23-year-old digital entrepreneur, Sibu Mpanza who specializes in creating video content for social media has won the hearts of South Africa and the shores beyond, landing deals with Suzuki while building his YouTube empire.
“I entered a space that was fairly new and dared to take my content seriously. I think a lot of people are too scared to start something new because they might not be the best at it. That should be okay. You learn best when you hit the ground running. I think that’s what set me apart from a lot of people when I started creating. I wasn’t afraid to suck,” says Sibu.
“A lot of the boundaries I push are things that have been done in other countries already, I just had to make them work down here. A lot of us are worried that our growth in the industry cannot be the same as those in Europe or the states but it can be just as big if not bigger. Starting a second channel (More Mpanza) is a concept only done by MUCH bigger Youtubers. I told myself I would not wait until it felt more acceptable, I would do it now,”
Sibu has been in the digital space for some time now but despite all the accolades and success, he humbly says one of his greatest achievements thus far is being able to help his mother with paying school fees for his siblings.
Sibu says the the creative industry in South Africa is beautiful, especially in Johannesburg. “I felt this great sense of representation when I moved to Jozi. Everybody is looking to do the next best thing. Everybody is looking to collaborate, everyone is looking to grow their platform. I cannot fully speak for other industries, but video content creation is growing so fast I cannot keep up with who the latest YouTuber is now. I love it,” he says.
Words that Sibu will never forget that have helped him in shape his digital career is that it is important to create a community. “You will grow faster together than you will alone,” he says.
Life is not all roses especially being a young Black man in the current South African socio-economic landscape as Sibu reflects on the sobering reality that he has to work twice as hard than his white male counterparts while not forgetting his own male privilege.
“It means using the spaces I am allowed to take up as a man to elevate the black women around me. It means pushing hard to reach my number one goal, economic freedom,’ says Sibu.