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African Artists Are Defying The Language Barrier & Finding An International Audience On TikTok

TikTok, in a way that’s different to other social media apps, is more or less unavoidable. You’re likely either someone who’s mildly addicted to creating videos, mildly addicted to watching them, or you pride yourself on having not signed up to the platform. Even if you fall into the latter, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ve come across a hilarious, moving or weirdly intriguing video with that blue and pink watermark in the corner, and briefly contemplated making an account and seeing what all the fuss is about.

It’s got an undeniably tight grip on the Internet and according to news agency Reuters, in September it had hit one billion monthly active users. The endless possibility is arguably the biggest pull factor for TikTok. The app evolved from the now dissolved musical.ly, a Chinese app that encouraged users to make short videos of them lip-syncing. With TikTok, users aren’t restricted – an hour on the app can take you through restaurant reviews, animal tricks and choreographed dances, all to the backdrop of user-chosen music and sounds.