Kudzi Chikumbu

  • Age
  • Title
    Director of creator community
  • Company

His name is Kudzi Chikumbu, but you may know him as Sir Candle Man. When he is not leading TikTok’s creator community, which counts 100 million Americans among its ranks, he unboxes, sniffs, and reviews scented candles under the alias. Chikumbu could have had a staider career; he formerly worked as an accountant and consultant at Deloitte. An internship with Hulu, the video streaming service, during his MBA years at Stanford changed that trajectory. Chikumbu joined TikTok through its (for now) Beijing-based parent ByteDance’s acquisition of Musical.ly, a lip-synching app, where he managed entertainment partnerships for two years. While ByteDance searches for suitors to take over TikTok before a U.S. ban takes effect (the White House is uncomfortable with its China ties), Chikumbu is making sure the app continues to make people tick—even beyond its core Gen Z fan base. There is no bigger social media sensation at the moment, and it's Chikumbu’s job to keep the momentum going for longer than the typical viral star’s 15 seconds of fame. Oh, and in case you were wondering, his eminence’s current favorite jar of wicked wax is LAFCO’s Feu Du Bois, whose fragrances of sandalwood, leather, and frankincense are meant, the company says, “to evoke the mood and feeling of being in the ski house.”