Meet the 5 Youtubers who entertained us through the pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic took away daily social interactions – one thing that humankind thrives on – people around the world turned to the internet to seek connection in any form. So much so that the global video streaming platform, YouTube had to do away with high definition to standard definition as the default quality in March.
Vloggers and content creators entertained the world like no other, with instant lockdown and pandemic-related humour and observations.
To whoever said women can’t be funny, Indian women ruled the game and continue to do so. Here are five women that kept netizens rolling-on-the-floor-laughing entertained.
Lilly Singh, also known as Superwoman, has achieved many milestones through a decade of creating content on YouTube. A bona fide star of the platform, she is also the first woman and LGBTQ person to host a late-night show, A Little Late with Lilly Singh.
The Canadian-Indian star’s videos often sport hallmark traits of Indian parents, besides everyday relatable content that casually tackles misogyny. With over 14 million subscribers, her channels also feature renowned personalities like Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Madhuri Dixit, Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, and Selena Gomez.
In 2017, she released her book, How to Be a Bawse, which became a New York Times Bestseller and was also named the 10th highest paid female youtubers on Forbes magazine.
Through all her professional highs and the pandemic, the show went on her YouTube channel – of Indian mothers attending the Pride parade, prepping for a Zoom date, and celebrating Kamala Harris’ victory (by impersonating her) doing the bhangra.
Lilly was recently ranked second among the top 50 Asian Celebrities in The World for her “pathbreaking journey, remarkable output and entertaining audiences most when they needed it” by UK-based weekly newspaper Eastern Eye.
Embarking on her YouTube journey five years ago, Prajakta Koli has cooked up a storm by riding the content creating wave.
From every day relatable incidents, characters like Montu that has become more popular than herself, celebrity interviews, meeting her star crush Hrithik Roshan and former first lady, Michelle Obama, the YouTuber captures all of that and more in her channel and social media accounts.
This has in turn resulted in envious fandom from her followers, called dumdums, who keenly follow her journey. The rapport that Prajakta shares with her followers is something straight out of a fairy tale especially in the digital era where content creators often struggle dealing with online hate and trolls.
With nearly six million subscribers on YouTube, she has even convinced Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor Khan to go through the comments once and see the amount of love people have for her.
An Indian ambassador for YouTube’s Creators for Change, Prajakta is also the first digital creator from India to take part in the UN General Assembly. In November 2018, her video titled, No Offense that condemns hate speech, cyberbullies, misogyny, homophobia was screened on International Day for Tolerance.
She has also forayed into acting in films and shows and was recently seen shooting for a Dharma Productions film, Jug Jug Jiyo with Anil Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, and Kiara Advani, marking her entry on the silver screen.
During the pandemic, she continued to entertain through her videos on YouTube and bigger releases including Khayali Pulao, a short film and the Netflix series Mismatched.
Niharika’s love for theatre and movies led her to join YouTube in 2015 when the silver screen seemed like a distant dream. Her acting prowess shines through skits and getting people to laugh and how – 5,50,000 subscribers on her channel and 9,50,000 followers on Instagram.
What also appeals to the audience is the nuances of a South Indian household in terms of accents and expressions – which she says keeps her connected to her roots. While Niharika has taken a break from YouTube and hopes to return soon to the platform, her reels and videos on Instagram keep going viral.
Raised in Bengaluru, she is the first solo creator to represent India at YouTube Creators for Change twice in a row. She is now pursuing her MBA in the US.
Once an aspiring journalist, Kusha Kapila started off as a writer before framing much loved characters like Billi Masi. The digital creator’s journey has soared across platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
Some of her latest videos on YouTube capture the nuances of life during a pandemic, including arranged marriage meetings during lockdown, wedding and social events in 2020, unique experiences like travelling in times of COVID-19, discussing the new education policy, and her take on real versus fake news.
The channel, started in 2011, also showcases quirks of desi aunties and uncles. The internet sensation is also a host of Behensplaining, a show on NetflixIndia’s YouTube channel.
Dolly Singh pursued her master’s from the National Institute of Fashion Technology and landed in an internship that paved the way to hers becoming a powerful voice on the internet. Her characters Raju ki Mummy and Zeenat Baji are adept at challenging patriarchy.
Beyond that, the content creator also shares bits of her life and family in Nainital to her 425,000 followers on YouTube and over a million on Instagram. She has also been vocal about being body shamed as a child and uses her platform to spread body positivity.
The 26-year-old recently starred in a Netflix show titled Bhaag Beanie Bhaag, alongside actor Swara Bhasker.