It would be hard to pinpoint another time in recent history during which Africanness held the currency it holds in 2022. Thanks, in part, to global Internet platforms like YouTube, the 2000s have ushered in an era of a rising pan-African identity in the arts – especially in music and dance culture.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen cultural waves jump from the shores of our continent to touch down in locations we could never have previously imagined. But that’s not the end of the story – at least that’s not how we, at YouTube, would have it.
It’s with great excitement that we announce, following the success of the inaugural #YouTubeBlack Voices creator Class of 2021, that creators from 26 channels in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa will be representing the continent among a cohort of 133 other creators from around the world.
The #YouTube Black Voices Class of 2022 features a diverse group of creators who (while they have varying professional, social and academic backgrounds) are bound by one common desire: to make a difference in their respective communities and Africa through insightful, relatable, and impactful content.
This group of content creators is clearly drawing a line in the sand: gone are the days of content for entertainment’s sake alone. They are bold, creative, intelligent, and unashamed to captivate audiences by uncovering important social issues and causes on the continent.
The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is a global, multi-year commitment to uplift and grow Black creators and artists on our platform. Creators in the Class of 2022 will receive dedicated partner support from YouTube, seed funding to further develop their channels, and access to programming which will help the creators build thriving channels and careers.
With this in mind, we are investing with intention and for impact. In so doing, it’s our ultimate wish that African creators on YouTube will add a fresh new current to the global wave of pan-African identity, talent, intellect and thought leadership and continue to tell the triumphant story of our Motherland.
Below is our full list of the #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2022 from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Adaeze - Nigeria
Adaeze Jideonwo is a wife, mom of three girls and a content creator. In 2015, she resigned from her banking job to be a stay-home mom/housewife, and for a while, she longed for an avenue to show the world what she's passionate about. She started her Adaeze's Space in 2019. She loves caring for her family, DIY projects, organisation, chatting with friends about important life issues, and teaching women how they can improve their lives without bending to what society expects of them.
Angel Lately (Kenya)
Wendy Angel Nangayo is a female creator, who speaks about all of the things she finds beautiful — whether that is writing, food, places, people or experiences.
Cheyenne Muvunyi is a content creator and entrepreneur of Kenyan and Rwandan origin. She's been self-employed since graduating university and also runs her YouTube channel, cheymuv. Her ultimate goal is to create businesses and tell stories that directly improve people’s lives, whether it’s through visual storytelling or creating products.
Critics Company (Nigeria)
The Critics Company is an award-winning multimedia company with the aim of creating magical experiences through the art of filmmaking. Founded in 2015 by a group of teenagers, Critics Company desires to make a difference in the Nigerian movie-scene. This led the company to make its own sci-fi films with smartphones and basic DIY equipment.
Data Pepple (Nigeria)
Behind Data Pepple is Data, a 23 year old law school graduate with an intense passion for animation. She describes her art style as “super girly and cute, but with a hint of adult, reconciling my childhood obsessions of Bratz & Barbie with who I am as an adult today.” Data says to depict the female body a lot in cartoon form, embracing the many curves and bumps and “expressing the duality of my femininity, being delicate and soft, but also sexy and silly.”
DEFINING (South Africa)
Creators Dennis Ngango, Bongani Baloyi and Nomathamsanqa Plaatjie are on a mission to unleash the potential of Africa’s youth through compelling, creative and impactful storytelling. They produce 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. This can be seen in their shows: #AskingForAFriend, #DEFININGConversations and fan-favourite #DEFININGLOVE.
Fisayo Fosudo (Nigeria)
Fisayo Fosudo's channel has weekly videos on tech and finance for Africa and the world. Fisayo is a visual storyteller, finance and technology video producer with nearly 200,000 subscribers. He has a background in economic analysis, brand communication and specialises in mobile technology, personal finance and the Nigerian economy.
A computer engineer-turned-baker and decorator, Funmi is an award winning cake baker with over 7 years of experience. She participated in the Bake fest competition and emerged first runner-up among hundreds of competitors. Her channel, fummeeee, focuses on sharing African stories through baking tutorial videos, as well as easy and relatable baking and dessert recipes for everyone. She also shares about her life as a career woman, baker, wife and mother while living in Nigeria.
