Kenyan in America pays university tuition through TikTok

Ondieki was born in Kenya but moved to America aged five

Leon Ondieki, a 19 year old student in University of Georgia makes Sh45,000 ($400) a day through posting 60 second videos on popular social media platform TikTok.

Leon Ondieki, a 19-year-old student at the University of Georgia, USA, makes $400 (Sh45,540) a day from posting 60-second videos on popular social media platform TikTok.

The Management Information Systems student has amassed nearly 1.5 million followers in two years, being an influencer.

Born in Kenya and raised in the United States since age five, Ondieki has revealed that daily proceeds from his influencer work have enabled him to pay for his entire tuition.

“My tuition, books, everything. All of my college expenses have been paid," he said. "It takes a lot of stress because I know in the future, as soon as I leave college, I have no debts to my name.”

In between lectures on a regular day, Ondieki will get his camera and tripod, and roam around campus making fun videos quizzing his schoolmates.

His video series 'Ur Hair Tangled' which sees a comb-wielding Ondieki giving complete strangers a challenge to run his comb through their hair is one of the most popular among his videos. This made people refer to him as 'the CEO of combs'.

“I really started teaching myself how to edit videos, teaching myself how to record videos, how to use a camera," he has revealed.

He also gives away a large chunk of the income from his videos; for example, a silly task he has asked his fans to perform to get the cash was declaring that the first person to bring him a Sprite would get $20 (Sh2,270). Another was prompting strangers to dump water on their heads in exchange offering a TV.

Since TikTok blew up in 2019, there has been a steep increase in the number of people who want to make videos on the app as their full-time career.

TikTok has not officially announced how much it pays its creators, and the specific amount differs from creator to creator.

However, influencers who use TikTok’s recently launched Creator Fund have reported that TikTok pays them between Sh2 and Sh4 per thousand views.

To put that in perspective, it would mean that if a video got 500,000 views, the creator would make Sh2,270.

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