By Vanessa Obioha
At the YouTube Black Africa celebration held in Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday, 40 African creators were unveiled as part of the 135 #YouTubeBlack Voices Creators selected globally for the classes of 2023. Nigerian young comedian Maryam Apaokagi popularly known as Taaooma alongside other Nigerian YouTubers are among the class of 2023.
In addition, four music artists and two producers were selected for the Music and Songwriters/ Producer classes of 2023. Representing Nigeria in the music list are Asake and BNXN. They will be joined by Gyakie from Ghana, Kamo Mphela from South Africa. Hip-hop producer MashBeatz from South Africa and Nairobi-based producer Ukweli will be joining 17 #YouTubeBlack Voices Songwriters and Producers globally.
Now in its third year, the #YouTubeBlack Voices is a followup to a global, multi-year commitment made in 2020 to uplift and grow Black creators, artists, songwriters, and producers on the platform.
YouTube will support grantees with $20,000 and $50,000 as seed funding. They will also have a dedicated partner support for six months and have the opportunity to participate in programmes including bespoke training, workshops and networking programmes spread out across the year.
The artists, songwriters, and producers joining the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2023 will be required to set goals, develop a content strategy, and engage with their fans on YouTube, with the assistance of a YouTube partner manager. There will be networking opportunities with other artists, songwriters, and producers included in the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, and a chance to maximise the impact of their channels as they provide catalogue-development opportunities.
“We are seriously interested in the growth of the creative community in Africa. For the creators, artists, songwriters and producers that will be joining this third cohort, we will go beyond the initial training to measure our success with them over a long-term period, thereby ensuring that they achieve sustained success,” said MD, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, Alex Okosi.
The #YouTube Black celebration also witnessed the graduation of the class of 2023. YouTube also announced that it will be
directly investing in more than 500 creators and artists from across the world to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development through the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund in the next few years.