Gugulethu Nyatsumba (South Africa)
Gugu is a content creator and owner of the channel called “Uncomfortable Growth” which started in February 2020 and has grown exponentially since then. “I enjoy tackling topics that are commonly shied away from” says this 24 year old YouTuber. “I am very aware of the environment that I exist in and all that is happening around me as I always want to be able to relate”.
Chikodinaka also known as Haven is the creator of Hn clothings, aimed at empowering new and upcoming designers by sharing her knowledge on pattern drafting, corset making and bridal wear among others. Graduated with a math degree, she has a scientific and artistic approach to dressmaking.
Hungani and Stephanie Ndlovu (South Africa)
The Ndlovu’s Uncut has 280K+ subscribers. Hungani is a trained actor, dancer and DJ while; Stephanie is also an actress, presenter, casting director and social linguist. This talented duo founded their own production company, The Ndlovu’s Uncut Productions. Viewers love the authenticity of their conversations intertwined with fresh, fun and encouraging content.
Shared Moments with Justus is the channel from Justus Nandwa, a digital media content creator based in Kenya through which he expects to spread hope and shape narratives through stories. He uses media to emphasise the costs and benefits of policies by putting a human face on issues that appear abstract, or immensely overwhelming and out-of-reach from afar. Justus inculcates his skill set in advocating for equity, equality, and democracy in all spheres of life by calling out policy makers to order, through his visual journalism.
Manjra (South Africa)
Aarif Muhammad Manjra also known as Manjra, is a YouTuber, streamer and content creator. He is mostly known for his Fortnite based streams, and is one of the top fortnite streamers in South Africa. He started off on Tiktok creating fortnite based funny skits during quarantine and quickly grew, gaining over 6,000 subscribers in less than a year. He has recently completed his Bachelors Degree and is now on his way to fulfil his childhood dream of being a full time YouTuber.
Michelle Expert (South Africa)
Michelle Expert is an entrepreneur who shares advice on sales strategies to help people with their own brands and businesses. She’s passionate about entrepreneurship and sharing her learnings. After quitting her full time job she turned into a content creator, as a way to use her voice to make a change in society. In her own words “I believe as young Africans we are on the precipice of greatness and I intend to walk with, learn from and impart my life experiences with the world through every piece of content I produce”.
Mlungisi Nkosi (South Africa)
Mlungisi Nkosi comes from an engineering background, where he trained in the electronics field and got a post-graduate certificate in education. He's spent 8 years lecturing about mathematics and physical science at a community college, and that's where he developed the art of simplifying difficult concepts. He'll be pursuing an honours in STEM education in 2022. His passion is to help people from all communities (especially under-resourced communities) to do well in subjects that are considered difficult, so they can also get an opportunity to participate in the mainstream economy.
Mpoomy Ledwaba (South Africa)
Mpoomy Ledwaba is a digital content creator, entrepreneur and podcaster. Having started her channel on a quest to build a positive community that focuses on self-betterment, she has quickly become a popular voice in a lot of southern African households.
Nico Nomyayi (South Africa)
“Our voices are often easily erased and we have to fight very hard for recognition” says Nico, the owner of Nico Nomyayi channel, which was born as a way for him to showcase how he navigates the world as a black, queer South African. “It felt important to me to cement and amplify my voice to tell my narrative” he adds. Nico believes in the power of video storytelling and recognises the ability a platform like YouTube has to reach and positively impact people.
Amaka’s focus on skincare and African stories earned her recognition and an acclaimed sweet spot as a skincare expert and storyteller, which she brings to her channel Skybelle. Her vast knowledge of African village life and contemporary skincare and beauty. combined with her endearing personality makes her a fan favourite.
The Tshegofatso (South Africa)
The Tshegofatso is the channel from Tshegofatso Isaac, a 22-year-old content creator, software engineer and business owner. She’s passionate about technology, entrepreneurship and financial education and she expects to be a source of inspiration by documenting her own experiences and challenges.
Xukununu_Bold (South Africa)
Xukununu Ntsetselelo Makaela is a content creator, born and raised in Makhuva village, Giyani-Limpopo. She focuses her content around beauty, lifestyle and fashion and takes it upon herself to share and document all necessary information about her journey especially her acne skin progress, self care, and her life in general.