Charity Ekezie: I never experienced racism until I joined Tiktok
Charity Ekezie is a content creator, social media and brand influencer. She has over two million followers on Tiktok and is known for dispelling myths about Africa. Ekezie, who recently bagged a Tiktok award as runner up, top creator in Sub-Saharan Africa, had her primary education in Douala, Cameroon where she was born. She returned to Nigeria for her secondary education where she also got a degree in Mass Communication from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, She shares her passion for content creating.
Share with us your growing up?
I grew up in Douala, Cameroon where my family has resided over the years. Cameroon being a bilingual African country exposed me to the French language as well, making me fluent in French. I came back home to Nigeria in 2001 to continue my education. I’m the first child and the only girl and I’m older than two boys.
What informed your interest in Tiktoking?
Before TikTok I was creating content on other platforms for over eight years, though they were not as successful as TikTok has been so far. I studied Journalism in the university and worked in radio station for over three years, so my love to diversify my art, inspired me to create random informative and educative content mostly on YouTube and on Facebook. I only joined TikTok in 2020 during Covid because I was bored just like every one else, and it became a big deal eventually. My content has been seen almost all over the world with 60 per cent of my followers based in the United States.
How were you able to settle for your niche?
My niche became a thing after a series of racist and ignorant attacks in my comment section. I made a video last year encouraging people to visit the beautiful continent of Africa, by showcasing some of their cultural outfits and I received a lot of negative stereotypical comments, especially one that fuelled my content, which was, ‘how will I get water if I come to Africa.’ I was shocked because I have lived in Africa all my life and never had problems finding drinking water, so I decided to respond to that comment with a video in a sarcastic way, telling them we drink saliva only (visibly holding a bottle of water in my hand). That was the moment it hit! It went viral and then I started receiving questions and more questions about life in Africa that was how my niche was born.
As a content creator, how are you able to develop and nurture your skill?
Like I said earlier, creating content has been a thing for me for a very long time. Also having a journalism background and experience helped shape my knowledge towards content creation and public speaking. I really don’t have to stress too hard to come up with ideas on what to create but of course it gets a lot better as I create.
What challenges have you encountered in the course of your career?
One of my biggest challenges has been that of ‘hate and negativity’ I receive on a daily basis on my page. I had never experienced racism until I joined TikTok. It sometimes gets depressing.
You have been recognised globally. How does that make you feel?
Being recognised globally and also winning an award as runner TikTok top creator for sub Saharan Africa, makes me feel absolutely great and fulfilled because it is a sign that my video is making a difference and that I am really doing something positive by not just entertaining but also educating people about Africa through humor and sarcasm.
What does fashion mean to you?
I see fashion as a way to express myself more so being comfortable in what I choose to wear.
What is your fashion style?
I feel like my style varies on my mood of the day, but I basically just make sure it’s something I’m comfortable in and I feel confident in.
Who are your role models?
I have a ton of role models, including members of my family, who I believe inspire me daily, But Oprah Winfrey and Trevor Noah are top on the list.
What is your favourite local dish?
I love fufu and Oha soup.
What will you never be caught wearing?
I will never be caught wearing two-inch heel shoes. If it’s not at least six inches, why wear them?
How would you describe your growth process?
I would say my growth has been life changing. It started slow but has now taken a turnaround. Being recognised even when I’m casually walking down the street or casually shopping in the mall, is something I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to. People are now making replicas of the same style of my content in different countries of the world, trying to dispel their stereotypes as well. Like I’ve seen some Asian creators and Mexican creators, even other African creators following my lead and educating people. For me, this is a win.
What are your hobbies?
I had a lot of hobbies growing up but with age, it has been streamlined to staying indoors and watching a good movie.
Describe Charity in three words
Creative, resilient and empathetic