Tradwife influencer Nara Smith accused of stealing content by South African TikToker Onezwa Mbola

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Published Jun 20, 2024 at 10:48 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

58953

Nara Smith, a popular TikTok creator known for her cooking videos and highly aesthetic lifestyle, has been accused of copying content from South African cooking creator Onezwa Mbola.

Both creators have large followers, Smith with 7.7 million and Mbola with over 530,000,  and have attracted fanbases who are intrigued by their home-grown food recipes. Smith, a mixed-race professional model based in the US, gained fame on TikTok for her “made from scratch” recipes and her highly desirable lifestyle. Indeed, many of Smith’s videos often feature the young mother in lavish gowns and jewellery as she cooks for her family.

@naraazizasmith

this was fun! What’s your favorite roadtrip snack? #easyrecipes #homecooking #fypツ #candy #bubblegum

♬ Just Give Me One More Day - Alej

On the other hand, Mbola, who participated in Master Chef South Africa season four in 2022, has made a name for herself by sharing videos of her hearty meals that resonate with many South Africans. Mbola’s content is characterised by her soft and soothing voice, and she often sources ingredients directly from her farm, reflecting a more hands-on and rustic approach to cooking.

@onezwambola

Our lemon fermented soda is ready, the ginger is a bit slow #rurallife #farmlife #ezilalini #southafrica

♬ A Day in My Life - Soft boy

The accusations against the tradwife influencer and alleged Mormon began when Mbola’s fans started noticing similarities between the two creators. Both have soft and soothing voices and share relatable lifestyle content focused on cooking for their families. Yet, the situation escalated when Mbola posted a video making boba tea completely from scratch, including sourcing goat’s milk from her own livestock.

@onezwambola

• Guava Boba : guava leaf tea, guava infused goats milk • goats cheese, mushroom and spinach galette 💚🤌🏾 #fyp #rurallife #farmlife #ezilalini #southafrica #dayinmylife #viral

♬ original sound - Onezwa Mbola

 just two days later, Smith posted a similar video also making boba tea from scratch:

@naraazizasmith

what’s your drink order? #easyrecipes #homecooking #fypツ #drink #boba #cravings

♬ Just Give Me One More Day - Alej

Following this, Mbola announced she would be taking a break from TikTok, stating: “For months now, I have watched a very popular content creator use my ideas to get views.”

@bobby.mulalo.muts

♬ original sound - Bobby Mulalo Mutswana

In the video, Mbola clarified that while she is “not the first person to do anything,” she does not get paid for TikTok views in South Africa, unlike Smith, who does. “She has been making money off stealing my content,” the creator continued. Mbola also claimed Smith changes her videos “just enough” to avoid blatant copying.

Despite their similar styles, does this really mean one is copying the other? TikTok fans seem to think so, attributing Smith’s greater popularity to their differing appearances. Smith, a mixed-race professional model, often wears expensive designer outfits and jewellery while making her food. In contrast, Mbola, who is darker-skinned, lives on a farm in South Africa where she cares for livestock and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.

@onezwambola

I don’t participate in likeability politics 💚

♬ original sound - Onezwa Mbola

Speaking on the broader issues of colourism in the entertainment industry, specifically to lighter-skinned women being favoured in the movie business, one X user stated: “She’s highlighting a problem with the industry. Darker-skinned people were traditionally not favoured for prominent roles or taken seriously for their actual talent. For black women, decision-makers look at beauty, then complexion, then artistry as a last metric to select them.”

Another user, Electra Telesford, attributes this to the “root issue” of inequity embedded in the TikTok algorithm, suggesting that Smith’s aesthetic and lifestyle are more favoured.

@electra_telesford

#narasmith #luckybluesmith #influencer #blacktiktok #blackgirlmagic

♬ original sound - Electra

Despite the drama, Mbola’s fanbase has grown, with supporters rallying around her. In other news, Smith has responded to the stealing rumours, claiming she has “never seen [Mbola’s] videos,” and that “[she’s] not the first or last person to make boba.” That being said, some fans noted that Smith replied to one of Mbola’s TikToks back in February…

Keep On Reading

By Abby Amoakuh

Ballerina, beauty queen and Mormon: Who is Ballerina Farm owner, Hannah Neeleman?

By Abby Amoakuh

Nara Smith’s braids are causing outrage on TikTok. Here’s why

By Abby Amoakuh

Bride walks out on her own wedding after the groom smashed a cake in her face, and she’s not the first one!

By Abby Amoakuh

Donald Trump’s mental fitness comes into question as Joe Biden focuses on abortion

By Charlie Sawyer

Usher Super Bowl 2024 halftime show: Justin Bieber to make comeback as special guest

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

WWE star invites Drake and Kendrick Lamar to settle their beef in the wrestling ring

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

World’s bravest rapper, Toomaj Salehi, sentenced to death in Iran for supporting women’s rights

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Annie Leibovitz’s Zendaya Vogue shoot reignites call for Black photographers

By Abby Amoakuh

Andrew Garfield is dating a professional witch and the internet can’t handle it

By Charlie Sawyer

How much are the Love Island All Stars contestants getting paid?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

From one 90s Black girl to another, how on earth did we survive hair relaxers?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Nazi-themed party drugs surge among Europe’s Gen Z

By Abby Amoakuh

VICE obituary: How Gen Z will remember the millennial digital media titan

By Abby Amoakuh

Watch gun-toting Republican politician Valentina Gomez rap about Trump’s criminal conviction

By Charlie Sawyer

Delulu: The Gen Z slang term for delusional explained

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Ariana Grande under fire from victim’s families for confessing that her dream dinner guest would be Jeffrey Dahmer

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Husband sues tech company after wife burned and killed by surgical robot

By Abby Amoakuh

Dear millennials, you’re wrong for hating on Bluebella’s Strong is Beautiful campaign featuring Team GB rugby stars

By Charlie Sawyer

Woman who claimed to be Madeleine McCann breaks silence months after DNA test

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Shocking investigation reveals London special school pupils tortured in so-called calming rooms