2020 was a tough year and it felt like as the months progressed, smiles got scarcer and fears increased. We needed all the entertainment we could get and thankfully, these guys came through with brilliant and funny content in 2020 - the year of elbow bumps, designer masks, Amazon Prime, banana bread, "you're on mute" & election horror movies. Sheeesh!
Meet The Avengers:
@LingandLamb is a whole vibe. Yours Truly fell down their rabbit hole and got lost in videos of L&L exploring strange and beautiful things about each other’s culture. Isn’t that really the point of life? To keep learning and discovering until time’s up?
Shout out to @everydaywithhk for flooding our timelines with Black Love, positivity in entertainment with their comedic skits & synchronized dancing. 2020 was a tough year for so many couples. First day I discovered their page I lowkey spent the day binging on their posts and wondering how they learn these dances without it ending up in a fight. But seriously, how do they do it? Check them out - Everyday with H&K is creating content that Inspires Healthy Relationships w/ Love & Laughter | Patreon
It would be a great surprise walking into an event and having Clinton Egbuna as the emcee. He's hilarious and will poke fun at anyone. I love his comparisons of how things are done in his birth country vs in the UK where he currently resides with his family. He’s been criticized by many for producing skits dragging the church, however I think He’s just intent on making the clergy community review toxic church culture.
@sheenamelwani is a talented musician and skilled performer. She has dropped many covers on YouTube over the last what, 13 years but it took a "heckler" and what has now morphed into the Interrupted Series to bring her to my attention. Said heckler is TRID or "The real Indian dad" who interrupts with no-nonsense comments and advice that sounds very much like what an African dad would say. Truth be told, the average African dad would likely have told her to get off the piano and stick her face in a book, lol. Half the Innanet says TRID is her dad, the other half swears he's her husband. I don't care, he's a keeper!
@mizzko Kendra Oyesanya might seem out of place on this list but that's not what the views & Likes on her dance videos tell us. Tbh, Not I've never laughed at anything she's said. Ever. However, her moves are so mesmerizing and her dance videos SHOULD count as entertaining & motivational video content that tells stories. I had no idea who she was until I got hooked on Step Up (Season1). I would love to see her in a cop show, as a cop though. Not a corpse or an exotic dancer. Have to drop this PSA because casting directors can be really shady, lol. Maybe a cop who comes up with really complicated moves that work like calculations in her head to help her solve murders. #kiddingnotkidding.
First on my list is definitely Elsa Majimbo because she’s perfect. Her comedic timing, been the opposite to the norm in the sense of beauty and hair. Instagrammers love her “weird accent” and it emphasizes the fact that funny is funny. Then can we talk about the fact that this teen is securing global bags from her neck of the woods in the motherland? Where’s her Lays endorsement? Or Rap kings? I love this professional bragger!
@lilly: Lilly Singh is a YouTuber, talk show host, and actress. Born in Canada to Immigrant parents, she started YouTube in 2010. She has won a ton of awards, has millions of followers and is considered a global media icon.
@oumijanta is another person who isn't a comedian and doesn't even make skits! We'll never be able to talk about the summer of 2020 without mentioning Oumi and her roller-skates, her bright fashion, her melanin and how she made skating cool enough to secure the bag over and over and over. I'm not sure why we were so enthralled. It's not like we hadn't ever seen someone roller skate in the park. I think there was something incredible about watching someone really move while we were all cooped up at home in quarantine. Whatever it was, Oumi reeled us in and we stayed caught. And it wasn't just us - She's been featured in Car ads and Fashion week among other things.
It's the wig choices for me when it comes to Kobby. I would watch an entire series based off those horrendous wigs. There's that part of me that finds his comedy great and another part that blames him for the fact that Ghana Jollof gained so much popularity, lol. I love that he’s monetizing his skits now and I want to see more skits in 2021.
@yescenomics: Yasin Osman’s IG comic content on @yescenomics is funny, mischievous and soooo relatable. I love how he obviously creates from what he knows and still it has me screaming “OMG, Somalis too.” I can relate with the WhatsApp chain between the parents and grandparents and how the African community keeps tabs on every other person’s kids but their own. And wow, comments?! are a whole other treasure trove.
Yasin’s work has been featured in New Yorker Mag and Shoot for Peace His Comic Strip Series Grandpa Ali & Friends is available on Amazon.
Calling @luvvie a professional troublemaker has nothing to do with her new book. Luvvie is an influencer, TEDx speaker, podcaster and author. She’s always been about stirring up stuff others would prefer to let die down. Don’t believe me? Check out AwesomelyLuvvie.com and her Sunday Unpopular Opinions are a great way to kick off the week. If you’re also looking to follow someone unapologetic about who she is and what she stands for, it’s her.
Tobechukwu Nwigwe (& Fat) because who doesn't love a creative duo. @tobenwigwe didn’t just keep us enthralled through Cornteen & the rest of 2020, he inspired us. Let's be real, there aren’t so many times we get to see folks own their independence in the music business and thrive in it too. Tobe did that and we’ve seen him thrive since then. I think that did something monumental to our mindsets in 2020.
Kevin Fredericks is a writer, comedian, producer and Influencer. His commentary on viral videos gave us something to laugh about all pandemic and then watching him with his son gives me chills because I love seeing us give the next gen all the moves, needed to slay the future. Get more Kevonstage here KevOnStage Studios is creating Content | Patreon
@trevornoah: Trevor is a comedian and the host of The Daily Show whose videos SAVED us in 2020. There was so much misinformation and outright lies flying about. His skits helped a great deal.
Dr. Kelechi Anyakiude @kelechiafc has all of IG hollering over his “Local man” antics and his wild displays during football matches make him a fan favorite. There’s also how he manages to put our African quirks out there for everyone to see. Aaaargh! Is nothing secret anymore?
@thewayofchi: No shame. I live VICARIOUSLY through Chang Xing Liang and his mind-bending moves. As someone who grew up on black and white Tai Chi movies and Bruce Lee-obsessed siblings, I find @thewayofchi his stories and old videos (in competition) so inspiring. His Reels though?! I can't even do 3 burpees without crying but it's the thought that counts and all that : ) : ) : )
@Awkwardpuppets: Honestly though, what would 2020 have been without Awkward Puppets and Rudy Manusco? I always enjoyed puppet shows as a kid so it's great that I can still enjoy them as an adult. The humor can get racy but Diego is a blast even when he's cheating on his wife or lying his way into a police investigation.
@beverlyadaeze: Beverly's workout videos with African commentary is all of us, bless her heart. 2020 was Beverly’s year if you ask me. It was hit after hit with her skits. Love the easy natural flow of her delivery and her comment section is lit! Am I the only one who thinks comment sections are incredible information mines?
I'm just glad I found this 3 for 1 deal @jidensky and his funny faces, @zoes_pix codeswitching and @mrs_jidensky the woman who keeps it all together. Some families get all the talent. Check out their YouTube channel - The Jidenskys
@mrs_ejspeaks: I don't know much about EJ other than that she's hilarious, has kids, is tired of homeschool, stans DL Hughley and is beyoootiful. That's it. Did I mention she's hilarious?
I realize that a good number of these influencers/entertainers are 1st & 2nd Gen but that's the power of representation showing up again. As consumers of content, we are instinctively drawn to stories we can visualize and voices that feel familiar.
I curated this list based on my own opinion but feel free to leave a comment if you think I missed anyone : )