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TikTok Stars Jessica Mashaba, Chad Jones, Justin de Nobrega & Neevan Ferris

TikTok Stars Jessica Mashaba, Chad Jones, Justin de Nobrega & Neevan Ferris

Thursday 11 August
 
Together these TikTok dancers have over 7.2 million followers! We chat to them about their journeys on TikTok, meeting their followers in public, and how they deal with negativity.
 
Jessica Mashaba started her TikTok account in October 2020, during lockdown. “It was just for fun, I ate McDonalds and I blew up. People were like ‘who’s this girl? She’s Zulu and yellow, she seems ghetto! That’s the one, we want her’,” she jokes.
 
“My story is similar to Jessica’s,” says Neevan Ferris. “I started during lockdown because I had no school. There was nothing to do, I was stuck at home… It blew up, and two years later here I am.”
 
Justin de Nobrega has been on the show before, but his number of followers has increased exponentially since we last saw him. “It’s been really fun engaging with so many people on social media and also meeting them as well. You feel like you know each other,” he says.
 
Chad Jones tells us that he had no clue what TikTok was before he started his account in March 2020. Born and raised in Gqeberha, he even managed to get his parents involved in his videos.
 
“It was like, ‘Mom, Dad, no one’s going to see. I don’t have any followers!’ But then you know the algorithm – when someone likes or shares, comments – it gets pushed out. Next thing you know you have half a million people watching you,” he says.
 
According to Neevan, she’s a shy person and sometimes finds it nerve-wracking when people recognise her in public. “But then also you meet lovely people who come to you in public. They’re so warm… Sometimes I get nervous, but I appreciate it. At the end of the day, they play a part in where I am today,” she explains.
 
On the other hand, Jessica loves meeting her followers, “If I see that someone notices me, and they’re shy, I will go to them and say hi,” she says. “I just want them to know that as much as they see me, I see them too… If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.”
 
The online space comes with its negative side too. But these young TikTok stars take the approach of brushing off negative comments. “You keep it moving. People will always try and bring you down… The best thing you can do is just keep it moving,” says Jessica.
 
Check out their socials below:
TikTok @jessicamashaba20 / Instagram: @jessicamashaba20
@neevan_ferris / @neevan_ferris
@justindenobregaa / @justindenobrega
@chadjones957 / @chad_13jones

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