Alternative Youth Culture Finds a Home at Google
Google hosted a two-day Residency Programme in Nairobi for creators who identify as Alternative and Non-mainstream.
Similar to a bootcamp, the two day program was aimed at upskilling and celebrating these young creatives.
The Alternative Movement, colloquially known as the ‘Alté Movement’, traces its roots to Lagos, Nigeria, where young Africans embrace the idea of being misfits or non-conformists.
The movement champions for unconventional self-expression in all aspects of life but mainly through music, fashion and visual arts.
Historically alternative youth culture is rarely recognised on mainstream media, therefore creators have turned to YouTube to connect with their audiences because there are no barriers of entry. Speaking during the Residency, Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Communication and Public Relations Manager for Google West Africa said, “It’s exciting to see creators that identify as non-mainstream find community on our platform. This comes just a few days after we announced a call for applications for the YouTube Black Voices Fund for 2023 aimed at elevating marginalised voices.
The aim of the residency is to amplify the impact of the Alté movement in Africa and the world. “We also want to showcase how products like YouTube and YouTube Shorts and platforms like Google Arts & Culture can help drive the culture forward,” added Kola-Ogunlade.
Though it started in Nigeria, it has strongly taken root across the continent. Recent Google Search trends from across Africa show an increase in `Alté’ related searches from 2020, with questions like ‘What is alté?’, ‘Who is an alté?’ and ‘How to dress alte?’, being the most searched alté related questions.
The Residency ran from Tuesday 28th of June to Thursday, 30th June 2022 and helped them learn how to better connect with their audiences and move the culture forward through platforms like Google Arts & Culture, YouTube and YouTubeShorts.
The program will see the first batch of 25 young Alté creatives from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Botswana, and South Africa attend the Residency and be equipped with entrepreneurial skills on how they can enhance visibility of their brands.
Google has also invited Alté creatives that have global brands such as Tshepo The Jeans Maker to give career talks to the young creative entrepreneurs on how to further build and monetise their brands.
Other top searches in Africa on Alté include alte’ music, alte’ songs, alte’ suit designs, top alte’ vibe,alte’ kids,alte’ Nigeria, alte’ in Ghana Music, and alte’ food.