JOHANNESBURG, South Africa; 13 November, 2016

Google tonight announced the winners of the inaugural Sub-Saharan African YouTube Awards. Held in other regions since 2007, the YouTube Awards celebrate the talent and creativity of the YouTube community.

Says Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, “We’re incredibly proud at YouTube to provide a platform that shares Africa’s creativity with the rest of the world. Films from Nollywood along with stories like the one of Olympic medalist Julius Yego show that inspiring talent and stories from anywhere can find a global audience. By holding our first ever YouTube Africa Awards, we hope to celebrate these incredible achievements, while also demonstrating our long-term commitment to the continent.”

YouTube Awards were handed out to 25 creators across 23 categories at a glittering event held in Sandton. Nominees were chosen based on subscriber numbers. Users had to have a minimum of 50,000 subscribers to qualify, and be based and currently residing in one of eight launched countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Top non-broadcaster channels were picked from each launched country. (A launched country is one in which monetization has been enabled, it is not enabled in all countries globally). The eight launched countries in SSA are Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal. There are over 70 channels from launched SSA countries that have reached over 100 000 subscribers.

“YouTube is about the opportunity for people to express themselves,” says Teju Ajani, YouTube Partnerships, SSA. “Creators across Africa are using YouTube to find their voice, connect with audiences around the world and build channels while earning revenue from it. The number of hours of video content being uploaded in Africa has doubled year over year for the past two years. And the audience has grown with it. Watchtime on mobile phones is growing 120% year over year.”

Creators like Hakima Raymond, who taught himself to conduct an orchestra using YouTube videos and has gained international fame, or the show “An African City” which recently hit international headlines for its portrayal of women in Accra, Ghana are examples of the talent that resides in Africa and is now reaching the world through YouTube.

YouTube content creators recognized tonight include Nigeria’s Mark Angel Comedy which features 6year old Emmanuella Samuel, Nigeria’s Channels Television, South African vlogger Suzelle DIY and South African musical channel Yellow Brick Cinema.

Full list of winners:
Broadcaster – Channels Television
Comedy – Kansiime Anne
Comic – Ramscomics / Supastrikas
Education – Retutpro – Photography and Photoshop Tutorials
Entertainment – NdaniTV
Fitness – Six Pack Factory
Games – Slushy AJ
Makeup and Fashion – Kangai Mwiti
Music – Yellow Brick Cinema
News and politics – Millard Ayo
Nonprofit – Jim Nduruchi
People and Blogs – Suzelle DIY
Pets and animals – Earth Touch
Top Subscribed Creator in Uganda – Kansiime Anne
Top Subscribed Creator in Ghana – OfficialSarkodie
Top Subscribed Creator in Kenya – Churchill Show
Top Subscribed Creator in Nigeria – Mark Angel Comedy
Top Subscribed Creator in Senegal – Prince Arts
Top Subscribed Creator in South Africa – Yellow Brick Cinema
Top Subscribed Creator in Tanzania – DiamondPlatnumz
Top Subscribed Creator in Zimbabwe – Mufti Menk
Top Subscribed Nollywood Channel – IbakaTV/Nollywood
Special mention: Yellow Brick Cinema which recently reached 1 million subscribers and was awarded a YouTube Gold Play Button in recognition of the achievement.