Influencer Game-The rise and rise of Azziad Nasenya

Article by Maureen Kasuku
Posted: September 03, 2020  

Our “Influencer Game” 3-Part series spotlights social media Influencing in Kenya. Who are they?How much the digital stars are making , and what the future looks like for social media fame and traditional media.

Social media influencers are creating a contemporary class of celebrity. They’re outliers of what’s considered “traditional celebrity”. Their big break wasn’t a movie or a chart-topping song and it wasn’t a gold medal at the olympics. They got their fame through a viral blogpost, video or picture. 

They command a strong cyberspace army of adoring followers and they’ve found a way to capitalize on this by partnering with various brands and institutions to influence their audience to check out a product/ service or participate in various activities.

A case study of the immense power of social media influencers is Azziad Nasenya. The 20 year old got her big break on Tik Tok earlier this year with a viral video of her dancing to this song. The internet imploded and the hashtags #Azziad & #Utawezana trended on twitter for a whole weekend. 

In less than 72 hours, Azziad went from an obscure college girl on Tik Tok to Influencer Extraordinaire. Brands started blowing up her phone offering dazzling amounts of money for product placement. 

The overnight fame also came with nasty repercussions. The trolls came out to bully her viciously. They had takes no one asked for on her weight, skin color and other stupid subjective criticisms. Azziad also became a victim of doxxing when her personal details were leaked. Her phone number and that of her mother were put on blast. Their residential address was also leaked.

But the 20 year old took it all in stride and continued to churn out more viral videos. Her social media platforms now have official verification badges and she has subsequently released her rate card. If you’re a brand interested in partnering with Azziad to push a product/service, you should know that she charges Sh100,000 for a pre-recorded, scripted Tik Tok video and Sh50,000 for a live video on the same platform. Her rates across the “Big 3” social media platforms vary. But just know, it doesn’t come cheap.

Internet popularity is fraught  with infamy and can be fleeting. Hopefully Azziad is making the most out of this meteoric rise. Meanwhile, traditional media is getting a run for its money from millennials and Gen-z with smartphones and internet.

Next week, we explore types of influencers and how exactly they make money.


*Image: Courtesy


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