The TRUE AFRICA 100 is our list of innovators, opinion-formers, game-changers, pioneers, dreamers and mavericks who we feel are shaping the Africa of today.
Karim Diané is a social-media expert and singer. Working with politicians, actors and singers like Akon, he has cultivated a following that goes well into the millions. Guinean but raised in America, Diané has been taking Instagram by storm. Known across the web as ‘Team Karim’, he has amassed a following over 100,000 with his talents as a vocalist. Karim just recorded his first single last week. He tells us why social media can revolutionise the world.
What do you see as the future of social media?
In the future, we won’t turn on our televisions to watch our favourite shows. Instead, we will be turning on our computer screens. Social media is a catalyst which allows for artists, content creators and public figures to raise their middle fingers to major broadcasting networks who have, up until recently, acted as the sole gatekeepers to massive audiences.
Our dreams will be attainable over wifi, even in Africa.
These big guys in fancy suits at the top of the hill are no longer in charge. There are now hundreds of online content creators who make millions of dollars by leveraging large online audiences on various social-media platforms. In the future, we will no longer be limited by the bias of major corporations. Our dreams will be attainable over wifi, even in Africa which is the next frontier in social media.
What youth movements in Africa are getting you excited?
Wizkid excites me. For my entire life, when I travelled to Africa I would always hear American songs on African radio stations. Once I returned to America, I would never hear African songs on American radio stations. Cultural exchange is incredibly one-sided. WizKid gives me hope that things might change. His rising beacon, catapulted by his large social-media following has proven that African artists have a place within mainstream media.
Who’s your African of the year?
My dad Mori Diané! There have been times in my life when I’ve been completely off track. I used to be totally unfocused, chasing incredibly wrong things. My dad got me back in line.
Any success that I will ever have is because of my father.
He sacrificed an incredible amount in order for me to graduate from the University of Chicago, which eventually led me to applying and receiving my Masters degree in social media. Any success that I will ever have is because of my father.
He doesn’t even care for the recognition; he just wants to know that I’m OK. I can’t even begin to comprehend this level of devotion yet, but this to me makes my dad the African of the year.
Find Karim on Instagram @Team_Karim
Come back tomorrow for the next TRUE Africa 100 and keep up to date using the hashtag #TRUEAfrica