.
4. Onyi Moss (Nigeria)
Onyi is one of the leading African lifestyle, travel, and fashion bloggers based in the UK. A self-learned professional photographer and content creator hailing from Nigeria, Onyi shares a proclivity for romantic visualisations, a passion that can be found on her website, mossonyi.com. She has 166K followers on Instagram.
Onyi initially relocated to the UK to progress her profession as a Chartered Accountant. However, she eventually became a full-time blogger and content creator, focusing on women empowerment. She has collaborated with premium brands, including Armani Beauty, Chivas Regal, and Grey Goose. She has also appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and The Guardian.
Over the years, Onyi has gone on to enlarge her creative portfolio. In January 2021, she unveiled her debut song, ‘In Your Eyes’. The British-Nigerian high-flyer, likewise, released her maiden film series, ‘Black Women Are Soft Too’. The premise centres on emphasising the delicate quality present in women of colour, therein communicating their benevolence.
5. Wian Magic (South Africa)
The highly popular South African magician first attained media coverage in 2015, when he appeared on South Africa’s Got Talent. Following on from being in the spotlight, Wian Van Der Berg — as he is originally known — then began posting his magic clips on various social media platforms, all the while honing his craft by scrutinising materials of the absolute best illusionists on the planet.
The Free State native’s distinctive brand of street magic, fused with his quirky comedy, paved the way to his emergence as the most successful magician on social media. He’s garnered more than 12 million followers on TikTok, and has 1.7 million followers on Instagram.
In 2019, Wian partnered with Boomerang to launch a magic series, titled Wooala. He’s additionally appeared on several television shows, performed for different multinational firms (e.g. BMW, Coca Cola, and Mercedes), as well put on a show for the Springbok rugby team.
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