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ANKITA CHHETRI

Interviewed by Deepti

So Ankita, what’s your story? How did it all start?

Since childhood, I loved dancing, singing, and enacting the famous dialogues from Movies. I wanted to become an actor and had requested my dad if I could pursue my dreams after I finished schooling. My family apart from my sisters didn’t think I was serious and moreover, I was under 18 so leaving me by myself in Mumbai was a big no. So my father asked me to finish my degree so I came to the UK where my sister lives.

When I first discovered the dubsmash app, I guess I was one of the happiest human beings as it meant I could make those small fun videos and post. In my initial days in the UK I didn’t have many friends to hang out with, so I started passing my time on Tiktok. Slowly people started noticing me. It’s actually the love from the audience that made me realise that my videos, that were made inside the four walls were travelling across the world.

Every day the likes, the comments, and the shares kept increasing. That was the point I took it seriously and started working on it.

Was it hard to gain followers? And have people ever recognised you in public?

Gaining followers wasn’t my intention. I was doing it more for fun, my friends and family. Till I hit 10k followers I wasn’t really checking my phone every now and then to see if my video was doing well. I do not think people who are passionate about their craft are affected by the number of followers as it happens automatically. I haven’t felt the pressure of gaining or losing followers so I cannot say it was easy or difficult for me. I just worked on my videos and things fell in place. I am always happy and content with what I have.

Having said that I always also do celebrate my social media milestones and thank my followers for liking what I do. Yes people now notice me when I am out. The first time it happened was when I crossed 1 million followers on tiktok. It was at oxford street, London, when I was out with my friends, a guy called out my name and wanted a picture with me. It was surreal and I was bit nervous too to be honest. And then it kept happening and slowly I am learning to handle it calmly as it makes me nervous.

How did you get started on TikTok, what’s the story of your journey to 100k followers?

Tiktok like I said was my pass time after my 12th board exams as I was applying in colleges and didn’t have much to do. Tiktok was a saviour for me. Whenever I was upset, lonely or missed home my virtual family was helping me stay happy and positive. That’s the reason

why I love this platform so much.

 2. I still remember my 100K journey. It took longer to reach 10K but took only two weeks to reach 100K and I would say it was because of the quality of the video had increased since I was using my old phone and before I came to UK I was gifted IPhone 7 by my brother in law which is what I still use to make my tiktok videos. Apart from the video quality, it is also the consistency and my passion I believe that made people follow me.

Have you ever made money through TikTok? And do you have any advice for others just starting out?

I have made money through brand collaborations and song promotions. The advice to beginners is to make sure you have good lighting and by that I am not asking to buy expensive ring-lights. To begin with you can make videos in the sunlight its way better than the ring-light. Follow your passion, if you are unsure figure out if you love dancing, singing, cooking, acting etc. as this platform has wide category you can experiment with. But whatever you do be consistent on it. If you want this platform to love you then you have to love and give your 100% to it.

How do you feel about TikTok in general? Is it gonna get even more popular, or is it dying?

Oh I love love love tiktok. It has made me believe in my dreams again which I would have forgotten after I failed to convince my family about it. It’s only because of tiktok I have gained respect, recognition and encouragement for following my passion. This platform has such small technical requirements like all you need is a phone, and internet. There are examples of how tiktok has changed people’s lives.

So according to me this app is here to stay. I can only see the popularity of it

What’s your vision for the next 5 years?

Well 5 years is a long time and honestly I haven’t planned so much in advance. Currently I am praying for the world to recover and this pandemic to end soon. I need to tightly hug my

Family and my nieces I am missing them immensely. I do have plans to pursue my career in acting which is what I love doing so hopefully that’s where I will be heading.

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