Welcome to New Comma! An all-in-one creative directory and online platform dedicated to boosting African creatives. With eyes on Africa’s creative industries reinforced by the huge projected growth potential in our consumer markets, it’s time to start supporting and developing African creative communities and New Comma is hoping to do just that.
Throwing in their talents to aid the African creator revolution, New Comma’s founders are developing an ecosystem for budding creatives to established talents. The purpose? To put creators in a position to take advantage of numerous global opportunities that exist within their discipline!
According to New Comma’s founders and longtime creative workers Natalie Naarh & Nigel Atta-Mensah, “African creative talent isn’t the question. We know it’s there.” For them, New Comma is a chance to uplift and spread awareness of African creativity and centering the lives of these creators.
Though apps like Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr has helped creatives push their work out , the pair admittedly found it difficult to reach emerging African creators from other countries. As a result , New Comma was formed out of this desire to build a stronger community with other African creatives and contribute to their developing journeys.
With mainstream media just now catching up to the energy of African creativity New Comma’s launch could not have come at a better time. Moreover, the platform will act as a bridge between African creatives all over Africa and the diaspora by housing a diverse range of creator profiles. Thus operating as a job board/social networking site.
Also aiming to solve the communication gap between brands and African creatives, New Comma will host businesses on the site giving them access to the large pool of African talent available. According to the founders, “New Comma is open and free to African creatives of all levels and disciplines, and businesses and organizations of all ethnicities looking to hire them. The only criteria is believing in a future where Africans have the opportunity to create and own their narratives on both a local and international scale.”
‘New Commas’ will have free access to a wealth of resources, job opportunities, and fellow creatives. Inspired by their vision, iMullar spoke to the founders on creativity, their motivations for the #CommaCommunity, and their ultimate goal of helping shape a brighter future for young African creatives.
M- What does being a ‘New Comma’ mean to you? What is your definition of African creativity?
A New Comma refers to anything that occurs within our #CommaCommunity. This could be an opportunity, invention, relationship, project, job offer, or a creative individual. Everything is connected like any other ecosystem. Being creative is about daring to extend ourselves and our ideas to the world. It is about challenging the norm (and ourselves) in ways that we haven’t.
True African creativity is rooted in our freedom to take full ownership of our narrative. That is to never having to dilute ourselves to be acceptable to the rest of the world. They’re finally catching up to the sauce we’ve always had and we aim to amplify the voices of the revolutionaries who know what their objective is and those who are yet to find their way.
M- What do you think contributes to the barrier between businesses and most creatives? Do you think brands find it difficult to communicate with African creatives?
Sometimes it’s a matter of brands knowing what they want, but not exactly who they need. We’ve all seen a job description for a graphic designer that actually refers to the responsibilities of a social media manager. This is where the miscommunication begins. Due to a lack of structure, both parties struggle to define their expectations and that trickles down to the quality of the work produced. Inevitably, creating the myth that works done by people from our community aren’t usually done to a high standard. We know with a little more education on both ends, greater access to well-defined opportunities, and resources can level the playing field. Africa’s creative scene will truly become the high-value industry we believe it can be.
M- New Comma is trying to fill a large gap by providing a structured platform dedicated to African creatives and their craft. How far do you think this will go in terms of solidifying creative work as a viable and stable career option for young Africans?
We see Creatives becoming more confident in their craft as they interact with each other on our platform. Our vision is for this collaboration to breed more opportunities for our community, making a career in the creative industry more of a reality and not just a dream. The world is becoming used to collaborating remotely and Africans are beginning to truly shape a myriad of industries – especially the creative industries. It is up to us now to determine how far we take it.
With the world fixated on Africa’s latest creative renaissance, initiatives like New Comma are proving that creative careers can and will be viable and stable options for young Africans.