YouTube on Tuesday announced the names of the first class of Kenyan creators who will be receiving support and funds they need to help them succeed on the platform as part of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund - a global, multi-year commitment to uplifting Black creators and artists on the platform.
Patricia Kihoro, Kaluhi's Kitchen, Mitchelle Adagala and Mumo were unveiled as part of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund from Africa.
The program covers a diverse range of vocations including musicians, comedians, activists and teachers.
Each platform will benefit from dedicated partner support from YouTube and seed funding invested into the development of their channels, as well as bespoke training, workshops and networking programs.
The plan will see direct investment in more than 500 creators and artists globally to support and fund their channels and content development.
YouTube want to measure success over the long-term, sustaining success of the artists and creators.
"We're building on that momentum, and today, after many months of collaboration, we're excited to introduce you to our inaugural class of #YouTubeBlack Voices creator grantees from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, who are part of our 132 creators from across the world who are participating in the Class of 2021," said Alex Okosi, MD, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA.
"These creators and artists have been doing this work already and are known by their communities, but we're really excited to invest in them, and we believe that they can and will become household names with this support," added Okosi.
Each Class of 2021 creator will receive an undisclosed amount of seed funding to use as they see fit to develop their channels, whether that means hiring a video editor or purchasing new lighting equipment, for example, as well as additional support from YouTube in the form of trainings, workshops and networking opportunities.
According to Okosi, the grants do not come with any specific content requirements.
"We are not only supporting them in the moment, but this is seed funding that will help them to thrive on the platform long-term," he added.
Kaluhi's Kitchen: Content creator and author Kaluhi Adagala started Kaluhi's Kitchen in 2016 as a food channel for the everyday person looking to elevate Kenyan classics to a more fun and modern version. Kaluhi uses local, sustainable, affordable, and easy to find ingredients, along with visual step-by-step guides for her unique recipes. Kaluhi loves telling stories through food and has been featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Food Network, and CNN.
Mitchelle Adagala: She is a Certified Personal Trainer and the owner and founder of THRIVE FITNESS. She started her YouTube channel in 2017 and focuses on all things health, wellness and fitness.
Mumo: He is a photographer and videographer whose channel focuses on helping entrepreneurs. He provides business ideas, tips on how to get started as an entrepreneur, and step-by-step tutorials. Mumo is looking to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and help people all over the world get answers to their business questions.
Patricia Kihoro: She is a Kenyan-based singer, actress, radio presenter, digital content curator, improv comedian, and entrepreneur who loves potatoes, travel, music, performance, working out, riding around Nairobi on boda bodas, and most of all, laughter. She started her channel in 2009, and returned to YouTube in 2017 to showcase her city, her singing (sometimes to her food), her friends and family, travel, and festivals. Patricia loves to celebrate African brands, innovators, art, and culture with a strong bias towards music. She aims to have her audience leave in good spirits and with positive energy, having learnt something new.