Crown The Brown: Nikiwe Gqom Queen
Crown The Brown Tiktok Exclusive: Nikiwe Gqom Queen. The famous “mxm, hellur” Queen herself, Nikita Cornelson better known as Nikiwe Gqom Queen has made waves on social media with her relatable way of life.
Her content has a way of bringing the community together and brings us endless laughter. Nikita and her iconic sense of humor always makes our day better and we wanted to know more about her life and journey as a creator. Here is what she shared with us.
How would you describe your content and yourself to others?
Crackhead! Myself and my content is a lot of crackhead energy in the best way possible. I am all over the place when it comes to content. I wouldn’t say that it’s the standard form of humour that many see online.
People tend to think that the dialect, clicks and facial expressions are part of a character when in actual fact, that’s just who I am. My videos show parts of me that not many get to see. That is who I am.
With my content, I have realized over time that things I may find silly or weird is actually normal to most people out there. People seem to relate to my life and my way of thinking and humour. It feels great to have a whole army of people who can relate to what I am doing on the daily.
What inspired your Tiktok journey?
To be honest, I was one of those people who refused to even download tiktok. I never thought I would be on the app. Until March came around, I was against the idea.
I resigned from my job in December 2019. Slowly, corona started crawling in. I was stuck at home, bored and having nothing to do during lockdown.
Finding ways to kill time led to me downloading tiktok. I made a few videos and my second video went viral. I was shocked because it happened to unexpectedly. When something is liked, it just goes viral and it works hand in hand.
This being said, entertainment was always something I wanted to get into but I always felt like it’s something you are born with. You can’t exactly just expect to study it and know everything about the industry. You either have it or you don’t.
My parents always wanted me to study and expected my passion for comedy to be on the side-line rather than my main focus. I always assumed it would just be on the side and never take off but then once my video went viral, I started believing in myself even more.
I realized that I was making people laugh and I decided to continue making videos. That led me to where I am now!
You mentioned entertainment and your parents’ expectations of you as well. Coming from an ethnic household and knowing the importance of education, have you ever felt pressure regarding future plans and your love for the entertainment industry? What was their response like finding out about you being on tiktok?
Well, I have a mixed background. My mother is Indian and my father is Coloured. A lot of people tend to generalize and assume that all Indian and Coloured parents are super strict.
My parents have always been lenient and supportive. I guess that worked in my favour. They obviously want the best for me such as graduating, working and becoming independent over time.
With the whole pandemic, many people were getting retrenched and employment became so difficult to find. I had so much more free time and when everything started taking off online, they didn’t take it seriously at first.
They were like “oh it’s Tiktok, it’s not that serious” but once things started happening like co-workers telling them about the videos they would see of me then they realized that it’s actually bigger than that. They became interested in knowing more and were so supportive of the idea.
As a content creator, what do you enjoy most about creating content?
The freedom to say and do what I want. I try extremely hard to not be insensitive online. In this day and age, there are a lot of topics that can be triggering to people and I try my best to not step on anyone’s toes.
I also really enjoy making people laugh. That is my absolute favourite thing about creating content. I love being able to make people happy. It’s the best feeling to be able to make someone’s day better. You could be having a bad day then watch a video and have a good laugh!
What’s the most challenging thing about being an online figure?
Being online can be scary at times. I find it challenging to know what to say and what not to say. You can say something and someone else will interpret it in a completely different manner. People can often assume something extremely different that was not your intention at all.
It’s challenging to just make sure you’re not in any drama because of something that could accidentally be taken out of context.
With a big platform, comes a lot of “big opinions”. Besides being celebrated. How do you handle online criticism or negative comments?
When I started, I never really received much negative comments online. I only started receiving a few negative comments two or three months ago. It always seems to come from fake accounts and seemed so personal.
I have come to realize that it is inevitable. I am not for everyone and I know that not everyone will find my content relatable or funny. That’s okay.
Some people tend to be very opinionated online and the way I handle it, is by ignoring it. Each to their own. You can say whatever you like, I am not offended because I know that my content won’t please everyone. It’s all for me.
I try not to feed into the negativity but because my content is about me and no actual character it does become difficult. You tend to think “Oh my gosh, they are talking about me as a person”. It becomes a personal attack but I ignore it and eventually it all just goes away. The negativity is never actually about you but more about them.
You share a lot of relatable South African Indian content, why do you think it is so important to be able to relate to your audience?
If you are serious about what you do and you are trying to reach people or inspire others, they need to watch your content and see themselves in it.
A lot of times, we watch videos and just forget about them over time. If there is a video that has a relatable experience to yours, it is a whole different feeling. You start to see yourself and your own feelings projected in the video you are watching and that is so important because it impacts the person and their situation. They no longer feel like they are going through it alone.
For me, seeing yourself in what you are watching online is important. We get influenced by social media every single day so making relatable content is important because it needs to have an impact on those watching. It has to have a lasting effect on their experience. You get to see your experience through someone else.
As a POC creator, why is representation online so important?
Growing up, we had to assimilate to whatever we saw around us. We played with White Barbie dolls, watched shows with white kids and teens. Not really seeing ourselves in mainstream media.
