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Kenyan lawyer serves up menu of success with TikTok food videos

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-01 09:40
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A visitor walks by a Douyin booth at an expo in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in 2019. The video-sharing app is known as TikTok outside China. [Photo by Long Wei/For China Daily]

Quick camera transitions, with muted trendy sounds accompanied by Juliet Kane's calming instructive voice, characterize her captivating brief food videos. The 24-year-old lawyer has found success in her venture by showcasing her culinary skills in an educative, sensational format on the popular Chinese videosharing app TikTok.

"I joined TikTok eight months ago. Since I started posting my food videos on a regular basis, I have seen my following grow considerably. Most of my customers have found me online," Kane says.

TikTok, which is popular with the younger generations, is fast catapulting individuals into their desired careers. Budding dancers, comedians and makeup artists in Kenya and across the world have had a breakthrough in their ventures by presenting their work on the app. Well-established professionals are also finding themselves increasingly using the app to give their trades mileage.

The self-taught cook whose food videos have well over 200,000"likes" cites TikTok as an avenue that has propelled her to financial stability while providing an outlet for her creative personality.

"Aside from cooking, I have interest in drawing, painting and music, and so TikTok became ideal as it allowed me to fuse my love for food with my personality. I can match the beats of TikTok sounds to the sizzle of meat or other food sounds," says Kane.

She joined the TikTok bandwagon when the world was in the throes of the pandemic and staying at home was the order of the day. At the time, she joined as a consumer, only intermittently sharing her cake videos.

In a shift, at the beginning of this year, she committed herself to being more deliberate with creating videos around food.

Her resolve saw her shelve her legal career to focus fully on her food business, which she concedes rakes in the lion's share of her earnings.

The lawyer-turned chef enjoys making chicken recipes, as well as popular dishes such as pilaf and biryani. She also draws inspiration from cultures outside her own to execute scrumptious meals.

Kelvin Tayo, an upcoming dance artist based in Nairobi, says he cannot do without a dose of the app. The 20-year-old was introduced to it by his younger brother who became engrossed last year.

"My brother would always be on that app laughing and imitating dance moves, which he failed miserably to copy but surprisingly he did not see a backlash. People loved him actually," says Tayo.

He says people can be themselves on the app. "You can record from wherever and nobody will come to scrutinize you because everyone understands that we are all just having fun."

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