South Africa and Nigeria are dominating the list of Africa’s most creative YouTube content creators for the #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021, with each country scoring eight representatives.
Kenya comes in with four entries, rounding up the list of Africa’s most popular and consistent content creators to twenty.
The highly contested annual list recognises Africa’s original YouTube content creators from various genres including art, finance, business, comedy, education, health and wellness.
Announcing the list, the American online video-sharing platform applauded black creators for playing an important role in shaping the culture on YouTube.
“From fashion and comedy to politics, learning and wellness, Black creators have raised the bar for how creators engage with their audience, build community, and propel our platform forward. The #YouTubeBlack community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate, and driven creatives, and we’re honored to equip these awesome creators with additional resources to match their drive.
We’re excited to spotlight Black creatives and to continue to center both their voices and perspectives. As part of that mission, we developed the #YouTubeBlack Voices grant program — an initiative dedicated to investing in Black creators and artists, and equipping them with the resources to succeed on our platform. This grant program is part of our larger #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a global, multi-year commitment to empower Black creators and artists on our platform, as well as to produce and acquire new YouTube Original programs, focusing on racial justice and Black experiences,” YouTube said in a statement published on their official blog platform.
In 2016 some of the largest and most-influential Black creators on YouTube came together for the first-ever #YouTubeBlack Summit. The moment was the start of a movement, both on YouTube’s platform and off as it became the #YouTube Black community.
“Over the years we’ve continued to partner and build specific programming for the #YouTube Black community — summits, workshops and events like #YouTubeBlack FanFest. We’re building on that momentum, and today, after many months of collaboration, we’re excited to introduce you to our inaugural class of #YouTubeBlack Voices creator grantees from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, who are part of our 132 creators from across the world who are participating in the Class of 2021,” YouTube said.
The online video-sharing platform said it will work closely with the Class of 2021 in the coming months. According to them, this will include “dedicated partner support, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and participation in an intensive development program that will focus on training in production, community engagement and wellbeing, followed by ongoing workshops and networking programs,”.
The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is only part of the comprehensive work currently underway to make YouTube a place where Black artists, creators, and users can share their stories and feel protected. The platform said it continues to invest in product and policy changes to meet that goal.
“We recently provided an update on our work to make YouTube a more inclusive platform, including how we handle harmful and hateful comments. This is the first round of investments we are making in creators and artists from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. Over the next few years, we will directly invest in 500+ creators and artists from across the world to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development,” said YouTube.
Nicollette Mashile (Financial Bunny), comedian Lasizwe Dambuza, Ofentse Mwase Films, Lifestyle vloggers Kay Yarms and Owamie Hlongwane, Thato Rampedi, MacG, and Naledi Monamodi are the entries from South Africa.
Representing Nigeria are Akah Bants, Dimma Umeh, tech geeks Oscarmini and Eric Okafor, Lade Owolabi, Winnie Emmanuel, Tomike Adeoye and Dodos Uvieghara.
Singer Patricia Kihoro, photographer and videographer Mumo, Mitchelle Adagala and Kaluhi Adagala makes up the entries for Kenya.