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South African Youtubers need to improve with content – and cut the ‘Monkey see, monkey do’ BS


South African Youtubers need to improve with content – and cut the ‘Monkey see, monkey do’ BS

Last year was absolutely a good year in the creative space, especially for the local YouTube community.

In the same year, we saw a number of creators start their own channels and coming up with eye-catching and time worthy video content. We also observed the controversial YoutubeZA Tour which caused an uproar for including a certain number of creators while leaving out others. Nonetheless, the tour is a beautiful movement which needs to be improved and communicated fairly to avoid the discrimination. We also have to applaud Beauty and Lifestyle creator, Mihali Ndamase who reached a milestone of 100 000 subscribers for her channel.



Let’s also give the spotlight and praise to creators like Okay Wasabi for pushing great ideas, Pap Culture for worthy conversations and topics on their channel, Ofentse Mwase (and team), Michael Cost, Lasizwe, Sibu Mpanza and Microwave Boys for carrying forward good and entertaining content. Those are some of the creators who are behind the helm of Youtube ZA community and pushing boundaries in creating stellar content.



Ofcourse we cannot forge the fact that the community has got alot more to work on and improve in terms of content, which is the reason we have put together this piece to get few things off the way – so even upcoming YouTubers can stay away from falling into the ‘saturated content’ category and cut the whole the ‘Monkey see, monkey do’ BS. Growth is needed for creators to also get monetary opportunities and even score international recognition. And for the community to reach that level of growth, we need to see more and new fresh ideas when it comes to content. What’s the point when we see every female turning into ‘Makeup-artist’ and have everyone do parodies.

So what do we mean by saturated content? Simple, what everyone is already doing.




Enough with makeup, beauty, fashion!

The category is already covered and flooding, unless you have some major creative way to create ‘never seen before’ type of content. Creators like Mihlali, Kheamo M, Sinovuyo Mondliwa and Zuziwe Gcuku are already owning the category. In 2019, please we don’t want to see anyone starting a channel to teach us about make-up or beauty, we’ve heard enough!.

Almost all the tutorials (lashes, hair etc) are already there if you look up. Yes, we understand all the creators have their own personality and approach when behind the camera, but that doesn’t giveaway much if we’re seeing all-female Youtubers doing make-up and beauty. So scrap that in 2019!

Let it be known, this is not a sort of an attack to creators within Beauty and Make-up.


The couple thing is too boring!

Same topics, same mood, and no consistency. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with dropping a juicy and good video featuring bae. But that’s so tired and lame for someone who’s a creator. Without a doubt let’s leave this right away.



While South African creators are almost focused on a smaller portion of categories, that leaves out a bunch of cool content that’s not covered. With much confidence, we can say YouTube ZA is sleeping on beautiful content that still needs to be tapped on. Let’s see someone do reviews on the latest tech gadgets that appeal to local audience and the world. Let’s see some do car reviews and the latest motoring technology. We don’t have many creators talking about shopping experiences, product reviews (home use, kitchen, appliances, bedroom, daily accessories). Let’s have someone who travels city to city, province to province showing and exploring all the cool places people can visit.

Besides doing restaurants reviews (which is also a great category to explore), let’s have some hop in the kitchen and do recipes and step by step how to prepare certain meals. South Africa does not have a go-to educational channel that can touch on general topics that give out tips and how-to stuff. Music and Movies are major industry money-makers, we don’t have consistent creators killing that scene. The list goes on and on, it doesn’t even have to be based on a specific subject. Vlogging is another way of exploring the lifestyle around you. As long as you keep interesting and worth the watch.


With exploring some of the categories we mentioned above, it also becomes easier for creators to dial up brands to collaborate and vice versa. Remember part of being a Youtuber is also making money out of it in a long run (but leave out this notion when you’re starting out).

Brands are open to ideas and doing collaborations with Youtubers, so if you’re giving people fresh ideas of content and that’s audience-worthy, then the bag i$ your$.

Here are few examples of creators collaboration with brands:

1. Sibu Mpanza linked up with Spree (now named Superbalist) for a fashion campaign and competition. Sibu together with his team created their own Spree fashion and style look and shared it on social media. He then asked his audience across social media to do the same and stand a chance to win a hamper. Sibu and his team presented an authentic look and they showed off their style at one the local events.


2. Mihlali did a collaboration video with Superbalist,  using make-up products available on their shelf. With this collaboration, she did a whole make-up step by step tutorial showing her audience how to use those products. And that’s very engaging content and also a win to Superbalist as an online retailer .


3. Thabo & Thabiso who are into the sneaker culture were recognized by PUMA South Africa. The brand sent them their new range of sneakers to tell their audience more the range, and they did a cool detailed video review also giving you detailed shots of the sneakers and the on-feet look. That’s fresh content!


Besides the actual content itself, the creators themselves need to take this seriously.

Stop sleeping and give people what they want!

A number of creators even those who are well established still lack consistency and can’t keep up. If you say you’re a YouTuber stick to it and give us dope content and deliver. Schedule is an important factor especially when you want to grow your channel in numbers. You can plan to post up a new video each week or twice a month, even once (still not bad). As long as you stick to your schedule, your audience wants to remain entertained and the only way is to give them fresh content regularly and be consistent.


Extend the conversation on Social Media

Besides posting videos on YouTube — you can extend the conversation further by engaging on other platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Ask people questions about a topic/ review you discussed in a video, hear what they say after watching your video(s). That doesn’t only take the conversation further but it drives more attention to your channel. You can put a hot snippet of your video on Twitter or Instagram and drop a question to drive a conversation. Both Twitter and Instagram has good engaging tools like ‘poll’ and ‘ask a question’. Take advantage of such tools to push your content to more audience.




Quality over everything!

Nothing sucks like coming across a video with a fancy and interesting title only to find out the quality is lame. No choice but to skip and there’s no way I’d be convinced to go back to that channel.

Quality is everything! And this is the area where you should not compromise. It’s important you invest in a good camera, sound recorder and lighting.
*Look out for a follow-up post to share some of the best and affordable equipment you can spend your money on.


Starting out as a Youtuber is not an easy thing, and while many care about subscribers and viewership – you need to let go of that if you are in this for a long run. It will definitely take you years to reach those solid numbers and to start making money from the platform.

So let it be about putting together a solid and unique content that’s worth watching and keep your audience engaged at all times.



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