Top diaspora Africans on social media

26 Feb 2018

More and more Africans around the world are sharing their perspectives in a powerful, far-reaching way. Here are some of social media’s most prominent voices and narratives.

Shirley Eniang, stylist

With nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram (@ShirleyBEniang), this Nigerian-Ghanaian is the fashionista to follow. Besides offering style tips on her website shirleyswardrobe.com, the ambitious London-based beauty blogger is also popular for her fitness and skincare regime tutorials.

Eman Kellam, comedian

Nigerian-British YouTube comedian Emmanuel Olaniyan, better known by his stage name Eman Kellam, rose to prominence with his video “Pranking My African Dad”, which now has nearly 5 million views. Celebrity guests on his show have included Cara Delevingne, Dave Franco and Ben Hardy.

Fatou N’diaye, blogger and brand ambassador

Raised in France and of Pan-African heritage (half-Nigerian, a quarter Malian and a quarter Senegalese), Fatou N’diaye launched the blog blackbeautybag more than a decade ago, and later parallel social media accounts, to stress the ways in which black women count in the world of beauty. She has since become a consultant for major luxury brands, promoting diversity in cosmetics and hair products.

Amy Sall, historian

This Senegalese New Yorker has attracted 60,000 followers to her Instagram account which she has turned into a journal of African history and art. Her page @sunujournal includes everything from paintings by contemporary artists and portraits of Hausa women from Togo to rare early 20th-century images of Yoruba women dyers with clay dye pots.

 Chanel Ambrose, lifestyle vlogger

With more than 15 million views of her YouTube videos, which include “Fat Girl Life Hacks” and “Makeup Mistakes Black Women Constantly Make”, this Ghanaian-born, London-based vlogger has documented her fertility struggles and more recently the challenges of being a new mother and entrepreneur. On the back of her channel’s success, Chanel Ambrose has also recently become CEO of her own makeup line, Amby Rose.

Gareth Pon, photographer

The South African photographer and social media star who is currently based in Chicago hides a rocket in every one of his photos. He has been named top African Instagrammer by the African Blogger Awards.

Opal Tometi, writer and community organiser

Opal Tometi has been credited with bringing the Black Lives Matter movement onto social media, effectively turning a hashtag into a networked movement. Opal Tometi is a Nigerian-American and the executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration.

Ruby Audi, travel expert

Ruby Audi, whose mother was born in Ghana, launched HipAfrica from London in 2013 to show the continent through the lens of tourism, using a network of content creators. This Instagram account rich with pops of colour and luxurious backdrops shows the best way to eat, sleep and play in Africa while also offering advice for everything from booking hotels to getting visas.

Soraya de Carvalho, fashion blogger

Angolan blogger Soraya de Carvalho posts photos and essays about eccentric attire from cities around the world, including her home base in Nottingham, England. She has a strong following on nearly every media platform under the name StyleIsMyThing, including Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

Mikael Owunna, photographer

Nigerian-American photographer Mikael Owunna has documented communities of LGBTQ African immigrants in North America and Europe on his Facebook page Limitless Africans. The ongoing project has attracted attention of media outlets, the art community and human rights groups.