BY CALUM FRASER
Munna Sherif clicked on an advert that popped up on her Instagram page and three months later she is on the brink of Silicon Valley stardom.
The Woolwich girl won Google’s Vlogstar award, defeating thousands of applicants after she created a series of videos for the online video sharing platform YouTube.
She then picked up the award from one of her idols, movie star Noel Clarke (pictured above), at the headquarters of the British Academy Film Awards in London on July 31.
The 23-year-old said: “It was so shocking, just surreal. When Noel Clarke handed me the award I was like, wow, I cannot believe this.”
Noel Clarke is a London-born director, producer and actor who has starred in Dr Who and the cult films Kidulthood and Adulthood.
Munna said: “He’s one of my heroes. He writes, directs, acts, and his films always say something important.
That’s the direction I want to go in.” Her winning video, Anxiety, I own You which she made at YouTube’s London headquarters, is an emotive piece on anxiety experienced in young people.
The Majendie Road resident said: “I feel we are an anxious generation. We are constantly seeing things online that spark that feeling.
So many people are showing off how good their life is on Instagram. “It can make you question yourself.
But we never see the reality, what happens behind the Instagram filter.
“I wanted to get people talking about this. I also think that anxiety can be a positive thing, if you use it as a trigger.
If I’m feeling anxious about doing something, then I know it is important and I should push myself to do it.”
The first video Munna put together for the competition had a very different tone to the last one.
At Google’s headquarters in Soho she was tasked with creating a “How to” video, that is a video that instructs the viewer how to do something.
These are the most watched videos on YouTube with topics ranging from how to fix a broken clock to the best techniques for applying make-up.
Munna decided to address an issue that has troubled people for years – what is the best way to eat a doughnut.
“It was just something silly and fun,” she said.
Vloggers have received a lot of bad press lately with one of America’s biggest YouTube stars, Logan Paul, criticised over his posting of a jungle in Japan where hundreds of people have committed suicide.
Then last week London Vloggers Joel Woods and Lia Hatzakis posted a video that described the “poor” and “dangerous” places in London to avoid.
Lewisham and New Cross were among the places marked out.
Thousands of people on social media said that every place the pair referred to as a no-go zone had a high percentage of black Asian and minority ethnic residents.
They later deleted the video and released an apology.
Munna said: “Clearly that [Woods and Hatzakis’ video] was not clever. We should be challenging those kinds of assumptions, not reinforcing them.
That’s what I want to do with my posts.” Winning this award has the potential to open some lucrative doors for Munna.
YouTube stars around the world are earning millions of pounds in advertisement and sponsorship deals.
For winning the Vlogstar Challenge, she was awarded £2,000 in cash, £500 worth of camera equipment and mentoring session with YouTube experts.