In just a few short years, the DStv Content Creator Awards have evolved into a vital platform for recognising and celebrating the exceptional talent within South Africa‘s digital content creation landscape. Founded by Manuela Dias De Deus, MD of communications agency One-eyed Jack, the awards were conceived from the realisation that while South Africa boasts incredibly talented digital creators, there was a glaring lack of recognition for their efforts. 

The DStv Content Creator Awards fills this gap by providing a platform to showcase work and an ecosystem that supports both emerging and established creators. As entries for 2024 officially open, Manuela unpacks the origins, goals, and future of the awards, highlighting their profound impact on past winners and nominees and their expanding reach across Africa.

Manuela Dias De Deus, MD of communications agency One-eyed Jack

What did you hope these awards will achieve?

Our intention was to fill a gap in the industry not only by providing a platform to showcase content creators, but to create an ecosystem for emerging creators to have access to established creators, brands and agencies, with the aim of creating work and helping them monetise their content. The roll-out is significant, with mentorships, learning days, incubator workshops and webinars, all aimed at fostering opportunities, generating income, and fuelling creativity.  We want to highlight the importance that digital creators have within the marketing and creative fields, and the impact they have shaping digital culture through their storytelling. 

How do you select the nominees and winners for the awards?

The selection process for the DStv Content Creator Awards is rigorous and transparent. We have a diverse panel of judges comprising industry experts, influencers, and thought leaders who evaluate submissions based on creativity, originality, impact, and engagement. These submissions have been entered in by content creators or brands themselves. We also encourage public participation through voting in certain categories, ensuring that the audience has a voice in recognising their favourite creators. This dual approach ensures a balanced and fair evaluation of all nominees.

How has the public responded to the DStv Content Creator Awards so far?

The response from the public has been overwhelmingly positive. Audiences are thrilled to see their favourite creators being recognised and celebrated. We’ve seen a significant increase in engagement across all our channels, and the awards have sparked conversations about the importance of digital content creation. The support from the public has been instrumental in driving the success of the awards and highlights the impact these creators have on their communities.

What impact have the awards had on past winners and nominees?

The impact on past winners and nominees has been profound. Many have reported increased visibility and new opportunities for brand partnerships and collaborations. Some have even seen their follower counts and engagement metrics soar. Additionally, the credibility and recognition that come with winning a DStv Content Creator Award have opened doors for many creators, helping them to further their careers and expand their influence.

This year, the awards are expanding to the rest of Africa with the Pan-African Creator Award. Tell us more about that.

This new category marks a significant milestone in our mission to celebrate and recognise the outstanding talent across the entire African continent. The Pan-African Creator Award is designed to honour creators from various African countries who are making remarkable contributions to the digital space. By expanding our reach beyond South Africa, we aim to highlight the diversity and richness of African creativity and storytelling. This expansion allows us to bring together a broader spectrum of voices and perspectives, fostering a more inclusive and interconnected community of digital creators. Our vision for the Pan-African Creator Award is to create a platform where African digital creators can gain international visibility, attract global partnerships, and inspire a new generation of creators. By shining a spotlight on the incredible talent found throughout Africa, we hope to contribute to the growth and development of the digital content creation industry on the continent.

Closing off, where do you see these DStv Content Creator Awards going in the future?

Looking ahead, we envision the DStv Content Creator Awards to be the biggest initiative of its kind on the African continent, and it’s well on its way to being that, especially with the inclusion of the Pan-African Creator Award. After focusing purely on South African creators in the past two years, we’re so happy to have been able to extend the platform to include the continent now too. The impact of the awards is significant, it’s given creators work, brand endorsements and funding and has opened doors to new career paths for many. With ongoing support, we hope that it remains a beacon of excellence and inspiration, creating opportunities for creators to prosper and for their work to reach even greater heights.

Content creators and brands are encouraged to enter their work at before 21 June 2024. The 2024 DStv Content Creator Awards will take place in Johannesburg on 12 October and promise to be a glittering celebration of the continent’s best content creators.