YouTube has released its inaugural class of African content creators, which are set to receive a grant for the development of their channels from the global #YouTubeBlackVoices Fund. The selection is from the U.S., U.K., Kenya, Brazil, Australia, South Africa and Nigeria and include musicians, beauty entrepreneurs, comedians, activists, poets, personal trainers, teachers and photographers.
The creators were invited to apply and evaluated on channel performance and engagement metrics. YouTube said it will open the application process for the next round of grants to a broader range of candidates over the next few months.
The 23 African YouTubers from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa will take part in a three-week incubator programme followed by bespoke training, workshops and networking programmes.
South African creators who made it to the list include MacG, Nicolette Mashile, Lasizwe Dambuza, Ofentse Mwase Films, Ofentse Mwase, Nelisiwe Mwase, Kay Yarms, Thato Rampedi and Naledi Monamodi.
YouTube also announced that top African artists Fireboy DML, Sauti Sol and Sho Madjozi have been selected as part of 21 artists to join the #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021.
The artists 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 programs focused on production, fan engagement and wellbeing.
Over the next few years, YouTube says that it plans to invest directly in more than 500 creators and artists from across the world in order to fulfil this commitment.
Here is the list of African creators who were picked for the #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021: