Social media has been identified as a significant tool for entrepreneurialism when used to its full potential, while influencer marketing is being recognised as a dream job for modern teens.

To help young learners in South Africa unlock this potential, the popular shoe brand, Toughees, is pitching in to develop critical skills needed to become an effective social media #Youthfluencer.

Understanding social media trends

A recent report by British Internet company GWI has shown that the habits of young social media users in South Africa is on the rise and consistent with global trends.

According to the feedback, social media consumption in Africa and the Pacific in 2020 was highest among Generation Zers (users born between 1997 and 2003). According to the numbers, the average young person on the continent spent around 2h31min on social media per day by the end of that year.

Other key numbers

Gen Zers who participated in the study identified their top uses for social media as keeping in touch with friends and family (51%); filling spare time (44%); finding inspiration for things, such as holidays and shopping (32%); and finding content and videos (38%). 35% of Gen Zers “use social media to see what’s trending or being talked about”. 27% “use social media to find products to purchase”.

GWI’s paper also supports the notion that social media channels have become an effective entrepreneurial tool and platform for brands and personalities to engage with new audiences, no matter their age.

When it came to interactions with brands, Generation Z and Millennials (27% and 26% respectively) enjoy content by celebrities and influencers who are regarded as thought leaders by their peers and peer groups. Gen Zers also interacted with influencers more often than Gen Xers and baby boomers during the pandemic, based on GWI’s results.

GWI’s paper also showed that at least 31% of Gen Zers and 29% of Millennials are discovering brands via ads on social media, more so than via television channels.

Toughees’ digital experts say that the results of GWI’s questionnaire provide a good indication of how young people in emerging markets view platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. The brand is confident that social media platforms will provide young South Africans with more career opportunities in the future, and it recently embarked on its nationwide social media and entrepreneurial skills development programme, hosting its first, free, three-day online social media workshops in December 2021.

Swastika Juggernath, Marketing Manager for Bata South Africa commented, “The results of recent studies show limitless potential for brands as well as individuals using social media effectively. South African influencers are gaining notoriety, and as a brand, we’re excited to be working with a new generation of savvy social media #Youthfluencers.”

Readers who missed Toughees’ live online webinars can catch recordings of the workshops on Bata’s YouTube channel,, or simply look for the campaign’s #Youthfluencer hashtag online.

To become the next #Youthfluencer, whether it’s your side hustle, your face beat skills, or your dance moves, Toughees wants to see it all. Visit the brand’s website and download the brief to get the breakdown of how to enter here: and win your share of R152,000.