"The African creator community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate and driven creatives, and we're honoured to equip these talented creators and artists with additional resources to match their drive," says Zeph Masote, YouTube lead for South Africa.

"At YouTube, we've always tried to facilitate the rise of diverse voices, all-inclusive of gender and race. Through the Black Voices Fund, in the past two years we've been able to amplify the perspectives and experiences of these diverse creators," adds Masote.

Since its inception in 2020, the programme has welcomed over 300 grantees from Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and the United States.

This includes:
  • musicians
  • beauty entrepreneurs
  • comedians
  • activists
  • poets
  • personal trainers
  • parents
  • photographers, and
  • gamers.
Creators selected for the programme will receive funding that will be invested in the development of their channels. They will also receive dedicated partner support and get the opportunity to participate in bespoke training, workshops and networking programmes.

Apart from having committed USD$100-million for the YouTube Black Voices Fund, YouTube has also partnered with community-based groups to build the Future Insiders programme. The project is specifically targeting over 180 at-risk and underprivileged students who are interested in a future in the music and creative professions.

Participants in the programme take part in quarterly sessions that cover:
  • YouTube success
  • career routes
  • accessing talent and thought leaders, and
  • well-being.
The 2021 BVF cohort included 133 grantees hailing from:
  • the United States
  • Kenya
  • the United Kingdom
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • South Africa, and
  • Nigeria.
Additionally, 26 creators and artists were from Africa.

Alumni from the continent include:
  • reality star entertainer Lasizwe Dambuza
  • personal trainer and health and wellness advocate Mitchelle Adagala
  • musician Sho Madjozi, and
  • TV presenter, entrepreneur and actress Tomike Adeoye.
"Africa is overflowing with incredible talent. We are excited to discover the amazing creators the next round of applications will bring with it as we continue to invest in the amplification of Black creators," concludes Masote.

For more information, visit www.youtube.com