You probably recognize Nara Smith from her “made from scratch” TikTok recipes for bubble gum and bread. You could also know her and her husband, Lucky Blue Smith, for their children’s unique names: Whimsy Lou, Rumble Honey and Slim Easy.

What you may not know is Smith, 22, has been recently accused of stealing content from a lesser known creator, Onezwa Mbola from South Africa, who posts her own lifestyle and “made from scratch” content.

This all started when fans of Mbola, 29, began to notice similarities between the two creators. Mbola has a soft and soothing voice…. So does Smith. Mbola posts relatable lifestyle content that revolves around cooking for her family…. So does Smith.

What caught the attention of many is when Mbola recently made boba completely from scratch– down to the goat’s milk which she sourced from her own livestock. Just two days after Mbola posted her video, Smith posted her own also making boba from scratch.

Following the videos, Mbola announced that she would be taking a break from TikTok, saying “for months now I have watched a very, very popular content creator use my ideas to get views.”

Mbola disclaims that she is “not the first person to do anything” but also notes that she does not get paid for TikTok views in South Africa, where she lives, but Smith does. “She has been making money off stealing my content,” Mbola said. She claims Smith changes her videos “just enough” to get away with copying her style, and Mbola is tired of it.

Even though these two ladies have comparable styles, does this really mean one is copying the other? Fans on TikTok seem to think so, and they are convinced the reason why Smith is so popular and Mbola is not is because of their looks.

Nara Aziza and Lucky Blue Smith attends Ralph’s Club by Ralph Lauren (2022)

Nara Aziza and Lucky Blue Smith attends Ralph’s Club by Ralph Lauren (2022)
Image: Darren Gerrish (Getty Images)

Smith is a mixed-race professional model who lives in the US. She has created an aesthetic wearing lavish gowns and jewelry while she makes her food.

Mbola, on the other hand, is darker skinned and lives on her farm in South Africa where she cares for her livestock and is not afraid to get her hands dirty.

Even though the two women have completely different lifestyles, they make similar content, so why do we only see Smith on our for you pages?

Tiktoker @electra_telesford says it all comes down to the “root issue,” which is the “inequity that seems to be embedded” in the TikTok algorithm. Many believe the algorithm favors Smith because her aesthetic and her lifestyle is more acceptable compared to Mbola, but the drama does not stop there.

Since Mbola called Smith out, fans of Smith have begun harassing Mbola’s social media. Comments about Mbola’s appearance and even calling her a liar have flooded the creator’s YouTube page and TikTok. Mbola clapped back saying “I don’t participate in likeability politics” in a recent TikTok post.

Despite the drama, Mbola’s fanbase has grown, and her supporters continue to advocate and support her.

“AS WE RIDE TILL DAWN FOR YOU ONEZWA,” said @siphephelo2323 under Mbola’s recent post.

“Your content is very relevant to us South Africans…. Don’t mind the distraction, focus sis” wrote user @_fumani.

“This drama has brought me to your page. You are talented and so is Nara. Keep doing you.” Cassie M wrote under another post.

Smith has responded, saying she “never seen her [Mbola’s] videos,” even though fans clocked Smith’s reply to a TikTok from Mbola back in February, suggesting Smith at least knows of Mbola.

Image for article titled Black Tiktok Drama: Is Colorism Why We Know Nara Smith and not Onezwa Mbola?

Screenshot: @te_erika on TikTok

It is unclear if the two have spoken to each other about the recent allegations, but Smith and Mbola continue to make relatable content for their respective audiences. Until the TikTok algorithm gets it together, you can find and support both women on TikTok and YouTube.