New Comma is a new creative platform connecting native and diaspora African creatives
Launching in Spring 2021, the waitlist to join the platform is now open. It will allow creatives to showcase their work while also being a global network, jobs board, mentoring scheme and place of inspiration.
- Jyni Ong
- 8 January 2021
Natalie Narh and business partner Nigel Atta-Mensah are launching a new online platform titled New Comma, showcasing African and Black creative talent. London-based Natalie is a creative at Ogilvy UK while Nigel is an Accra-based photographer, videographer and content creator. New Comma aims to connect native and diaspora African creatives. The site will showcase creative work while also offering jobs, training and mentoring for marginalised groups looking to work in the creative industry.
Co-founder Natalie tells It’s Nice That, “We’re not reinventing any wheels but our focus is on local and diaspora African-Black talent. New Comma is set to be more than a directory, it is a creative ecosystem connecting African and Black people across the globe, as well as those looking to hire them.” She likens the creative hub – due to launch in Spring 2021 – to a hybrid of LinkedIn, Fiverr and The Dots, but specifically with Black and African talent in mind.
The waiting list to join the New Comma is now live. Open to any creatives of Black and African heritage as well as agencies and global industry leaders who can support said talent, New Comma hopes to provide a space for opportunity and talent. In a statement by the new platform, New Comma says its “founders believe that for Africa’s creative scene to truly become the high-value sector it deserves, it requires collaborative actions as well as intellectual and financial support.”
With a rapidly expanding digital economy, the decline in data costs, and a shift toward remote working given the pandemic, the African continent’s creative industries are in good stead. According to New Comma’s statement, by 2030, young Africans are expected to make up to 42 per cent of the world’s youth population. With such a large population in mind, New Comma notes that it is essential to have structures in place to support this emerging generation, and hopes to play a part in connecting Africans living on the continent with the diaspora elsewhere on the globe.
New Comma has mighty ambitions for its opportunity-making platform. It hopes to contribute to Africa’s youth unemployment with time while stimulating the creative scene. Additionally, Natalie and Nigel understand the potential wider benefits of invigorating the creative scene. As the creative industry blossoms, similarly, so do transport, leisure and tourism.
Natalie also adds: “Our goal is to create an ecosystem for African creatives to enhance the quality of the work they produce while being in control of their own narrative on a platform that is made especially for them.” Nigel, on the other hand, says in a statement: “Many creatives have great potential but lack access to opportunities and resources that level the playing field to compete locally and on an international scale.”
It’s Nice That recently spoke to Natalie Narh as part of our Conscious Creativity series made possible by Extra Nice. You can read the article The Robin Hood approach: creatives who use their money, intel and network to help others here.
GalleryNatalie Narh and Nigel Atta-Mensah: New Comma (Copyright © New Comma, 2021)
Natalie Narh and Nigel Atta-Mensah: New Comma (Copyright © New Comma, 2021)
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.