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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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NEWS

New Groundbreaking Video ‘Woman’ Ft. Kidi Out Now

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American multi-Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Stokley, has finally dropped his much-anticipated video of ‘Woman’ off his yet to be released album ‘Sankofa’ which featured lynx signee Kidi.

The song which was written and produced (respectively) by Shakespear! (Justin Beiber), S.Dot (MJB, Lauryn Hill, Diddy), and Stokley.  

According to Stokley, “WOMAN” is a love letter to the gender he affectionately refers to as the “greatest producers of life who help shape the world.” 

In a line from the song, he appreciates eulogizes women “I’m a king but I still need my rib/ Need a queen that can keep me grounded/ Don’t need no mirror, mirror on the wall to know there’s no world without a woman”

The accompanying visual, directed by REX, sets the scene with vibrant colours against the beautiful Ghana landscape. Stokley taps into the deep-rooted love and appreciation for the beauty, tenderness, warmth, perseverance, dedication, and dedication strength that all black women exude. 

The video, which was first premiered on BETHer and BET Soul stares pretty Ghanaian models and breathtaking scenes from the Western region to the Central region of Ghana. Click here to stream  ‘Woman

Watch video here 

About Stokley 

Stokley’s “Cascade” featuring The Bonfyre holds firm at number 8 on the Billboard and Mediabase R&B Airplay Charts, garnering airplay in New York, LA, Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and more. His “Cascade-LVRS Quarrel Mix” is also receiving love from fans.

Earlier this year, both versions of the song were performed on The Kelly Clarkson Show and Black Music Honors. “Cascade” is the follow-up to Stokley’s 2020 summer release “Vibrant” featuring Snoop Dogg (click here) and his #1 hit UAC song “She” (click here).

All these songs will culminate in the release of Stokley’s sophomore album Sankofa via a partnership deal with Bluraffe and Legendary hit-making team Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis’ Flyte Tyme/Perspective Records.                                                                                                                 

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Ogilvy Africa Appoints New Chief Strategy Officer

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Leading marketing and communications network, Ogilvy Africa has today announced the appointment of Sumanta Ganguly as the new Chief Strategy Officer for the region.

In his new role, Sumanta will be responsible for strengthening the network’s strategy capabilities across its markets, and client portfolio. With this appointment, Ogilvy Africa continues its transformational journey by adding data-led solutions to its offerings. The role reports into the Ogilvy Africa CEO, Vikas Mehta, with a team of analysts, strategists, and strategy directors, based in various locations, covering 39 African countries. The office of the CSO would house the agency’s competencies in data, technology (and tools), including partnerships. The strategy team will operate like a unified think tank across Ogilvy’s disciplines including Advertising, Brand communication, Content, PR & Influence, Social | Digital, Experience, Media and Digital (business) Transformation.

“In our region’s context, the strategy function in agencies is developing, and very siloed. In service of our One-Ogilvy ambition, we are breaking down these siloes to create a unified strategy team that can work through the entire user journey straddling several disciplines. We believe this approach will make a significant impact in helping our clients’ brands become more consumer centric. Building, and running a think-tank of this nature requires someone with width, and depth of knowledge. We are delighted to have found such an ambidextrous leader in Sumanta.” Said Vikas Mehta, CEO, Ogilvy Africa.

Sumanta joins Ogilvy Africa from Mullen Lowe Lintas Group (IPG), where he spent over six years in various leadership roles. He was instrumental in establishing several practices in Performance marketing, Technology and Omnichannel Strategy as centres of excellence. He believes in “solving for culture and scaling with platforms”.

On his appointment Sumanta said “Africa and African business have been at the forefront of human-first approach to solving for growth; be it fintech or agritech, Africa is a true demonstration of solving for people and scaling with technology. This is an exciting backdrop for any strategist. When you add the giant talent and inclusive culture of Ogilvy Africa to that, my role is simply to provide the right page, and the solutions write themselves.”

In a career spanning more than two decades, Sumanta has played multiple roles in technology and strategic planning. Starting with early day internet start-ups, where Sumanta went to work with business plans and securing VC funding; to finally settling in Strategic Planning roles. Besides IPG, Sumanta has worked in the past with organisations such as Ogilvy, Experience Commerce, M&C Saatchi and Cyber Media.

A background in technology coupled with data; Sumanta has worked with clients in multiple categories to develop strategic frameworks that enable businesses to draw insights and measure effectiveness. Notable achievements are his work on retail customer matrix for a grocery retailer in India using the RFM modeling, use of real-time health data to build a disease tracking app in India’s fight against the dreaded Dengue & malarial infections and more recently developing the first of its kind AI based voice bot for India’s top auto company Tata motors, that recently won an award at the APAC Smarties.

Besides being guest faculty at premier management institutions such as IIMs in India, Sumanta has been a speaker at International forums that include Ad Tech, AMES Singapore among many others. He also mentors several early stage mar-tech start-ups. 

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NEWS

DZIFA BAMPOH IS NEW HOST OF TV3’S KEY POINTS

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Management of leading Ghanaian television channel, TV3 Network, has announced seasoned broadcaster, Dzifa Bampoh, as the new host of its award winning television news analysis program, The Key Points.

She takes over from Abena Tabi, who expertly hosted the show over the past four years. Dzifa, who also serves as a News Editor with the Media General Group will commence her new hosting role on Saturday 7th August 2021 and expected to steer the program to continue to be the number one weekly news analyses show of choice for audience and advertiser value on Ghanaian television.

The Key Points, which is simulcast on TV3 and 3FM on Saturday mornings provides a breakdown of the week’s biggest stories with key and relevant personalities and panelists with an opportunity for members of the general public to contribute to the conversation. Expect nothing short of the tough questions, biggest interviews and enlightening analyses of the key issues on the program.

Commenting on the show, Dzifa said “Saturday morning is a good time to catch up on what you‘ve missed during your busy week. That is why every Saturday morning at 7am, we take the time to delve into the key points to ensure you are adequately equipped to play your role as a citizen. Our job is to ensure that you are a part and parcel of nation building”.

You cannot afford to miss any key moment anymore, be part of The Key Points on TV3 and 3FM this and every Saturday at 7am with Dzifa Bampoh.

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