By Kennedy Nyavaya
Zimbabwe-born and United Kingdom-based fitness model and content creator, Scola Dondo has described her recent selection into video streaming platform YouTube’s first-ever Black Voices class as a career-changing moment.
Scola, who boasts of close to 240 000 followers on YouTube alone as well as tens of thousands on other platforms, will join over a 100 other young creatives selected from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil, the United States and the UK.
In e-mailed responses to Standard Style on Friday, the fitness bunny said the opportunity would serve as a boost for her career in content creation.
“It [being selected] is such an honour, I have been creating content on YouTube for over 10 years. So, for my work to be recognised by them is truly a career highlight for me,” she said.
“This means a lot to me. Last year was tough on so many of us and it meant I had to pick up other odd jobs and make less content, but now I will be able to create content full-time and increase the quality too.”
The video company has set aside a whopping US$100 million YouTube Black Voice Fund that they say is “part of the comprehensive work currently underway to make YouTube a place where Black artists, creators and users can share their stories and be protected.”
Those who have been chosen will receive seed funding for channel development, support, workshops and training among other benefits in a plan set to extend to more than 500 creators globally until 2023.
The 25-year-old, who started sharing weight loss videos as a teenager, attributed her success and influence to the authenticity of her work and loyal followership.
“I have been really lucky to have my subscribers grow up with me and I have always been really open with what I am going through personally in each stage of my life which has allowed me to connect with others going through similar stages in their lives too,” she said.
True to her sentiments, she is known for using her real-life experiences to influence determination and healthier lifestyles among her legion of fans.
“I am happy to be able to share my experience and help others going through the same things I am,” said Scola, adding that she is satisfied with the impact of her career as a content creator and online personal trainer.
“As well as being a content creator, I am also a personal trainer and offer online services which include custom workout and nutrition plans. At the moment, this is what I love doing and will continue doing it for as long as people need me to.”
For other young people hoping to get into the same field, the former television presenter on BBC’s CBBC has a pretty simple message: “Just got for it”.
“Do not over-think it, just pick up a camera and start making videos about something you’re passionate about. You never know what could happen,” she said.