TikTok has announced the inaugural cohort of Rising Voices grant recipients, with 20 creators receiving a cash grant of about R860,000 in total. Some of the grant recipients include thozimusic, khanyisa_jaceni, doctor.siya and sphokuhle.n.
The grant follows the first-ever six-week Rising Voices incubator programme in June where, along with 80 other creators, the grant recipients were given mentorship, masterclasses and special training on content creation for TikTok. In addition to the cash grant, recipients will continue to receive content advice and support while they conceptualise and curate 10 pieces of content for their platforms. TikTok will provide further support by amplifying their content to users on the platform, which in turn will help those creators grow their accounts.
Boniswa Sidwaba, TikTok Content Operations Manager, Africa, said that growing a diverse and all-inclusive community on TikTok remains a top priority for the platform. “Through Rising Voices, our goal has always been to uplift and empower creators of colour on the platform, providing the necessary support to help them express themselves. With the right tools at their fingertips, we were truly spellbound by the incredible talent that came to light over the last six weeks.”
“During the programme, it was inspiring to see participants fully immerse themselves in creating quality content, participating in the masterclasses and taking to collaboration and connecting with each other with great enthusiasm. We are excited to reveal that in addition to the 839 million views received across creator content, 4.6 million followers were gained, 2.1 million shares occurred and a total of 9,800 videos created, showcasing local and relatable content created during the course of the programme.”
Sidwaba added that South Africa is home to extraordinary local talent with the ability to stand out on a global stage such as TikTok. “We trust that the skills learned, and discussions had, will empower this generation of content creators to create a bright future for themselves. On TikTok, the possibilities are really endless.”
“The NFVF is proud to have been chosen to partner with TikTok on this groundbreaking initiative. The opportunity to mold young content creators into future entrepreneurs that will learn to take advantage of all forms of media and monetise their ideas is one we were happy to support. Congratulations to all the young people that were chosen to take part and we look forward to future collaborations”, said Makhosazana Khanyile, CEO of the National Film & Video Foundation.
The 20 Rising Voices grant recipients were selected by a panel of judges from the TikTok Creator and Content Team based on their engagement levels, dedication to the programme and overall project immersion.