Leveraging media platforms to promote African culture from the African perspective
Increasingly, Africans are showcasing to the world how they live, love and laugh. Think hit web-series, “African City”, hit movies “The Wedding”, “Happiness is Four-Letter Word”, “Fifty”, TV series “Bukas & Joints”, Broadway show “Eclipsed”… New media has transformed how this content gets created, published, distributed and consumed by a wider audience. It takes money to tell your own story and Africans are finding the means to shape and tell their own narrative. This panel will examine the role media platforms have in shaping the perception of Africa and Africans and the economics behind this. This panel will also explore the role that the media plays in defining what it means to be “African”, in the age of U.S President Obama (Kenyan heritage) and “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah. The portrayal of Africans in the media either reinforces or reduces biases and stereotypes, all which have an impact - direct or indirect - on how the world responds to the continent and her citizens (from music, movies / TV series to investing in Africa
Sbusiso Leope, Entrepreneur, Author, Philanthropist, DJ, CNBC Africa
The brand, “DJ Sbu” has shaped youth culture and thinking in South Africa over the past 15 years. Over the past decade Sbusiso has worked on national platforms exposing his brand and personality to 25 million people per week. His company TS records of which he is a co-owner has produced and continues to produce hit music and popular artists in South Africa with continental appeal. His most recognized projects are his Y-Lens DJ compilations, Mzekezeke – a masked Kwaito character, the ‘late’ Brown Dash’ & the current success story, Zahara. Sbusiso is the host of a weekly entrepreneurship show on CNBC Africa called “Kicking Doors”. The show is designed to showcase Africa’s entrepreneurial talent and profile the success stories of entrepreneurs. He also anchors his own brand of morning breakfast radio called “The DJ Sbu Breakfast” which is a daily syndicated product in partnership with the Times Media Group. Recently, Forbes Africa recognized Sbusiso as “1 of 13 Young Africans To Watch”. Sunday Times named him one of the ‘Coolest Brands’ in South Africa. Mail & Guardian named Sbu one of “200 brilliant Young South Africans” and he has also been listed as one of “100 Most Influential Africans” alongside Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Desmond Tutu. Sbusiso is the executive chairman of Leadership 2020, a future leader company that inspires and teaches leadership to entrepreneurs. He has published a best selling book entitled ‘The Beginning” with follow up title –“Billionaires Under Construction”. His company creates conferences, runs a leadership curriculum, and provides jobs, mentorship and coaching to the community. Sbusiso is also the co-founder of the first 100% black owned energy drink brand, MoFaya. Sbusiso Leope is an epitome of popular culture, and is described by some people as a philanthropist and a person who has a heart to give.
Victor Mallet, CEO, ReelAfrican
Victor co-founded ReelAfrican Inc. in 2011 with three Ghanaian former high-school mates after graduating from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The company was founded to fill the massive gap which existed at the time of a dire lack of high production-value and story-line quality African cinema and film available online.The vision and goal since its founding has been to bring the best pan-African stories to audiences across the world via the power of the web. The underlying belief is that the golden age of African cinema is yet to come and that by telling and showcasing our own stories we directly take the narrative and destiny of Africa's cultural and
economic trajectory into our own hands. ReelAfrican has grown significantly since 2011, signing up dozens of Africa’s best film producers and rewarding them with a loyal audience and steady earnings from African and US audiences via partnerships with Hulu and other major online video portals. In early 2015 ReelAfrican was brought under the management and majority ownership of Kagiso Media, a progressive and respected South African media house which has further expanded its footprint and depth of content. Victor graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a B.Sc in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He currently lives in Maputo, Mozambique.
Elias Schulze, Founder, Kana TV
Elias Schulze serves the co-founder and Managing Director of Kana Television; he has spent the last 8 years focused on Africa across various strategy, finance, and operational roles/projects in over 15 African countries. Kana Television is a leading Ethiopia focused FTA entertainment television channel with a commitment and investment to bring Ethiopian audiences high quality entertainment. Kana Television is a joint-venture between Moby Group and a group of Ethiopian based entrepreneurs. Previously Elias worked as the Africa CEO for Kaymu, an online marketplace that held operations across 17 African countries. Kaymu is part of Africa Internet Group (AIG), a joint-venture between Rocket Internet, MTN, and Tigo Millicom. Prior to joining Kaymu, Elias worked as an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company where he was based in Nigeria and worked throughout Africa with asignificant strategy focus. He also worked as an Investment Analyst at Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), a leading Africa-focused private equity firm. Elias also serves as the Managing Partner and co-founder of The Africa Group LLC, an advisory and venture capital firm, which has stakes in several early stage ventures across Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya. Elias holds a BS and a MS from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (2008 graduate). Schulze is also a non-executive board member of a family business, Schulze Global Investments, which has been a pioneer of US private equity in frontier markets, including Mongolia, Georgia, and Ethiopia.
Yolanda Sangweni, Digital Content Director, ESSENCE Magazine
Yolanda Sangweni is a South-African born writer, editor, and culture curator. She is currently the Digital Content Director at ESSENCE Magazine and founder of AFRIPOP, a website covering global African youth culture. She has written for Essence, Time Out New York, Page Six Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine (South Africa), True Love and Glamour. She is also the creator of African Women Create, a quarterly celebration of African women in the creative arts.
Katung Musa Aduwak, Senior Channel Manager, MTV Base
Katung Musa Aduwak is currently the Senior Channel Manager at MTV Base, Senior Creative Director at VIACOM International and also Executive Director at Chocolate City. He produced and directed the movies “Unwanted Guest” and “Heaven’s Hell”. He also directed a number of music videos for Nigerian record label, Chocolate City, for gospel and pop musical group, Styl Plus, actor and singer, Gabriel Afolayan also known as G-Fresh and has starred in EbonyLife TV’s “Desperate Housewives”. Originally from Kaduna State in northern Nigeria, Katung has a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Jos in Plateau State, Nigeria. He worked as a radio broadcaster and also participated in the inaugural Big Brother Nigeria reality show, where he won USD $100,000. Katung obtained a directorial degree from the Digital Film Academy in New York.