WKND Interview: I want to collaborate with Will Smith, says UAE influencer Jumana Khan
We speak to the influencer to discover everything that goes behind building a social media presence and her digital celebrity.
If you’re on TikTok, you probably know Jumana Khan. You may have even seen her on billboards in the UAE and you’ll soon be seeing her on the big screen as a lead actress. 2021 is truly the age of the influencer and Jumana Khan is owning it like nobody’s business with a following of 9 million on TikTok and around 4.1 million on Instagram. We speak to the influencer to discover everything that goes behind building a social media presence and her digital celebrity.
What are the trends in the UAE like in TikTok? What attracted you to the medium?
I’ve never really followed trends. I just enjoy making videos. And I always have. So, I just went on to make videos because that was something I loved to do. Sometimes, it’s good to follow trends, if you want to focus on the content and want to gain followers. The best part about being on a social platform here is that I can collaborate with people from different nationalities! Everyone has something unique to offer and I can learn so much from each and everyone. I get to discover so many tips and tricks to create content through my collaborations.
How has the pandemic impacted your work as an influencer and as a debut artist?
In the beginning, it really did affect us. A lot of projects were on hold but eventually it started to get a lot better. The UAE Government has made all the right efforts to normalise life as much as possible, I’m grateful for that.
You were recently on a TikTok billboard in UAE. How did that feel?
I felt amazing and so blessed. I didn’t expect that to be honest and I was a little shocked but it motivated me to work harder.
As someone who has carved a niche for her beauty, are you ever without makeup? Does that put pressure on you to look good all the time?
I am mostly with less makeup or no makeup at all, when I don’t have a shoot. I usually prefer being with no makeup when I go out. I don’t take the pressure to look a certain way all the time. Natural beauty is the best.
One of your videos where you’re petting a tiger got 28.2 million views. What do you think was amazing about the video that got so many folks to watch it?
I love animals. That video blowing up was totally unexpected. One day I was just sitting and saw this video while scrolling through my phone and I really liked it so I just put it up. Later on, I saw the numbers increasing and it made me so happy.
Given the Covid-19 situation in India, how did you use your influence to engage your audience and how did that affect you since you are also from India?
Using my social media, I try to repost all the emergency cases, so people can get adequate help through the platform.
How do you deal with the hate on social media?
I get showered with a lot of love so I just try to focus on the positive aspect of it.
You share a close bond with Ajmal Khan, who is also a fellow influencer. Do you feel that makes your audience connect with you more when you make videos together?
People really enjoy it when we make videos together and people also get upset when we make less videos together.
Who would you want to collaborate with if you could take a pick from a list of global celebs?
I would want to collaborate with Will Smith, his content is really cool and amazing, it would be a lot of fun to make some videos with him.
How does the rest of the year look like for you?
I have a couple of plans and I hope it works out but whatever happens, it happens for the best, so I like to go with the flow, not pushing any plans or agendas. It gives you a sense of ease.
What’s the update on your films and the two feature projects that you had signed up for in India?
I am not allowed to talk about it but yes, I’ve signed for a film and my other film might come out soon. So, let’s see how it goes.