The nominees for the African Social Star of 2020 category at the upcoming E! People’s Choice Awards, have been announced.
Social media star and model, Karl Kugelmann; rapper, actress and poet, Sho Madjozi; international Emmy Award-nominee and actress, Thuso Mbedu; magician and TikTok star, Wian van den Berg, and reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, are the South African nominees.
Also in the running is Nigerian YouTube sensation, Dimma Umeh; Kenyan comedian and internet star, Elsa Majimbo, and Ghana’s African Movie Academy Award-winning actress, Lydia Forson.
On Thursday morning, a dapper-looking Kat Sinivasan chatted to some of the nominees. Tunzi and Mbedu and Madjozi were unavailable.
Last year, Bonang Mathebe brought home the title of African Influencer 2019 at the prestigious award ceremony.
Below are some of the responses by this year’s chuffed nominees:
The comedic star was in an exuberant mood. “I feel amazing. I feel awesome. Oh my God, this is crazy,” she commented.
She continued: “Everything that has happened this year, were things I couldn’t have imagined. It’s been the best year.”
When asked how she’s been coping with Covid-19 lockdown, Majimbo admitted: “It’s been harder. I’m not doing a lot of things. My creativity is bound to the house so I’ve been doing small things to get my mind off the coronavirus.”
With Majimbo putting Kenya on the map, she’s determined to reach for the stars.
She said: “I want to do comedy, for everyone. I want to get into acting. I want to get into writing.”
The model looked cover-ready when he joined the virtual press conference.
On being nominated, he offered: “I originally only thought it was E! Africa and not E! Global. I can’t fathom it.
I remember having like a 1 000 followers. I’m very blessed and very grateful to whoever chose me for this award.”
Now he’s sitting with several million fans on TikTok.
On the secret to being in such an influential position on social media, he added: “If I could break it down, you need to be able to do it every day.”
He placed a strong emphasis on being consistent and finding the right category to get the ideal traction.
Kugelmann also offered: “Lighting and song choice doubles the amount of views. Lastly, I try to post in the evening, SA time. Around the world, it is like 12. So they will be able to see my posts, too. That’s another tactic. The potential of this platform is exceptional.”
Having travelled the world quite extensively for four years, he’s now focused on promoting tourism in Cape Town.
He explained: “After the tourism industry has been decimated by Covid-19, I want to promote tourism in Cape Town and show people how amazing South Africa is.”
This Nigerian YouTuber and beauty blogger looked absolutely sensational on the video call.
When asked about her initial reaction to being nominated, she shared: “I got the email…and we screamed for like 10 minutes straight.”
Her social media journey started out as a traditional blogger.
She revealed: “I shared finished looks and products I would use. Before I knew it, people requested to see the entire process. I was very shy, it took me a while to honour the request.”
Now she’s a natural in front of the camera.
Covid-19 has forced everyone to adapt during the lockdown. Sharing her experience, Umeh said: “Normally, we have to put out a lot of videos in a categorised schedule.
“We lost access to some of the people who would assist.
“The one thing it did help with because I wasn’t going out as much as there weren’t a lot of events, it was very easy to keep to the schedule that I have.”
Wian van den Berg
Fans will remember the magician from “SA’s Got Talent”.
He offered: “I started doing magic at 15, five years before I went on ‘SA’s Got Talent’.” His massive following on TikTok and YouTube has placed him in the spotlight.
On being nominated, he said: “This is a massive honour. I have a thing for awards shows because I get to see the celebs that I love.”
A huge fan of Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande, he is keeping his fingers crossed for a win.
This award-winning Ghanian actress, writer and producer revealed there’s space for one more award on her shelf.
She enthused: “It’s amazing, I’m excited. I’ve been smiling all morning. I’m still trying to put the words together. In a weird way, it’s a validation. I believe in living my life and doing the things that I love. I’m a non-conformist.”
When Covid-19 hit, she did her bit to help.
“I decided to fall back on what I know,” she shared. With everything happening, with front-line works, you almost feel powerless. I made my social media page an information platform. As an entertainer, you think, ‘what can I do?’ I chose to entertain. A lot of lives were lost. People lost their jobs. People needed a mental break.”
Aside from constant updates she provided every day, she donated to several charities.
She added: “2020 is the year for Africa. I feel like we are finally being heard and being seen. E! Doing this is huge. My nomination is very important.”
The official voting window started on October 1 and runs until October 23. Fans can vote up to 25 times per day, per category, per method (voting website and Twitter).
On 15 October, the votes will count as double, equalling up to a maximum of 50 votes per category, per voting method.
For Twitter votes: posts must be public to count. Posts count as a vote if the category hashtag (#AfricanSocialStar) and a corresponding nominee hashtag are used together in the same post. For example: Check it out! I voted for #NomineeName as #AfricanSocialStar at the E! People’s Choice Awards! #PCAs
The nominee hashtags are: #DimmaUmeh, #ElsaMajimbo, #KarlKugelmann, #LydiaForson, #ShoMadjozi, #ThusoMbedu, #Wian and #ZoziTunzi.
The E! People’s Choice Awards will be broadcast in the US on Sunday 15 November, starting with Live From The Red Carpet at 2am on Monday, November 16 and the ceremony at 4pm. For those unable to tune in, the ceremony will be repeated at 9:30pm.