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President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Meets African Music Stars As Ghana Hosts AFRIMA 2018 Calendar Unveiling

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The All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, experienced the warmth of the music and culture industry of Ghana on Monday, May 21, 2018 when the calendar of events for the 5th edition of the biggest awards event on the continent was unveiled by the African Union following a meeting and courtesy visit to His Excellency, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Welcoming the visiting delegation led by the Head of Culture, African Union Commission, Mrs. Angela Martins, at the Presidential Office, Jubilee House, Accra, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, lauded the initiative of AFRIMA in conceiving a platform that showcases Africa positively to the world through the creativity of the music talents and the distinctive African cultural heritage.

“The people of Ghana are proud to host the 2018 AFRIMA World Media Calendar Unveiling event and to receive the delegation of officials of AU and AFRIMA as well the talented artistes and the media. I’m excited to hear AFRIMA is engaging the rest of the world on an intellectual platform with conferences and the music awards. We hope you have had a remarkable experience of Ghanaian hospitality. Our hope is that we will host the main awards ceremony”, the President stated.

Other officials of the government of Ghana who received the AU-AFRIMA delegation included the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Catherine Abelema Afeku; Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo; Principal Personal Assistant to the President, Saratu Atta: Chief Director, Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Dr. Joel Sonne; Director, Tourism Council, Ghana, Chief Nana Anim and celebrated Ghanaian music artistes such as veteran Nana Kwame Ampadu who joined artistes from other African countries for the courtesy visit.

The President further prompted the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Catherine Afeku to see to the completion of the formalities required to enable Ghana ratify the Charter on African Culture Renaissance.

Earlier, while delivering the AU’s remarks to President Akufo-Addo, Mrs. Angela Martins expressed gratitude to the government and people of Ghana for the commitment and support displayed towards hosting the 2018 AFRIMA Calendar Unveiling.

“We cherish the partnership with the government of Ghana since it will enhance the pan-African nature of the AFRIMA initiative. The AU also uses the AFRIMA platform to voice key messages related to the Arts and Culture and other social issues for example the campaign on Ebola in 2014”, she buttressed.

The international Committee of AFRIMA was represented at the courtesy visit by President and Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada; Director, Brand Communications, AFRIMA, Ms. Matlou Tsotetsi; AFRIMA Regional Director, Central Africa, Mr. Ernest Ewane; AFRIMA Regional Director, West Africa; Mr. Don Obilor; AFRIMA Co-Producer/Country Director Nigeria, Mr. Kingsley James; AFRIMA Country Director Ghana, Mr. Francis Doku, AFRIMA Jury Member (West Africa), Mr. Olisa Adibua and AFRIMA Consultant, Regional Partnerships and Sponsorship, Dr. Bukola Bello-Jaiyesimi.

Meanwhile, the Calendar Unveiling of the 5th AFRIMA took place later in the day at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra where the theme of the awards “Africa is Music” was also revealed to the large gathering of African and international media.

The ceremony, well-attended by record label owners, culture industry practitioners and music artistes such as Sarkodie (Ghana); 2Baba (Nigeria); Victoria Kimani (Kenya); Becca (Ghana); Ahmed Soultan (Morocco); Stanley Enow (Cameroon); Seyi Shay (Nigeria); Emtee (South Africa); Falz (Nigeria); Fancy Gaddam (Ghana); Stanley Adjetey (Ghana); Dark Suburb (Ghana); Zeynab (Republic of Benin) and Jah Phinga (Ghana), among others, featured a two-part interactive discussion session on the theme “Enhancing Music Business in Africa”.

This conference preceded the formal unveiling of the 2018 AFRIMA Calendar by Mrs. Angela Martins and Director, Brand Communications, AFRIMA, Ms. Matlou Tsotetsi, The 5th AFRIMA Calendar details build up and main events activities leading up to the 5th AFRIMA Main Awards ceremony slated for November 25, 2018. Build up events include musical conferences and concerts around the different regions of Africa but more importantly, on May 25 (Africa Day), the 2018 AFRIMA opens the call for submission of works/song by African music professionals released within the eligibility period to compete for possible nomination in one or more of the 36 categories of the awards. The submission will end on August 1, 2018.

Panel discussants including Ghanaian artistes and artistes from different African countries and culture/creative industry executives, professionals and practitioners discussed the challenges faced by the creative industry in Africa while also proffering inventive solutions to enhance the future of the music business on the continent. Some creative industry discussants included President, Creative Arts Council, Ghana, Mr. Mark Okraku Mantey and AFRIMA Regional Director, West Africa, Mr. Don Obilor.

According to Kenyan music diva, Victoria Kimani, “Before now, the world of music, fashion and arts were not being taken seriously unlike politics, but the progress that have been registered in today’s music industry makes it easier to have a more confident ecosystem that encourages the production of good music around the continent”.

Nigerian Afro pop singer, Seyi Shay, shared how the African music industry has empowered her as an artiste and how the system has given most artistes the control over their music.

Encouraging artistes to focus on building an authentic music brand, Ghanaian rap star, Sarkodie, talked about increasing the numbers of professionals in the music business that can provide structure and technical music production where everybody can in turn make more money through music business.

Nigerian artiste Falz encouraged artiste to not only have musical collaborations with fellow artistes but also with huge brands with whom artistes can share ideas and initiatives for support to help them grow in music business.

Giving his submission on the discussion theme, Innocent ‘2Baba’ Idibia said proper structure must be put in place to ensure that investors in the music industry can get returns on their money.

The AFRIMA 2018 Calendar Unveiling event was hosted by the government and people of Ghana as part of the AU policy to achieve its objective of promoting social integration in the five regions of Africa. The 5th AFRIMA will also feature high-octane music concerts tagged “Turn Up Africa” which objective is to connect fans and followers of African music with their favourite Africa music stars of the traditional and contemporary genres.

In partnership with the African Union, the All Africa Music Awards is a music property that recognizes and rewards the work and talent of myriad of African artists from the old to the new generation of musicians. Through its conference, AFRIMA also stimulates conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world about the potential of the creative arts for real humanizing enterprise on the continent contributing significantly to social cohesion, national, regional and continental integration as well as sustainable development in Africa. It is broadcast live to over 84 countries.

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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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