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Sooooooo, it turns out that something is terribly broken in my YouTube Account.

It’s a long story, but let me try to bullet point it for you.

  • In 2011 I was offered YouTube Partnership (YAY).
  • In 2014 I linked my AdSense Account.
  • Something broke along the way in 2014 and my videos are not being monetized.
  • I didn’t even notice until I got active on YouTube again recently.
  • The reason I didn’t notice is because all of my music is managed and monetized by my distributor The Orchard/Sony Music.
  • I’m supposed to get revenues for my non-music content.
  • Seems that ads are not playing on any of my videos anymore.
  • I have had an exchange of over 40 emails over the past 3 months with YouTube and it’s making me want to pull my hair out braid by braid.
  • I can’t get anywhere with them.
  • They keep telling me ‘a technician is looking into it’.
  • YouTube Partner Support is USELESS.

So, here I am trying to sort things out but I am at a crossroads.

I could start a new YouTube Channel for my vlogs and leave my music on my existing channel which I have had for 11 years. I am obviously hesitant to do that because now you have to get 10,000 video views on a new channel to become a partner. Plus, my current channel has over 500K views, 3k Subscribers and I have over 130 videos posted to my channel. I am not able to re-upload the old content to a new channel due to bandwidth constraints here in Uganda [internet is very expensive].

Some of you are probably wondering why I even care about monetization. Well I do because it’s part of my income and I need that income live, to make more music for you, to make videos, to spend my time creating content which you will [hopefully] enjoy.

What does this mean?

It means that I might need to take a few more weeks to try to sort this mess out with my existing account. If I can’t do it, then I will start a new channel and invite you to subscribe over there.

It’s a YUGE pain in the ass. I know. Trust me. It’s frustrating the crap out of me.

If any of you out there is an AdSense or YouTube expert and you would be kind enough to help me out, please reply to this email.

I hope to have a good update for you soon. In the meantime, I will continue to edit. I’ve got some great vlogs coming up for you.

Love,

Nat
xo

PS a big thank you and shout out to Rafal for working with me the other day to help identity the AdSense issue. #yourock

Shopping District Downtown Kampala | Photo Credit: Gracie Smith
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There’s a narrative about Africa told by the West that continues to leave out important details, at best, or misrepresent the continent and its people, at worst. Westerners seem to relish, to some extent, the pull at the heartstrings that comes when footage streams across the television of starving orphans wandering barefoot along the dirt roads of some remote village here. I say “relish” because seeing these images and then sending money, clothing, missionaries, or whatever makes many Westerners “feel good” because they are “doing something” to “help” those in need.

The Africa I know is strong enough to help itself.

-Gracie Smith, NYU Law

My friend Gracie has been here on a Law Internship from NYU and has some very honest and thought provoking insight about her time here in Uganda.

If you are a westerner who has never been to Africa, you don’t really know Africa. You’ve been misled by the media, sadly. The way Africa has been painted and treated by the west is so wrong on so many levels and Gracie very eloquently said what I have struggled to find the words to say since I have been living here.

Please read this blog post.

The Africa I Know

There’s a narrative about Africa told by the West that continues to leave out important details, at best, or misrepresent the continent and its people, at worst. Westerners seem to relish, to some extent, the pull at the heartstrings that comes when footage streams across the television of starving orphans wandering barefoot along…

Photo Credit: Gracie Smith

Is Food More Important Than Music?
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Lately I have been enjoying making food more than making music. I had to think about that and I realized a few things. Will you indulge me in my heart spilling in a stream of consciousness to whoever might take the time to read it?

Once upon a time, back when I first started to make music, it wasn’t the ‘norm’… there weren’t all the tools available to do it like there are now and basically only actual musicians could make records. Making those records was a really special thing to do and when you put a record out people enjoyed it. They didn’t (always) rip them apart like you were someone on American Idol to be ‘judged’. They just bought the record, enjoyed it and sometimes let you know if they liked a song and told you what it meant to them. That felt so good. Me giving a piece of my soul to strangers and them loving it, feeding from it to sustain thier souls. This is why I make music. To feed a soul. Today, when I bake something or make a meal and I share that food with someone I feel like they enjoy it. I feel like that food made a difference to them in their day and it gives me such immense pleasure to feed someone and know they have enjoyed it.

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Photos by Laura Cate Photography & Jeremy Rwakaara | Photos Edited by: Natalie Brown