Africa is home to some of the most creative female talent on the planet, with the continent producing world-leading figures across multiple forms and genres.
Increasingly, that talent is using platforms like YouTube to make its presence known to the wider world. As connectivity costs continue falling and high-end camera technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous, this is a trend likely to keep gathering pace.
In order to give you a taste of what’s out there, and in celebration of International Women’s Day, here are 10 female African artists doing big things on YouTube right now.
Caitlin De Ville
Country: Zambia/South Africa
Caitlin De Ville is a Zambian Electric Violinist, based in South Africa. Her YouTube channel includes videos of her showing off her skills in incredible locations, behind-the-scenes looks at the filming of those videos, and candid vlogs.
24-year-old Lorine Chia is Los Angeles-based these days but her roots are deep in Cameroon. She has written, produced and sang alongside greats like The Game, Wiz Khalifa, Jeezy and Jim Jones and a number of albums and EPs to her credit.
Sampa the Great
Sampa the Great brings a delightfully global perspective her sound – born in Zambia, raised in Botswana and now based in Australia, she is known for her powerful lyrics and deep subject matter.
Vanessa Mdee enjoys mega star status at home and among her legions of fans across the continent. As well as being a talented musician she is also known for being Tanzania’s first ever MTV VJ.
Country: South Africa
Zonke Dikanya, popularly known as Zonke, is signed to TMP Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment. She’s a multi-SAMA Award nominee across multiple years and her third album Ina Ethe went double platinum when it was released in 2011.
Tiwa Savage is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, performer and actress who has been performing since she was 17. She has won multiple awards, co-written a Grammy-nominated song and has backed up the likes of Mary J Blige and George Michael.
Known as the first lady of music label Chocolate City, Victoria is known both for her musical hits and her sense of style. Aside from her career as a musician she also appeared in the Nigerian movie 7 Inch Curve.
Singer, songwriter and actress, Jane Awindor (Efya) comes from Ghanaian celebrity filmmaker stock – her mother is Nana Adwoa Awindor, a television host and filmmaker. Efya is signed to Wizkid’s Starboy label.
Waje’s stage name is actually an acronym, standing for “Words Just Aren’t Enough”. The Nigerian singer is famous for her versatile vocal range and has collaborated with a number of Nigeria’s top performers. She is one of the judges in The Voice Nigeria.
Afropop superstar Yemi Alade first came to prominence after winning the Peak Talent Show in 2009. Best-known for her track “Johnny“, she has won multiple awards, including “Best Female” at the MTV African Music Awards in 2015 and 2016.