Plugged: TikTok Executive Kudzi Chikumbu Can’t Live Without These Gadgets

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For L.A.-based TikTok executive Kudzi Chikumbu, creativity is the thing that drives him day in and day out. Born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa, the global head of Creator Marketing at TikTok, shares that he always had a creative mindset. He’s done everything from manage his own blogs and Tumblr to making and editing videos before they were big on social media.

So, he knew, after attending business school at Stanford for his MBA, that he would either land a job in a creative role or one that allowed him to work with other creatives.

“In my grad school essays, I often spoke about using the power of entertainment and technology to help creators share their messages even more in an authentic way,” Chikumbu shares. “Right after that, I landed at TikTok, working with our creator team. I helped build that team, and now I’m on the creator marketing side, which amplifies and showcases the breath, depth and authenticity of creatives.”

In this role, there’s a ton of meetings centered around campaigns and programs that TikTok may be rolling out. Or, he can be found studying the trends of creators—a combination he says really helps progress the magic.

Beyond work, he’s always seeking community and connecting with friends and loved ones. It’s what fills him up. He is also a creative himself, running his viral fragrance and lifestyle brand Sir Candle Man, where he shows us the best luxury scents and fragrances to buy and try.

“I also still watch a lot of videos on the internet. That’s how I feed my creative spirit a lot of the time. Sir Candle Man is another great creative outlet for me as well,” shares Chikumbu.

We asked the exec and influencer to share the gadgets and tech items that help his productivity and those that take his creativity to new heights. Here are the gadgets that he can’t live without.

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Amazon

Echo

“Every morning I ask Alexa to play something soothing like India Arie. I have a few Echos around my home—living room, bedroom and bathroom. I need uplifting musical vibes everywhere and all the time.”

Price: $200

Shop at Amazon

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Amazon

Candle Warmer

“There’s no better way to set my space up for a full day of work than making sure it’s scentscaped well. A candle lamp warmer melts candle wax and emits fragrance without worrying. It also makes for chic home decor.”

Price: $55

Shop at Amazon

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Apple

4K TV

“As someone who works in digital media and online entertainment, I spend a lot of time watching shows and devouring content. I find using Apple TV 4K the most seamless experience to watch content from all my favorite providers.”

Price: $129

Shop at Apple

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Portable Light

“This is like instant sunshine. I spend a lot of time on video calls and need to make sure I’m glowing without the circles in my eyes from a ring light, so I opt for this soft wash of light over my face instead.”

Price: $70

Shop at Amazon

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TikTok

app

“Yes, I work at TikTok, but I find so much joy every single day when I open the app. Whether I’m opening to watch a video for a project I’m working on or just taking a break, I am always enthralled by the creativity in the app.”

Shop at TikTok

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Black + Decker

Coffee Grinder

“No day can start for me without a caffeine boost. I used to go and buy coffee every day, but I’ve come to love the ritual of taking the time to make my own coffee. I find some interesting coffee beans, grind them up and make a pour over coffee. It’s the perfect way to be still and jump into the day.”

Price: $16

Shop at Kohl’s

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Apple

USB-C to Lighting Charger

“I like fast progress. There is no device I use more than my iPhone. I use it for catching up with friends, work, staying up to date with news, taking photos and so much more, so I need a charger that charges my phone quickly and this is the one.”

Price: $29

Shop at Apple


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