Modupe Oloruntoba, a journalist based in South Africa, has kindly agreed to write a four-part series for Unicorns about the best YouTubers that Africa has to offer. Her last previous articles covered South African YouTubers and African beauty vloggers. This week, she discusses comedians:
I spend a lot of my time on youtube laughing my head off – it’s one of my favourite ways to blow off steam after a rough day. While I’m partial to late night shows – long live Fallon, Norton, and Corden – I’ve started watching some stand up and skit shows and I’ve discovered some great ones from across Africa! Here are a few you should know:
PharoahFi, South Africa
Actress, singer and voice over artist Farieda Metsileng shot to instagram and twitter fame with hilarious mini monologues in a character voice, and later started uploading longer versions to Youtube. Her funny take on everything from first dates to money grew so popular in 2016 that she started making content for MTV Base as a presenter on their NewsISH tv show and web series.
Naija Swagi, Nigeria
Izu Ugo is a professional photographer with a silly sense of humour. He’s just returned to Youtube after a year long hiatus (probably to start his brand new production company) and his 11k subscribers couldn’t be happier. Izu’s content is mostly about West African pop culture, current affairs, and situations most Nigerians can relate to – his videos on African parents are fantastic. Some of his content is in Igbo, a Nigerian language, but there are English subtitles so everyone’s in on the fun.
Clifford Owusu, Ghana
When someone’s videos have been on Good Morning America, Yahoo.com, Pandora Radio, BET and BuzzFeed, they’ve got to be doing something right, right? Clifford Owusu is a Ghanaian-American funny man who built a following on youtube with dance and comedy videos. Like Izu he also has a series on African dads (I have one, they really are like that) called In an African Home, and if you’re not in the mood for dad jokes there’s always some dancing.
Kansiime Anne, Uganda
Discovering Anne was like discovering gold that had been right under your nose the whole time. She’s an award winning comedian, TV presenter, actress, writer, and host of a Kenyan tv show called ‘Don’t Mess With Kansiime.’ Her sometimes clever and sometimes obtuse but always funny web skit characters have racked up over 90 million views in the 5 years she’s been on Youtube. You won’t stop at just one, but if you watch anything, watch this.
The Weekly Noise, South Africa
2016 was a breakout year for young comedian Yaaseen Barnes, who is now bringing his deadpan humour to Youtube! The ‘Prince of one-liners’ made a name for himself on twitter before taking his short quippy jokes offline and onto the stage. After winning a number of contests including Newcomer of The Year award in the 2015 Savannah Comic’s Choice Awards, Yaaseen went on to perform at the Comedy Central International Festival and it’s been uphill since. His brand new web series (the first episode was published this past Sunday) is called The Weekly Noise, and I’m already subscribed.