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Dennis Ombachi wins $25,000 grant from TikTok


Kenya’s Dennis Ombachi, known as @theroamingchef is among the 50 creators from across the world selected for TikTok Change Makers Program. 

This program marks the platform’s first-ever global social impact creator elevation initiative, spotlighting creators and non-profits who drive meaningful change in their communities through TikTok. It aims to showcase the diverse voices and strength of its global community as it educates, advocates, and inspires communities to drive meaningful, positive, and lasting change.

As part of the TikTok Change Makers Programme, four purpose-driven creators from Africa have been selected to make a significant impact and inspire their audiences on TikTok and beyond. In Kenya, Dennis Ombachi was chosen as a Changemaker.

The six-month programme will support selected creators from around the world in building engaged communities, reaching new audiences, and unlocking real-world opportunities. This will be achieved through dedicated tools, resources, and donations to designated non-profit organisations.

An integral part of the TikTok Change Makers Programme is the TikTok Change Makers Grant. Through this grant, TikTok will donate over $1 million to more than 30 global and local non-profit organisations supporting various important causes. Each Changemaker will be honoured with a $25,000 direct donation to support their respective advocacies, thereby elevating the impact of their work.

TikTok Change Makers Programme creators

‘’Whether it’s spreading positivity or sharing good deeds, these Change Makers continue to advocate, inspire, and educate their communities to drive collective change on TikTok and beyond. Dennis has been an inspiration; regularly distributes meals to deserving people across Nairobi.’’ TikTok said in a statement.

Dennis, a self-taught chef and former international rugby sevens player, is renowned for his trademark monosyllabic commentary “Done!” and boasts a following of 2.3 million. Dennis reinvented himself as a social media star with a global fan base after an injury ended his rugby career. Following a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2018, he turned to cooking to maintain his mental health. During the pandemic, he focused on creating cooking content, keeping his videos “short and snappy.” In 2022, he received the TikTok Award for Best African Content Creator.

He is partnering with the local non-profit organisation Mtoto News, a digital and media platform that prioritises finding ways to give young people a voice in the digital/tech industry, focusing on their input in making online platforms safer for all.

“The TikTok global community harnesses creative self-expression to drive positive impact by rallying support, raising awareness, and advocating for the causes they truly care about. We’re proud to launch the TikTok Change Makers Programme to help social impact creators and non-profit organisations reach more communities, unlock real-world opportunities, and bring about lasting, meaningful change,” said Kim Farrell, Head of Creators, TikTok.

Other creators from across Africa selected for the program are Nigeria’s @charityekezie, an award-winning creator who dispels African stereotypes and has 3.2 million followers, South Africa’s @doctor.siya, who gained fame by sharing content on medical myths and sexual health and  @pilot_onthegram, the first South African pilot to be verified on TikTok who creates educational videos to inspire future pilots and aviators, especially women.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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