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Here's YouTube's Black Voices Creator Class of 2021

YouTube Announces Black Voices Creator Class of 2021

South Africa and Nigeria dominate YouTube's 2021 Black Voices Creator class. Nicollette Mashile, Lasizwe Dambuza, Kay Ngonyama, Lade Owolabi, Akah Bants and more have made it onto the list.

YouTube has released the full list of Africa's most creative YouTube content creators for the #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021. The highly contested annual list recognises Africa's original YouTube content creators from various genres including art, finance, business, comedy, education, health and wellness. Twenty of Africa's most popular and consistent content creators were selected. South Africa and Nigeria both have eight representatives while Kenya has four.


Read: YouTube Announces 'Black Voices Fund' for African Creators

Representing South Africa is Nicollette Mashile who isknown by her social media name, Financial Bunny. She has been creating content on financial advise since 2017. Lasizwe Dambuza, on the other hand, is known for his comedic sketches which have often gone viral and secured him a reality show on MTV Africa. Ofentse Mwase Films isthe married duo who create original short films, series and music videos.

Lifestyle vloggers Kay Yarms and Owamie Hlongwane have made the list and have been in the game since 2017. Thato Rampedi is also a part of the class for his conversational channel and MacG, for his podcasts which boast the appearance of trailblazing celebrity guests. Toast With Naledi, which is a reality entertainment channel centred on Naledi Monamodi's real life experiences, has scored her a seat in this year's class.

Akah Bants represents for Nigeria and has been running his socially conscious channel since 2015. Dimma Umeh joins Bants with her YouTube channel which centres on life in Nigeria and has over 25 million views. Oscarmini and Eric Okafor come through for all the tech geeks. Lade Owolabi, Winnie Emmanuel, Tomike Adeoye and Dodos Uvieghara are also part of this year's class.

Kenya's list is short but potent. SingerPatricia Kihoro has been selected for her channel which celebrates African brands, innovators, art, culture and music. Mumo, a photographer and videographer has been selected for his channel which teaches entrepreneurial mindsets. Mitchelle Adagala and Kaluhi Adagala are also on the list.

The 20 #YouTubeBlack Voices of 2021 will receive mentoring and funding as part of YouTube's campaign to spotlight Black voices. The video streaming platform anticipates to fund over 500 Black YouTube content creators from across the world over the coming years. YouTube stated that this is a first step for Black voices on YouTube to feel protected. The YouTube Black Voices Fund was announced last year in October.

The class of 2021 have evidently raised the bar and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, have managed to keep the Black community thoroughly engaged.

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Photo: Ayra Starr/Orienteer.

Ayra Starr & Kelly Rowland Connect For Ultra Sultry "Bloody Samaritan" Remix

"I've always been a huge fan of Kelly Rowland, and when this came up, I could barely keep in the excitement," mentions the young Mavin Records star.


Ayra Starr has joined creative forces with Kelly Rowland to create a remix of her "Bloody Samaritan" record. The Mavin Records artist has been putting effort into her craft, and her recent collaboration with Rowland is an indication of her growing musical prowess.

Connecting with Rowland, who is a music icon, is another step in the right direction for the young Afro-pop star. The initial release of "Bloody Samaritan" was a well-received record that amassed over 60 million TikTok views and was also featured on BBC Radio's 1Xtra—the remix is equally as enjoyable. Although it retains the sound of the original song, it has its unique ambiance, which fuses elements of Afrobeats, Afro-pop and smooth R&B.

Starr continues to rise in the global music scene and her recent collaboration with Spotify has the potential to skyrocket the musical influence of the newcomer globally. Artists like Starr are increasingly pushing the envelope as it relates to collaborating with bigger names in the music world, which was something that was not as rampant a few years ago. While discussing the collaboration, Starr shared her excitement about the record and her admiration for Rowland.

"I've always been a huge fan of Kelly Rowland, and when this came up, I could barely keep in the excitement! While recording this, Kelly made me feel so comfortable and relaxed, something I really appreciate," said Starr. "She was super amazing! and I was able to hold my own alongside a legend, and I can't wait to share this new music with you all!"

