Oct 4, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

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Kenyan factor in Diamond Platnumz’ huge success

In 2011, Diamond Platnumz set up his YouTube channel to expand his reach, which turned out to be one of the best decisions he’s ever made in his music career.

It was June 2020 he became the first sub-Saharan African singer to have 1 billion views on a YouTube channel, now approaching 2 billion and a little over 1.76 billion.

That’s how proud he is of the decision to open the channel that he recently turned down the nomination for the Tanzania Music Awards, boldly stating that his YouTube numbers are more enticing than the local awards.

“I respectfully do asked not to attend the Tanzania Music Awards because I don’t understand anyone competing with me here. It would be unfair to play me off against a Tanzanian musician. I agree with my numbers on YouTube, they speak more volumes in terms of my performance than the local awards. Also, my focus right now is on competing with other international artists in Africa,” Diamond noted during a media tour to promote his latest extended play First of All (EP).

Last On May 1st he has once again reached another career milestone that would be the envy of many musicians in East and Central Africa as 12 of his songs have each racked up over 50 million views.

Two months ago was Diamond when his song Waah!, in which he introduced Lingala maestro Koffi Olomide, was his third song to surpass 100 million views on YouTube.

Yope-Remix, a collaboration with Congolese Innoss B, was his first song to hit 100 million in April 2021. In November of the same year, Inama, another artwork he collaborated with Congolese composer Fally Ipupa, also reached the milestone.

YouTube magic numbers revealed how Diamond from a scrawny boy from Tandale, a notorious slum in the heart of Tanzania’s commercial Capi tal, Dar es Salaam, to a daring macho moneybag, if his five-bedroom mansion in the affluent Mbezi Beach neighborhood is to be believed. The mansion was reportedly purchased in 2018 for TSh 2 billion (Shh 100 million).

The flood-prone Tandale area, or ‘Uswahilini’ as its residents like to call it, is once home to Naseeb Abdul and has a population of 70,000 Juma, a former second-hand clothes (Mitumba) salesman, now known by his nicknames Diamond Platnumz, Chibu Dangote, or Simba, if you will.

Today, the jeweled canary is what was once the den Stole his mother’s ring to raise funds for a studio session represents the quintessential millionaire, the proverbial beggar to the prince who built it all by the sweat of his brow.

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Diamond has all the storms on his climb to the mountaintop survived. Stuck in the blue-collar trade, first as a freelance photographer, then as a gas station attendant and at times gambling, he ended up selling second-hand clothes while pursuing the always elusive shilling for studio fees.

Through his association with the producers and his former talent manager Papa Misifa in 2009, Diamond finally saw the end of the dark tunnel that was just beginning to lighten. Starting out as a rapper, Papa Misifa felt he was far from it and convinced him to sing instead.

In 2010, Diamond released his debut album, Kwambie, which featured 12 tracks. Three of the album’s tracks Kamwimbie, Nitarejea and Mbagala caught on.

With the three hits, Diamond used the smooth fluency of Swahili and poetic Dar’s Street slang to take the spotlight and introduce himself to Tanzanians, East Africa and Africa.

In simple calculations, there are approximately US$3,000 (Shh344,000) in revenue for every one million YouTube views.

To recap, in context, as of April 2021, Diamond earned Sh4 million from the Waah! blow. At the time, the song had only garnered 39.4 million views when he shared his YouTube analysis on Instagram and revealed it would fetch $32,266.53.

Diamond’s revelation to E! TV three years ago his net worth, which he estimated at around $4.5 million (Shh 521 million), is substantial by any measure. In an interview with Wasafi FM last year, Diamond put his net worth at $5.1 million (Shh 585 million). Since then, his YouTube trajectory has continued to grow with every hit that comes out of the studio. FOA EP has already amassed over 80 million streams across all digital platforms, with YouTube paying its fair share.

While the self-confessed proud womanizer claims his YouTube numbers mean everything to him, he has one crucial detail never at least publicly acknowledges that Kenya is in fact the source of his streaming wealth.

Diamond’s most devoted fans in the world are in Kenya. Without that crowd, Diamond wouldn’t be stacking those stunning numbers on YouTube; a secret he knows all too well but is always shy about talking about.

Diamond had amassed 3.6 million subscribers and 980 million views on his channel as of June 2020, which was confirmed by YouTube Music’s Kevin Meenan called trends “amazing”. About 80% of the views come from outside of Tanzania, with Kenya leading the way.

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< p>Kenya has been the main hub for Diamond’s YouTube streams globally over the last 12 months, recording over 136 million views, with 107 million views originating from Nairobi.

Tanzania had a notable 85.5 million second place, followed by the US with 29.3 million and France with 23.4 million. The same pattern repeated over the past three months as it garnered 39.2 million views from Kenya, 26.7 million from Tanzania, 7.52 million views from the US and just over 5 million views in France.

With YouTube success Kenyans, a key part of his entrepreneurial portfolio, are unknowingly on a mission to create a billionaire African artist. For the measurement period from May 1, 2019 to May 1, 2020, Meenan found that Kenya garnered the most views for Platnumz, followed by its motherland Tanzania, followed by the United States in third place.

“I literally had to check it thrice to make sure it was right. His process of promoting his songs is quite instructive. For every official music video he has, he can have anywhere from five to 20 or more songs and non-song videos that could include things like documentaries or behind-the-scenes footage,” Meenan told Billboard.

< p>As Diamond his woah! analytics, a song that stayed at number one in Kenya for over two weeks, he urged other Tanzanian musicians to be aware of their products.

“Not every song with the same number of views can do that generate lots of income. It depends on who and where the fans are going to watch it,” he wrote.

Two years later, the trend Meenan noticed hasn’t changed. A sampling of his YouTube data by Nation shows that Kenya is still the crème de la crème of Diamond’s YouTube streaming ecosystem.

His latest title, Wonder, is currently up with over three million views Number one in Kenya since its release two weeks ago.

Ironically, it only trended at number one in Tanzania for the first week of its release before currently falling to number two.

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In Kenya, Wonder supplanted another of his hits that was released a month ago, Mtasubiri, with his alleged new girlfriend, Zuchu.

Until The Arrival of Wonder, Mtasubiri, which has now slipped to fourth place has topped the country for three consecutive weeks since its release on March 29, according to data from YouTube Music Charts & Insights.

Mtasubiri, one of the tracks from his FOA EP, has so far amassed over 9.7 million views worldwide, with a further 1.7 million views accumulated over the mu ch in the first three weeks of its release.

An EP (Extended Play Record) is a half-length album that contains fewer songs than a long play or full-length album. The EP is extended in the sense that it is longer than a single.

Of the more than eight million Mtasubiri viewers in the first three weeks, 2.5 million are from Kenya, with Tanzania coming in at 2, 1 million views.

In Tanzania, Mtasubiri was number two for three weeks behind his former signers Harmonize’s Jam Mdomo, who was number three in Kenya for the same period.

Diamond had another song in the top 10 trending songs over the same period, with Fine ranking eighth and fourth in Tanzania respectively.

The findings also show that Diamond has grown over the past three weeks with over 3.4 million streams of the top artist was in Kenya compared to 2.04 million streams in Tanzania where he also topped the charts in the same period.

From 31 December 2021 to 14 April Diamond topped the weekly YouTube chart in Kenya for 12 out of 15 weeks during that period. In Tanzania he only managed 10th place in the same period.