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Digital Era And Disruption: Igniting Africa’s Creative Industries

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The annual Digital Dialogue Conference has recently ended in Dubai calling for greater collaboration by African content producers to harness the dividend of the digital revolution.

The conference organized by Africa’s number one pay-tv operator MultiChoice attracted journalist, regulators, government officials, film makers and digital migration specialists from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Angola, Tanzania, Zambia and Europe deliberated on the implications of the growth in the digital media front on traditional media/creative industry and the opportunities there after.

Opening the conference CEO Video Entertainment, MultiChoice, Yolisa Phale set the tone with a cursory look at the MultiChoice story of innovation in the pay-TV sector and emphasized the major things every digital content producer must consider: Content, Technology and People.

She highlights that, in this digital era Content is king, hence focusing more on local stories that resonant with the market is the way to go citing how the making of a story like Game of Thrones has rejuvenated the film industry in Scotland and the local economy.

Broadcasters must be willing to adopt the latest Technologies to make their content easily accessible on multiple platforms in this highly connected era. She threw light on how DStv had introduced such products as DStv Now, Catch Up, Box Office and the Explora decoders amongst others in response to customer feedback resulting from changing lifestyles across the continent.

“Why launch GOtv when you already have DStv?’ for example, but, MultiChoice Africa was launched by People who were creating a media company not for the present, but one for the future.” Yolisa Phahle added.

Zooming in on how the Digital era was creating disruptions in the broadcast and production space Paul Papadimitriou, founder of Intelligencr, said the digital era was changing the lives of businesses and has become the 3rd industrial revolution. He added the biggest companies are investing in big data and insights to know what consumers need; whilst consumers continue to move more towards digital content platforms that give them seamless experiences.

He emphasized the need for content producers to be mindful of the desire of consumers to go to all lengths to access content via whatever means. “We have to find new ways of engaging more effectively with viewers, when there are more choices than ever before, more free content than ever and our customers are becoming more and more accustomed to receiving personalised content and African broadcasters will have to start identifying such digital opportunities to meet consumer needs” he concluded.

Femi Odugbemi, CEO of Zuri24 Media, speaking at the Conference on the Development of Nollywood, said “the industry has grown into a financially rewarding vocation, which in 2014 was valued at approximately $3.3 billion”. He ascribes this growth to the industry being the earliest respondents to the digital disruptions by shifting from Video Home System (VHS) to Video Compact Disc (VCD) formats, adding that the main stay of Nollywood was its consistency in connecting to the cultural experiences of its audience.

Because of this cultural connection, he said, Nollywood was bound to continue to grow in leaps and bound, provided, however, it did not lose focus and continued to take advantage of the emerging opportunities provided by digitalisation.

Prof. Anthony Lilley, Director of Creative Industries, Ulster University in his presentation on the Rapidly Changing Entertainment Industry said choice and availability and were the main drivers of the value of content.

Urging content producers to push the envelope by using the current digital options to reach wider audiences. He stressed broadcasters would have to be constantly listening to their audiences and looking at global trends to apply in a local sense to remain relevant and profitable.

The Digital Dialogue Conference is a thought leadership platform instituted by MultiChoice Africa to build capacity of the different stakeholders in understanding the future direction of the video entertainment industry in Africa.

This year’s conference sought to build knowledge on video entertainment and its future in the light of the Digital Migration agenda set by the International Telecommunications Union whilst creating necessary conversations with thought leaders about various industry-related issues.

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Ohemaa Mercy Out With ‘His Glory’, This Friday, June 25

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Ahead of the unveiling of her concert, ‘Tehillah’, Ohemaa Mercy Ministries and Soul Brother Records have readied the new single for award-winning gospel minstrel, Ohemaa Mercy.

‘His Glory’ comes after the impressive showing of her previous single, ‘He Lives In Me’ which featured VGMA ‘Male Vocalist of the Year, MOG Music.

The song garnered massive recognition across the country, an ode to the influence of Ohemaa Mercy, considering the fact that, she’s been away from active music production for a while.

Produced by Shadrack Yawson, also known as Sha’, ‘His Glory’, has Ohemaa Mercy sing about the magnificence of God.

Sang in both English and the local language, Twi, Ohemaa belts out her quintessential notes to offer glory to God.

The new single will be released on all digital platforms tomorrow, Friday, June 25, 2021.

Ohemaa Mercy, with a career spanning a period of almost 20 years, has released six (6) albums, starting from 2004. She has won multiple awards and has shared the stage with renowned international artistes such as Andrae Crouch, Israel Houghton, Don Moen, Darwin Hobbs, Juanita Bynum, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond among others.

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VGMA: A Decade Of Empowering Artistes And Transforming The Music Industry

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When telecommunication giant, Vodafone Ghana took over as the title sponsor of the Ghana Music Awards, observers as well as industry people were not sure how long the union would last

However, given that the union is in its 10th year, it is safe to say the mutual respect between Vodafone Ghana and organisers of the Ghana Music Awards, Charterhouse has waxed stronger yielding many fruits for the partners, Ghanaian musicians and the entertainment industry at large.

Vodafone has delicately nurtured the union and fulfilled its financial obligations for the yearly VGMAs to celebrate deserving Ghanaian and African musicians.