Although Ayra Starr is one of the youngest artists in the Afro-pop world, she has already been making a solid impression among fans and music analysts. In an NME piece, the publication described Starr as “the teen leading her generation’s sonic revolution.” Her stage presence, confidence, and overall "je ne sais quoi" essence have proven that the Gen-Z pioneer is ready to continue to put her name and genre on the map.

Listen to Ayra Starr and Kelly Rowland's "Bloody Samaritan" remix below!

Music
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The 10 Best South African Songs of the Month (September)

Featuring AKA, Nasty C, K.O, Blaq Diamond, Musa Keys, and more.

Here are the South African songs and music videos that caught our attention this month.

Check out more of our Best Songs of the Month lists from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and East Africa. You can also follow our weeklySongs You Need to Hear roundup for the best new music.

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Kenya Says It's Banning LGBTQ+ Content

According to the acting head of the Kenya's Film Classification Board (KFCB), all movies with LGBTQ+ content are illegal in the country.

The acting CEO of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), Christopher Wambua, has announced that all movies containing LGBTQ+-related content are now illegal in the country. Wambua also said that the country is against LGBTQ+ relationships.


"As we rate and classify content, we also consider other applicable laws. If there is any content that normalizes, glorifies same-sex relationships, our position in Kenya has always been to restrict and not to broadcast, exhibit or distribute that kind of content within the borders of the country," Wambua said. Wambua also said that while there are multiple platforms highlighting sam-sex content online, the Kenyan government is actively taking action to block access to the content in Kenya. According to Wambua, the KFCB authority is currently working with streaming powerhouse Netflix to ensure that access to LGBTQ+ movies and series are barred within Kenya.

"Most of them are restricting; because of our discussions with Netflix, they are curating their classification system that is very aligned with our laws with the view of ensuring that in future once we sign the agreement, some of this content is not visible at all within the republic," Wambua said.

Kenya is not the first country to state that it would not condone LGBTQ+ content. Earlier this year, Egypt joined six other Arab countries to call out Netflix and Disney+, and demand that certain types of "offensive" content be restricted from airing in their countries. This was understood to be in reference to media that featured members of the LGBT+ community within those countries.

Kenya has had a long history of barring content with LGBTQ+ characters and storylines. In 2018, Kenyan authorities banned 'Rafiki,' a film that profiled the love story of two women, citing that the production promoted lesbianism. Last year, the KFCB also banned the documentary "I am Samuel," a storyline about a gay Kenyan man. Kenya's law strongly forbids LGBTQ+ and Section 165 of its Penal Code highlights the legality of code in detail.

Interview
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The Inimitable Flair of BNXN

We talk to the Afro-fusion star about his year of ascendance, legendary co-signs, and headline shows around the world.

“There is this pressure that comes with it. It's on a level of ‘How are you going to do better?’, ‘How are you going to beat these songs? 'Can you back up the same energy the following year?

BNXN (pronounced Benson) calmly highlights the weighty pressures of his phenomenal 2021 run of hits that have cemented his spot as one of the hottest artists in Africa.

The last time I spoke with BNXN he was known as Buju. We sat in a recording studio within Burna Boy’s exquisite home, with the conversation centered around a seven-month stoppage in music releases. Weeks after, Buju released "Outside," the first single under his imprint, To Your Ears Entertainment—parting ways with Burna Boy’s Spaceship Records.

The release of "Outside" commenced a streak of relentless hits for BNXN which included guest verses on songs such as Savage’s "Confident," Ladipoe’s "Feeling," Blaq Diamond’s "Italy" and Wizkid’s "Mood." BNXN’s 2021 crescendoed with performances during Wizkid’s sold-out three-day residency at London’s iconic O2, a Grammy nomination for his work in Made In Lagos, his seven-track debut EP, Sorry I’m Late, and headline shows in London and Lagos.

“Coming into 2022, the speculation was about what the run was going to be like this year. Who else are you trying to do it with? 'Finesse' happened and it was wild.” BNXN earmarks the impact of the Pheelz-owned record, released in March. “Finesse” became an earworm after individual videos of Pheelz and BNXN vibing to the record went viral on Tiktok. The BNXN-assisted song charted in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, and America, and was featured on Barack Obama’s coveted summer playlist.

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