Onezwa Mbola opens up about a ‘very popular content creator who’s stealing her content’

Onezwa Mbola. Picture: Supplied

Onezwa Mbola. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 18, 2024


Content theft is a common phenomenon in social media and it is not uncommon for influencers with large followings to take content from less popular creators without permission.

Speaking of content theft, social media star Onezwa Mbola has revealed that she has been a victim.

Mbola shared on her Instagram stories how a “very popular” content creator has been stealing her content and turning a blind eye.

In her content, the 29-year-old from Willowvale in the Eastern Cape shows her followers how to get groceries for free by foraging for food in the wild and making meals from scratch.

With everything that Mbola does, which is growing and foraging her own food, she was inspired by her late mother.

“My mother was a great cook. She made everything from scratch because we live far from town. She did not really have another option. She grew her own food and foraged for whatever else she could not grow.

“I was brought up in an environment where food was the centre of our gatherings.

“And that is basically where my love for food came from. I observed her going through her day-to-day life. When she passed away I wanted to recreate the recipes that she cooked for me.

“It was important for me to learn how to cook so that I could also pass down those recipes to my child as well,” she said in an interview with IOL Lifestyle.

In a lengthy post on Instagram, Mbola said she knows that her friends will be against her making the video because they are scared she will be cancelled but she has to do it.

She also revealed that with her cooking videos, there are no recipes used.

Mbola said a couple of months ago she opened a TikTok account but it wasn't under her name that fans knew. She said it was supposed to be a banner but a lot of people ended up finding it.

On that account, Mbola revealed that she talked about content creators taking ideas from other content creators without giving credit.

“I did not reference any particular content creator and I also mentioned a number of times that I understand that I'm not the first person to do anything.

“I have never claimed to be the first person to do anything but what I do is take what is existing and make it mine. That is what is different with my content,” she said.

Mbola revealed that after filming the video she received a lot of mean comments and she found it very weird that people knew who she was talking about without her even mentioning anybody’s name.

After being attacked, she said she posted a video on TikTok to state that she would be taking a break from content creation.

“The reason to take a break on that platform is that for months now I have watched a very popular content creator use my ideas.

“They have continuously used my ideas to get views. Now that would be fine except in South Africa we don't get paid for views and where she is they get paid for views.

“So she has been making money by stealing my content. She has always managed to change the videos just so that I cannot say they are my ideas.

“When I took a break from content creation, she then went and moved on to my YouTube and started using my ideas from my account, and I have kept quiet for months,” said Mbola.

— MzansiTrust (@mzansi_trust) June 14, 2024

“Recently, I made boba. I was so proud of that video. And then a day later she made a boba tea video. And you might say it might be a coincidence, that would be fine - except it's a coincidence that happens very often,” she added.

A teary Mbola said she is very disheartened because this “particular” content creator is making thousands of dollars and views and she is even lucky to get a brand collaboration.

“I’m so heartbroken I feel like it’s not worth it for me anymore.

“Yes, it has never been about the money but imagine if you made something and someone took it and made thousands of dollars for it. How would you feel?” she questioned.

“If this is where the content creation journey ends then it's fine because I’m heartbroken. I loved making those meals and if this is where it ends it’s fine for me.”

The post quickly reached X users, who were also saddened to hear the news. Although Mbola did not mention anyone’s name, many suggested that the content creator in question is Nara Smith.

@naraazizasmith what’s your drink order? #easyrecipes #homecooking #fypツ #drink #boba #cravings ♬ Just Give Me One More Day - Alej

Some of Mbola’s fans have noted that and have unfollowed Smith, others said that she must give out recipes besides the boba so they know exactly what to be outraged about.