YouTube Puts Spotlight On Africa As It Announces Its Black Voices Class of 2021
Global video-sharing platform YouTube has announced the first round of YouTube Black Voices Class of 2021 winners. The project focuses on investment in narratives that "emphasize the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity, and joy of Black voices" on the social video platform.
The online video sharing platform has chosen 132 creators from around the world, ranging the U.S., U.K., Kenya, Brazil, Australia, to South Africa and Nigeria. The list includes beauty gurus, musicians, activists, personal trainers, comedians, teachers, poets and photographers. YouTube took in applicants from those who had participated in YouTube Black events in the past.
The applicants were then evaluated based on channel performance and engagement metrics. The platform has said that it will open the application process to a broader range of creators over the next few months.
For the 132 chosen, YouTube will give them funding for their channel development, support, workshops and training and a networking program to support creators. In June 2020, YouTube announced the $100 million YouTube Black Voices Fund, which will benefit the program. The company said of the program that it is "part of the comprehensive work currently underway to make YouTube a place where Black artists, creators and users can share their stories and be protected."
"This is not a flash in the pan," said YouTube's music chief, Lyor Cohen. "This is about keeping the drumbeat of change alive." Throughout the next few years, YouTube says it will invest directly in more than 500 creators and artists from across the world to fulfil this commitment. The highly contested annual list has spotlighted Africa's finest YouTube content creators from various South Africa and Nigeria genres and has eight representatives while Kenya has four.
Below is the list of Africa's YouTube Black Voices Class of 2021:
- Akah Bants (Nigeria)
- Dimma Umeh (Nigeria)
- Eric Okafor (Nigeria)
- Lade Owolabi (Nigeria)
- Dodos Uvieghara (Nigeria)
- Mitchelle Adagala (Nigeria)
- Oscar Frank (Nigeria)
- Sho Madjozi (South Africa)
- Tomike Adeoye (Nigeria)
- Winnie Emmanuel (Nigeria)
- Kaluhi Adagala (Kenya)
- Mumo (Kenya)
- Patricia Kihoro (Kenya) Lasizwe Dambuza (South Africa)
- MacG Mukwevho (South Africa)
- Owamie Hlongwane (South Africa)
- Ofentse and Nelisiwe Mwase (South Africa)
- Thato Rampedi (South Africa)
- Naledi Monamodi (South Africa)
- Nicolette Mashile (South Africa)
- Kay Ngonyama (South Africa)