Youtube is arguably the most progressive platform that has grown the entrepreneurial spirit among Kenyan youths during these tough economic times. Lots of people are turning to Youtube for Do It Yourself (DIY) information on a wide range of categories on the platform from video blogs, reviews to documentaries.
Statistics have it that about 1.325 billion people use YouTube, watching 4.95 billion videos every day with 3.25 billion hours of video watched on YouTube each month. Content crowned as the King in this space, Kenyan Youtubers work hard for the numbers a metric that measures progress and determines the size of their cheques. Merchandising, affiliate links, sponsorships, subscription fees, and endorsements just to mention but a few are among the avenues explored by these content creators to generate revenues.
For Michelle Anyango, a hair and beauty Youtuber who also doubles up as a fashionpreneur, what started off as posting photos online so she could look at on them years later to confirm the progress of her hair, bore the idea of starting a Youtube channel that boasts of over 25,700 subscribers and over 142 videos.
“I started Nywele Chronicles as a way of documenting my new natural hair Journey in June 2015. I just wanted to post photos of my hair, that I would look at years later and see if it has actually grown. Then people got curious about my hairstyles and I decided to do more. Schoolwork caught up with me and for a whole year, I did not post much but after graduating I opened a youtube channel,” she said.
In a community where natural hair was not much appreciated back then, Michelle chose to tell her story differently, blending in her entrepreneurial side into her content which is majorly on hair and hair products and ever since there has been a growing demand for her headwraps, earrings, and kiondos that she seamlessly markets on her platform.
While it may feel pretty straight forward to put out content on Youtube, Michelle attested to how time-consuming creating videos for Youtube can be. She said that it could take three working days to shoot a short video depending on the hairstyles is working on. Then the editing bit comes in which could take equally the same tome or much more depending on the desired output.
Like any other market with a mad man, Social Media has its notorious bullies and sadists who shoot Youtubers right in the face with trolls, negative comments and terrible reviews without bearing in mind that on the receiving end is an emotional human being just trying out and Michelle has been a victim.
“Being trolled on Social Media is one of the worst things that could happen to anyone. As a content creator, it makes you fear to put out content cause you imagine it could be a subject for online bullies and trolls. I think online bullies try to project their insecurities through you. I try as much as possible not to dwell on that. You cannot be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s OK,” she mentioned.
But Michelle’s good work has seen her bag popular brands to work with. With so many people are embracing natural hair, her subscribers following her on Twitter and Instagram to make orders, her well is not running dry any time soon.