YouTube recognizes the role black content creators are playing to shape the social media platform and has launched the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund in 2020.
The fund is dedicated to spotlighting and growing black creators and music by giving them access to resources to boost their creativity on YouTube.
This year around YouTube has selected a group of 26 #YouTubeBlack Voices from Africa. They include everything from musicians, vloggers, animators, business owners, filmmakers and more. Over the next year this group of black content creators is going to work closely with YouTube.
The social media platform is offering them dedicated partner support, seed funding they are going to invest in the development of their YouTube channels.
The group will also participate in an intensive development program that will train them in production, community engagement and wellbeing followed by ongoing workshops and networking program.
YouTube announced that the #YouTubeBlack community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate, and driven creatives. The social media platform intends to build on their skills to equip these talented creators and artists with additional resources to match their drive.
One of the creators that was selected is Cheyene Muvunyi, a content creator and entrepreneur of Kenyan and Rwandese origin. Her YouTube channel’s goal is to create businesses and tell stories that directly improve people’s lives, whether it is through visual storytelling or creating products.
In one of her travel Vlog, Cheyene takes her audience on a 24 hour journey throughout Nairobi in Kenya where she is based.
This is a journey you can better relate to if you are a female as it is basically based on what kind of needs a woman is having in any particular day. This include shopping, making hair, make ups studio among other go-to places for women around Nairobi, Kenya.
The Critics Company from Nigeria was also selected for this program. This is an award-winning multimedia company with the aim to create magical experiences through the art of storytelling. The group has a desire to make a difference in the Nigerian movie scene.
The company hails from Kaduna in Nigeria and consists of six boys and three girls. The entertainment company is known to create Sci-Fi films using mobile phones. The group of teenagers who became sci-fi sensations are known by their creativity in using all available resources to reach their objectives.
They started their production using only borrowed smartphones from family members and making tripods out of wood. One of their members Raymond Yusuff told the BBC that the first short film they made is called Redemption and was released in 2016.
“We did not really know so much about filmmaking, so we were just kids filming whatever we could film and piecing it together to make a story that makes sense”.
South Africa is also represented in this group by creators Dennis Ngango, Bongani Baloyi and Nomathamsanqa Plaatjie.
They call themselves Defining and are on a mission to unleash the potential of Africa’s youth through compelling, creative and impactful storytelling.
Defining produces high-quality videos that ignite conversation and showcase the many ways in which Millennial and Gen Z Africans seek meaning, identity, connection, love, truth, freedom and purpose.
Black content creators have taken YouTube by storm by creating video contents related to fashion, comedy, politics, learning and wellbeing among other subjects.
The latter are engaging the audience to remain on YouTube for a long period of time. And the more people stay on any social media platform, the more advertising revenues it is making. This opportunity that YouTube came up two years ago is a win win situation for both YouTube and content creators.
During the first intake in 2020 YouTube welcomed 133 grantees from the United States, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, South Africa and Nigeria.
The group of black content creators included musicians, beauty entrepreneurs, comedians, activists, poets, personal trainers, teachers, parents, photographers, and more.
Another opportunity that this amazing group of black content creators will have this year is that their faces will be beaming down from billboards in New York’s Times Square and the streets of Los Angeles until October 2022.
The billboards are intended to create awareness for the #YouTubeBlackVoices Artist Class 2022. YouTube is here to support up-and-coming Black creators and artists on its platform in this unique multi-year commitment that will be uplifting and growing Black creators and artists on the platform.