We were not represented and we started to believe that we can’t do certain things because of that. The Eurocentric standards became a norm and it made us think that we weren’t important enough to do whatever we were passionate about.
To be a person of colour and have the ability to speak about relatable things online, people can confidently find themselves and feel empowered to do more.
When I was younger, seeing people like me on screen made me proud and confident enough to want to make a difference and be in the industry.
I always thought to myself “If they can do it, why can’t I?”
How has being an online creator, impacted on your everyday life?
Before lockdown, I felt like there was a lot of negativity. I would see online content and most of it was filled with drama. Those videos can really affect your everyday life.
We see so many drama-filled videos online and I just wanted something positive because that would spread even more positivity.
Being a creator has changed me a lot. It made me become a more optimistic person. I saw the perfect opportunity to create something positive for others and that made me become a positive person. It makes me more confident in the work that I do.
I realized that there are a lot of eyes on me and anyone can hang on every word or comment that I leave online so I work hard towards spreading more laughter and happiness than drama. It’s better to just do your own thing and be in your own lane.
Creating content can sometimes be overwhelming, how do you cope with feeling overwhelmed at times?
Growing on TikTok so fast did become overwhelming because it came with brands approaching me and that, in turn, comes with due dates. It’s almost like it happened overnight. Learning how to manage my time to juggle brand deals and still put content out has become a skill I’ve had to learn quickly but it’s helped a lot.
I find that being online, engaging with people can really be helpful. When I start to feel lost, I go for a walk or a drive. I self-reflect and have some alone time.
Having time to myself usually inspires me to find new ideas and create videos. It is important to take a break and leave your phone aside. I have a bad habit of always being on my phone so I would definitely suggest having alone time away from your cell phone.
As you know, September is Suicide Prevention and awareness month. You have previously spoke about mental health issues online. What are some tips you have for others struggling during this time?
I suffer from anxiety and depression. It is something that I have struggled with for a long time. I strongly believe in spending time with yourself and keeping yourself busy. It has always worked for me.
People never believe me when I mention my personal mental health issues because all they see is my happy moments online. It’s something that I don’t really speak about to others and I guess what has worked for me is pushing myself to get things done throughout the day. Get yourself up, out of bed and get something done.
Being productive and on your own can really help. It is so important to be happy in your own company. We tend to rely on everyone else when we struggle instead of ourselves first. There will come a time when you’re experiencing something and you are left alone with your thoughts and that is going to overwhelm you if you are not able to find solitude.
Surround yourself with the right people. Write your goals down. Keep yourself busy to avoid overthinking certain situations into existence.
What future projects can we look forward to?
To be honest, I don’t exactly know what I have planned. I usually just go with the wind because you never know where you’re going to end up in the next few months.
Above all, I always tell myself not to stress about things. What’s meant for you will come your way.
I would love to get into comedy or stand-up soon but as I said, going with the wind!
What’s a daily mantra you live by?
What’s meant for me will come to me. It’s something I live by. There are so many things that I would swipe under the rug, get myself use to things and just keep trying to make things work out.
I realized that it’s better to just let things happen on their own. Whatever is meant to be, will be.
What advice do you have for other aspiring online creators?
Be yourself and be confident. Don’t imitate anyone else. Be your true, authentic self. Don’t think about other opinions and coming across as weird. Put yourself out there. You’ll be so relatable.
People can relate to authenticity because you’re showing them who you are and your own experiences. Sometimes people can be really superficial, so be authentic and confident.
Confidence is key. I use to be introverted and extremely shy. I couldn’t speak in front of large crowds or even order food!
One day I just got tired of feeling awkward in social settings and being anxious about speaking to people. I decided to just push myself to be more open and before I knew it, I was just out there being myself and speaking up.
Just be yourself.
Favourite movie and Favourite colour
Favourite movie – Bajirao Mastani
Colour – Turquoise
Pasta all the way!
Something you would love to experience someday?
Skydiving for sure.
New skill or something you have learnt during lockdown?
Definitely eating more than before!
Practicing a lot of new dance moves, so once the clubs are open, be sure that I will come through with the leg work!
What are your top 3 artists on your current playlist?
I’m more of a song person than artist. I’ll find a song and have it on repeat for days rather than listening to an entire album of one artist. The same song would play ten times in a day! I love a lot of local artists and Gqom music!
My 3 top artists right now:
Sho Madjozi, Giveon and Pro – Tee
If you could change one thing online, what would you change?
I think one thing that I would change is the negativity online. I would change the ability to leave negative and nasty comments online. It would make the internet a happier and safer place.
Any online creators that inspire you?
JusReign. He’s the funniest guy and the inspiration for a lot of my content. I feel like we radiate the same energy.
If you could spend the day with anyone in the world, who and why?
Dusty Rich. I’d love to get some tips from him because he’s one of the funniest local (he used to be) comedians I’ve come across and his work is so authentic. His off the wall, zany comedy is a breath of fresh air and different to the normal stand-up comedy I’ve seen.
Nikiwe is definitely one creator that has an aspiring work ethic. Her love for entertainment exudes in her work and she confidently portrays her genuine self online. A creator worth watching and one we can all relate to.
Be sure to follow her on social media @nikiwe_gqom_queen . Trust us, this humble soul will brighten even your gloomiest days!