Since assuming the reigns of the VGMAs, the awards celebration has been characterized by innovation, creative concepts and unique programmes designed to empower Ghanaian artistes, enhance their craft and project them onto the world stage.

From Vodafone powering seminars where professionals with requisite knowledge share insights for the artistes to make compelling music, get abreast with technical side of the business such as royalties, copyright and protocols for sampling to general investment tips to avoid squandering wealth, it’s clear the telco giant is keen for artiste empowerment which is integral for the transformation of the music industry.

National Dialogue On Music     

One of such initiatives is the VGMA Music Summit, which has become one of highlights of the celebrations. The Summit forms part of efforts to foster a national broad-based conversation towards the growth of the local industry. It is a stakeholder engagement, drawing on musicians, managers, music producers, distributors, promoters and others. With Ghana’s music industry still facing the phenomenon of artistes unable to fully commercially live off their craft because of a poor ecosystem, discussions focused on the route to redemption. A communique which captures the insights and recommendation is presented to the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts.

Bridging The Music Gap

In bridging the gap that exists between the art and academia, the organizers created the VGMA in Schools project. The project seeks to work with schools, offering students interested in a career in music, an opportunity to dialogue with professionals. Artistes including Camidoh, Epixode and Kuami Eugene are some artistes who have mounted the entertainment stages of various Senior High Schools, performing and engaging the animated students.

Rewarding Music With Purpose

Vodafone has also demonstrated commitment to supporting music with real dept and purpose. The telco introduced the Green Awards to celebrate artistes contributing and using music to drive awareness of the need to save the environment. This is in line with the Telco’s purpose-led agenda to promote a sustainable music industry, the company sought to significantly help minimise the insidious impact of the VGMA despite inevitable ecological footprints being left behind at its large music events. A number of eco-friendly initiatives including properly recycling plastics from the tonnes of waste the event produces and promoting e-ticketing were some of the initiatives introduced ahead of the pandemic.

Red Lounge Experience

Besides the glitz and glam of the red-carpet reception and awards ceremony, one key aspect of the celebration that patrons anticipate each year is Vodafone’s Red Lounge. The Red Lounge is a unique display set-up at the foyer of the event venue which provides a rich experience for all customers and stakeholders. The set-up also provides an opportunity for patrons of the event to interact with artistes on a personal level before the show begins and party continues after the show.
 
A Strong Online Presence For Artistes

Continuously committed to bringing value to Ghana’s music space, Vodafone Ghana has availed its new creation ‘Your Business Online’ to enable musicians and industry players to own a personal website. Designed by Vodafone Business, the platform provides all the elements required to build a special brand and grow one’s business online. The platform will create a digital space for artists and industry players to promote their works online. With as little as GHC99, experts will design, build and maintain your online presence – tailoring it exactly how artistes want it and helping them reach a much wider customer base.

The VGMA22, slated for June 25 and 26, 2021 sees Adina, KiDi, Diana Hamilton, Kuami Eugene, Medikal and Sarkodie battle it out for the Artiste of the Year   category.


From 2011 since Vodafone Ghana became title sponsor, the Artiste of the Year trophy has been lifted by VIP (2011) – Hiplife, Sarkodie (2012) – Hiplife/Hiphop, R2Bees (2013) – Hiplife/Highlife/Hiphop, Shatta Wale (2014) – Reggae/Dancehall, Stonebwoy (2015) – Reggae/Dancehall, EL (2016) – Hiplife/Hiphop, Joe Mettle (2017) – Gospel, Ebony (2018) – Dancehall/Afropop, No winner (2019) and Kuami Eugene (2020) – Highlife.

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Ghanaian Media Maven Peace Hyde Announced As Creator For Netflix’s First Africa Reality TV Series

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Multiple award-winning Media Maven, Peace Hyde, has added another remarkable feat to her already impressive list of accomplishments by being the Creator and Executive Producer of the first ever African Netflix Reality series, Young, Famous and African.

The British/Ghanaian who is a highly celebrated TV Host, Creator, Journalist, entrepreneur and Activist also serves as executive producer on the biggest reality TV show to hit the African continent. According to the stars who revealed their series tagline on their Instagram accounts today, the show promises to be an exciting access into the popular world of some of Africa’s top celebrities.

The Pan African super stars of the show include Diamond Platnumz from Tanzania, Annie Macaulay Idibia from Nigeria, Swanky Jerry from Nigeria and south African superstars Nadia Nakai, Khanyi Mbau, Andile Ncube and Naked DJ alongside an array of entertainment heavyweights.

Peace Hyde who started her media career in Ghana as the host of Friday Night Live on GH One and MTN Hitmaker has quickly risen to become one of Africa’s most successful media exports globally by creating and producing groundbreaking hit shows like the two leading flagship talk shows, Forbes Africa’s My Worst Day with Peace Hyde (3 seasons), the only show that speaks to Africa’s billionaires and Forbes Woman Africa’s Against the Odds (2 seasons) on the CNBC Africa channel on DSTV.

Named by CNN as Ghana’s media maven, Hyde’s work has been featured on CNN, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, Ebony, Fox News and many more. She was named to the United Nations Most Influential People of African Decent list 2018, 2019 and 2020 named as one of the 100 most influential young people in Africa.

The show is set for a global release to 190 countries and over 200 million subscribers.

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