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The Year of the Digital Creative

A new standard has been set for how creatives interact with their audiences, establish communities, and drive platforms forward across industries like fashion, comedy, politics, education, health, sports and beauty. The biggest names in social media and online publishing have taken notice and support their work. – Article written by Aphiwe Mane.

Earlier this year, YouTube released the full list of Africa’s most creative YouTube content producers for the #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021. Twenty well-known African content producers were featured – four from Kenya, eight from South Africa, and eight from Nigeria.

South African creatives featured on the list include comedian Lasizwe Dambuza who is known for his sketches on YouTube, lifestyle vlogger Kay Yarms, and digital entrepreneur Thato Rampedi.

Some of the Nigerian creatives include Akah Bants a critically acclaimed Nigerian-born actor, and award-winning blogger and YouTube creator Dimma Umeh. Regularly featured on Nigerian websites, her YouTube videos have garnered over 25 million views since she started her channel in 2015.

Kenya is represented by content creator and author Kaluhi Adagala who started Kaluhi’s Kitchen in 2016 as a food channel, and Mitchelle Adagala a certified personal trainer and the owner & founder of Thrive Fitness. She started her YouTube channel in 2017 and focuses on all things health, wellness and fitness.

TikTok recently launched an Incubator Rising Voices incubator project, an initiative open to all black South African creators, supported by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), a subsidiary of the South African Department of Arts and Culture. The project aims to improve the skills of creators, provide funding, and provide the community with opportunities for content creation careers.

“South Africa is a market brimming with creative talent from black creators and we are committed to providing the best local support to help amplify the voices of this community. Through this initiative, we will empower these creators to thrive on TikTok and beyond, as we aim to provide them with career-building resources and programs,” explains Boniswa Sidwaba, TikTok Content Operations Manager, Africa. You can check out the full Rising Voices class here.

The Forbes 30 under 30 List has recognised inspiring young talent on the African continent. These changemakers are innovative entrepreneurs, techies, sports stars and influential creatives leading growth, and this year’s selection stood out for their ability to survive and thrive during what may be considered the most disruptive event in recent history, the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s Forbes 30 under 30 List featured popular South African lifestyle and beauty digital creative Mihlali Ndamase. The creative started her YouTube channel in 2016 and has since reached 319 000 subscribers and over 20.6 million views. She has 1.4 million Instagram followers and 233 500 Twitter followers. This recognition has been regarded as a significant feat for both Mihlali and the digital creative space, as it emphasises the validity of the work of digital creatives.”

“There’s never been a better time to make it rain in the local influencer market than now. The South African influencer landscape is fresh, vibrant and rich in opportunity. With digital interest and behaviour on the considerable rise, it would be alarming to not see influencers on a client brief or media schedule,” says Keke Mahlelebe, strategy partner at advertising, marketing and communications consultancy M&C Saatchi Abel.

In line with the youth-led focus of these platforms, the Digify Pro program offered by Digify Africa seeks to empower, upskill and offer opportunities for young adults to gain practical skills in the online space. Meet our new talented graduates this week during our Digify Pro graduation ceremony taking place on our Facebook page.