Diamond Platnumz and Africa’s Most Popular YouTube Stars


Last week, Diamond Platnumz record-makers astonished him by rocking at his mansion with a cake with the Youtube logo marking a milestone for the Tanzanian pop singer. The 30-year-old was happily told by his staff that he is the first African sub-Saharan artist to earn a billion views on his YouTube page. In the last decade, the prize-winner has popularized “Bongo Flava” – a unique Tanzanian offering – sensual, urban melodies inspired by conventional Arab tunes from the eastern coast of Africa.

“Diamond Platnumz is very hardworking and has great showmanship,” says DJ Edu, who hosts the weekly pan-African music show.

Over 43% of the 55 million citizens in Tanzania who have internet connectivity, mostly through mobile devices search up his love songs. On YouTube, there are other Tanzanian artists like Harmonize.

A Billion Views on YouTube is a Big Deal

Diamond Platnumz has more Instagram followers than YouTube subscribers and it’s hard to evaluate the profound merit of one billion figures. DJ Edu says Instagram is now a fashion force and modern sites like TikTok that make the copyright-free usage of songs for 30 seconds is an interesting way to attract youthful followers. You get around $3,000 [£2,400] for one million views YouTube and would earn ten times more if you do a show.

Diamond Platnumz

“Some songs are becoming viral through TikTok, like Diamond Platnumz’ new track Quarantine,” he says.

This can prompt individuals to YouTube, where advertising can earn a profit. More notably, in the last couple of years, YouTube provided musicians in Africa with immediate access to the public, not like television stations.

How does Diamond Platnumz Compare with other African stars?

Behind a host of North African stars, Diamond Platnumz always wallows with major follow-ups. And then African artists like Aya Nakamura, who was born in Mali. She is the jewel of Tanzania and has over 1.7 billion YouTube views.

Aya Nakamura

The twenty-five-year-old, made a hit song Djadja that earned her more fame in 2018. With 3.5 billion views, Akon, the Senegalese-American rap artist, is smashing both. In sub-Saharan Africa, Nigerian Afrobeats are the principal competitors behind Diamond Platnumz in the YouTube views game.

P Square – 810 million

Davido – 618 million

Flavour – 617 million

Tekno – 574 million

Burna Boy – 507 million

StarBoy TV (AKA Wizkid) – 480 million


Davido’s and Burna Boy’s YouTube views are highly noteworthy, given that only their YouTube channels were launched in 2018. Diamond Platnumz has had his YouTube channel since 2011.

Nigerian Afrobeats Star Wizkid on Fame and his Fans

Starboy TV is the record label of Wizkid, so he’s got 802 million views adding the numbers to his other platform. Many stars choose their channels for song promotion and to reduce bureaucracy, as major labels take time to launch new tracks. Magic System from Ivory Coast has over 477 million views and are also notable celebrities. This band is especially common in West Africa and France.

Wiz kid

“This following is built on their 2001 song Premier Gaou – it’s the one song that connected the whole continent,” says DJ Edu.

Although fewer YouTube numbers obscure the reputation for South African artists-local labels raises money as well. Yet YouTube isn’t the only broadcasting site, of course. The 2016 hit, One Dance, was performed by WizKid with Canadian rapper Drake. This song alone has been downloaded more than 1.8 billion times, yet it has not been publicly launched on YouTube.

Global Artists

Drake has more than 7 billion views on YouTube, and Beyoncé, who worked with African musicians on Lion King’s title track last year, has more than 12 billion views. Justin Bieber, the 26-year-old Canadian artist who gained success during his teenage life, has an impressive 21.6 billion views. K-pop stars can also start gaining enormous YouTube audiences. Blackpink has more than nine billion YouTube views and is a girl group that was created in 2016.

Africa’s Female Artists

Interestingly, female Afrobeat stars Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage have far lesser views than their masculine competitors, with YouTube views respectively at 434 million and 239 million.


In Africa, since the music business is overtaken by the men, it is harder for women to breakthrough. Women spend time battling in their corner, focusing on their looks and less time on creating tracks. They have not been reserving female performers for broad events before until recently. They may have built a buzz if they were among the broad crowds.

Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage also have a remarkable female Nigerian gospel artist, Sinach, with over 472 million views, undeniably helped by her worldwide performances and fellowshipping at the megachurch of Christ’s Embassy where she is the worship leader.

“I find gospel singers having an unfair advantage – lyrically they just pick a few verses from the Bible and the following is already there. They don’t have to fight for their followers,” says DJ Edu.

What Can Artists Rely on – Online or Live Gigs?

Eddy Kenzo

Some artists, namely Eddy Kenzo from Uganda, with 388 million YouTube views, are focusing on creating an online following. His song Tweyagale has won three awards this year in a row. It’s more about traveling for others, like Angola’s C4 Pedro. Stadiums in the world can be filled by the Kizomba star. 

Angola C4 Pedro

The attraction of Diamond Platnumz is less worldwide. Commonly, YouTube thrives and aims to give fresh and younger African musicians a start. Consider Zimbabwe, a 32-year-old artist, Jah Prayzah has 99 million YouTube views. The late Afro-jazz star, Oliver Mtukudzi, had no official YouTube account and spent his last days touring until a couple of weeks before his death last year.

“Oliver was too busy touring to be bothered with YouTube. If you look at his tour dates, he was touring the whole year-round. Sometimes it’s better to do 50 shows than to have 100 million views,” says DJ Edu.



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