Awakening of Vitu-Ghazi says:
Put nine +1/+1 counters on target land you control. It becomes a legendary 0/0 Elemental creature with haste named Vitu-Ghazi.
So either the land gets the +1/+1 counters and afterwards becomes a creature. Or it becomes a creature and then receives the +1/+1 counters.
To me the last assumption seems correct because it is irritating to me to be able to put +1/+1 counters on a land.