Why African Podcasters Should Apply for Kekere Storytellers Fund

The Kekere Storytellers Fund is an opportunity for content creators in Africa and the diaspora. Applicants can receive grants ranging from $500 – $2000. The fund is an initiative by Africa No Filter (ANF), a donor collaborative that supports nuanced and contemporary African storytelling. This is a valuable opportunity for African podcasters who create content that expresses diverse voices.

Let’s take a deeper look at the positive impact of this fund and find out if and how you can apply for funding, too!

Who Can Apply for the Kereke Storytellers Fund?

Africans based anywhere can apply for the Kekere Storytellers Fund. They should be under 35 years old and able to express themselves in English or French, which are the two languages applications can be submitted in.

Applicants must have a record of ground-breaking productions that challenges stereotypical narratives about Africa. They should also have about two years of related work experience. Additionally, storytellers must have a minimum of 5000 followers across social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

The Kekere Storytellers Fund is available to individual creators, but media-organized and collective applications are also allowed. However,  only one person can apply on behalf of the team or media outlet, and the applicant must be responsible for completing the work if selected. 

When Can You Apply?

Applications for the 2023 round of the Kekere Storytellers Fund have already started. Applications are open until the end of the year, or until Africa No Filter has chosen 20 storytellers for the fund.

The Kekere Storytellers Fund gives creators an opportunity for funding on a rolling basis. Various podcasters can receive funding yearly, so long as they have a track record of creative productions that challenge stereotypical narratives about their country or Africa. 

Opportunities for an African Narrative

Founded in 2020, Africa No Filter aims to transform stereotypical and harmful narratives about Africa and Africans through various channels, including the media. Research by ANF shows that foreign news media narrate African stories, causing misconceptions about Africa and Africans across the globe.

ANF believes that stories matter because they have the power to shape and influence perceptions and policies, and drive action and development. According to Africa No Filter, the Kekere fund is the organization’s way of giving up-and-coming storytellers a limited and rare opportunity to better tell stories about Africa and Africans. This implies stories beyond stereotypes of conflict, poor leadership, poverty, disease, and corruption.

Kekere Storytellers Fund Champions

How about some examples of storytellers who were funded in 2021 and 2022, then?

Joewackle J. Kusi is a Ghanaian writer, filmmaker and host of Check Your DM, a podcast that tells stories about young African celebrities. He used his $2000 grant to create a radio and online drama exploring culture and class.

Then there’s Nadia Matovu, a Ugandan content creator behind the ‘This is Uganda’ podcast, originally a YouTube series that gives creatives in Uganda a platform to share their stories.

And Nigerian editor and journalist Chisom Job used his grant to produce a podcast series talking with Black Queer activists, artists, and entrepreneurs from across Africa and the diaspora.

Will I Have Any Genuine Chance of Funding?

Being a recipient of the Kekere Storytellers Fund can provide recognition and credibility to the work of emerging podcasters. It can also help you reach a wider audience and further your career.

But it’s easy to overlook opportunities like this because you feel you have no chance of being noticed. Chulu Chansa, host of Africana Woman Podcast, has some advice to the contrary.

As upcoming podcasters are looking at this grant, my encouragement is for them to not count themselves out. I think a lot of times, we say there’s going to be so many people who are applying so I will never get the grant. We think of so many excuses why we shouldn’t apply instead of just putting in our application. But what if you’re the one that is selected? What if you are able to do that amazing project? So just don’t count yourself out. I am excited to see the types of stories that will come out of this particular grant.

Lack of funding is a huge challenge for most African podcasters. With the Kekere Storytellers Fund, selected podcasters will have more support to overcome financial barriers. More podcast production may result in more podcast consumption, too, and this could positively impact the growth of the podcasting medium in Africa overall.

In summary, Africa No Filter deserves praise for funding initiatives like the Kekere Storytellers Fund. These programs provide desired financial support and recognition to emerging storytellers like podcasters to create and publish compelling content about Africa. By doing this, Africa No Filter supports and promotes a more nuanced and diverse understanding of Africa – and this helps to shift stereotypical narratives about the continent.

Originally posted on July 20, 2023 @ 12:26 am

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