The TikTok Creative Award, held in the bustling capital of Addis Ababa, celebrated the positive impact and emerging talent on the popular TikTok platform. Organized by Alamudi Mustefa of local media and event powerhouse, Milki, in partnership with event organizer Union, the goal of the award was to recognize content creators using TikTok for good deeds like spreading joy and creating job opportunities.
Born and raised in Metu Illubabor, Alamudi pursued a journalism and communications degree from Addis Ababa University. After graduation, he worked as a reporter for FM 97.1 before serving two years as communications lead for Lideta sub-city administration. In 2020, he launched his own media and events company, Milki.
“When we see the youth active in various fields of peacebuilding and charity, we believed their work deserved recognition,” Alamudi said of the inspiration behind the awards.
Originally launched in China in 2016 as a video app called Douyin, TikTok quickly gained a global following under its new name. Today, over 1.6 billion users worldwide make it the most popular social platform, thanks to its short video format that offers a fun, creative outlet. TikTok’s success comes from captivating younger audiences and spotlighting user-generated clips.
“About 70 percent was decided by public votes,” Alamudi noted. “30 percent went to esteemed judges like Sertse Fresenbet who have experience,” ensuring winners were chosen fairly.
In Ethiopia, TikTok has significantly bolstered job prospects. Alamudi emphasized the transformative nature of the platform saying “For many skilled people, the platform proves very useful. Some TikTokers left jobs to do this full-time, earning income.”
While TikTok delivers benefits, concerns remain over potential downsides without proper guidelines.
Alamudi expresses concern over some content, stating, “There are many creators transmitting bad messages that destroy unity and disturb peace among the people.” He believes the government should monitor content, stating, “Our government may work on oversight soon, but in my opinion, checking all content could help safeguard future generations.”
The Award ceremony, held at the Skylight Hotel, honored a dozen individuals across 12 categories.
Among the winners was Musse Selemon for Best Informative Content.
Reflecting on his TikTok journey, Musse s says he started using TikTok while home alone during corona to gain information. “That’s when my career and influence began.” He added, “Gathering information and discovering new things are my hobbies, so that’s why I focused on the informative category.”
“Through my TikTok journey, I’ve strived to create informative content that resonates with my audience,” said Musse. “Education and accessibility are at the core of my approach, as I aim to simplify complex ideas without compromising accuracy. My commitment to deep research ensures I provide reliable information, earning the trust and respect of my followers.”
TikTok’s influence extends beyond individual success stories. The platform has significantly shaped popular culture, with viral trends and challenges spreading rapidly worldwide. TikTok has also become an avenue for social and political activism, empowering users to raise awareness on important issues and drive change.
Musse acknowledges this impact. “TikTok has a great influence on society—it can positively or negatively change society. We are trying to create a positive influence.”
Content creators on TikTok have become influential figures with millions of followers eagerly awaiting their next video. These creators have the power to shape trends, inspire others, and amplify meaningful messages. The Award recognizes their talent and dedication, encouraging continued positive impact.
Musse emphasized the importance of responsible content creation, stating, “We need to have good messages—to educate, entertain, and save society.”
As TikTok’s popularity rises, it faces new challenges and opportunities. Alamudi envisions expanding the Award in the future, incorporating new elements and promoting positive messages. He envisions filling the platform with positive content.
“When we prepare for next year’s event, we plan to include new things, but our aim is to fill the platform with positive messages,” Alamudi said. He explained that the award encourages content creators to continue using their influence for the betterment of society, whether it’s through educating, entertaining, or inspiring their audience.”
However, Alamudi stressed the importance of responsible content governance to balance TikTok’s transformative power with appropriate oversight.