Cultures are shifting and the arts are gradually emerging into a more acceptable, lucrative and sustainable way of life for many Africans.
Young people on the continent are continuing to abandon traditional careers and societal norms forced upon them to fulfil what they see as their true purpose in the creative industry as designers, photographers, illustrators and more. However, irrespective of the drive and passion many of these people have, they often lack the necessary support and opportunities to truly establish themselves as full time creatives.
This is painfully apparent when we look at Africa’s share of the Global Creative Economy, which is less than 1% in a $2.25trn industry 1. At the same time, this signifies an incredible opportunity for growth within the creative space in Africa.
For Africa’s creative scene to truly establish itself as the high value sector it deserves to be, it requires collaborative action, as well as intellectual and financial support – this is exactly what New Comma seeks to provide to its community.
Historically, many global companies have overlooked creators based on the continent, despite their growing influence on the industry as a whole – limiting the opportunities this cohort of talented individuals have had to access the right networks and tools to develop their craft, and ultimately secure work. This is the problem New Comma seeks to solve.
New Comma, the social media platform reimagining the talent directory, is where African creatives can display their work, connect with other creatives, and build relationships with businesses across Africa and the rest of the world.
Currently in beta, www.new-comma.com is designed as a one-stop-shop for African creatives and those that need them. Instead of building just another website that simply lists the skills and services of local creative talent, New Comma exists as a creative ecosystem, with the growth and development of its community at the heart of its purpose. Through their online platform and offline events, its ‘Comma Community’ members can learn from and collaborate with one another, secure referrals, jobs and find mentors to guide them on their journey to becoming full-time creative professionals.
For businesses, both global and local, New Comma offers direct access to a pool of diverse talent behind new global trends in art, culture, fashion and technology, whilst presenting a more comprehensive profile of the individuals available to fulfil various briefs.
Its founders, Natalie Narh and Nigel Atta-Mensah, were raised and schooled across Ghana and the UK, and have collaborated with African creatives for over 10 years, helping them to develop and showcase their talents to untapped audiences.
Natalie Narh, CCO & Co-Founder of New Comma: “Nowadays when people talk about Africa, we hear so much about the opportunity, we hear Africa is the future. At New Comma we say Africa is now and we have built a platform so that Africans around the world, and in the continent especially, can benefit from the huge growth that’s happening right now.”
New Comma sets itself apart creating a global social media platform with a Pan-African outlook. In a world where African culture is often misappropriated by non-African artists, the platform helps creators of African descent put themselves at the forefront of their culture on a global stage.
Co-Founder and CFO, Nigel Atta-Mensah, sees this platform as a huge step in the right direction, creating opportunities for a growing youthful African population: “Between now and 2035, African governments will need to create 18m new jobs each year to absorb the large, young and ambitious population coming to working age.2 We cannot wait till the situation is critical before offering solutions and are looking to address the problem now, creating an environment to nurture this talent and connect them to opportunities that allow them to make a living from their talent, whilst contributing meaningfully to their country’s economy.”
New Comma is celebrating one year in operation with their debut event dubbed Comma Connect – a night dedicated to connecting and celebrating African creatives with cocktail masterclasses, a sip and paint roulette, musical performances and an art auction. More information at bit.ly/commaconnect2021