#AfricanAunties: performing diasporic digital disbelongings on TikTok

Bimbola Akinbola*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The “African aunties” hashtag has over 21 million views on the video-sharing app TikTok. Akinbola examines how African women and girls embody and perform the African auntie on TikTok, focusing on three types of videos: Deprecating auntie performances, celebratory auntie performances, and re-staged encounters with aunties. Specifically analyzing videos created by and/or featuring African women and girls, Akinbola argues that these content creators practice “digital disbelonging” by embracing the personal and cultural importance of their African aunties, while explicitly rejecting the forms of gendered surveillance, discipline and shame that shape their day to day lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-297
Number of pages14
JournalText and Performance Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • African aunties
  • Disbelonging
  • TikTok
  • digital performance
  • kinship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


Dive into the research topics of '#AfricanAunties: performing diasporic digital disbelongings on TikTok'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this