YouTube has released its inaugural class of African content creators set to receive a grant for the development of their channels from the global #YouTubeBlackVoices Fund. Out of the 23 artistes selected from Africa, 10 are Nigerians. According to a statement from YouTube, in addition to the grant earmarked for content development, the 23 YouTubers from Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa will also take part in an intensive three-week incubator programme followed by bespoke training, workshops, and networking programmes. “These creators are part of 132 creators from across the world who are participating in the Class of 2021,” it stated.
The artistes, which include Fireboy DML, Sauti Sol, and Sho Madjozi are to join others selected from the United States, Brazil, and Australia, whose music spans generations, and locations. “The Artist Class of 2021 will receive dedicated partner support from YouTube, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and participate in training and networking programmes focused on production, fan engagement, and wellbeing,” the company said.
“We’re excited to spotlight black creatives from the African continent and amplify their voices as they create original content on our platform,” said MD, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, Alex Okosi. “African creators on YouTube are reshaping the power of our platform by providing a unique perspective on all manner of topics from fashion and comedy to politics, learning, and wellness. Through their content, these creators continue to raise the bar for how others engage with their audiences and build community on our platform,” Okosi said. He added that over the next few years, YouTube plans to invest directly in more than 500 creators and artists from across the world to fulfil this commitment.