Tag Archives: Yanga!

Yanga! seeking drama, reality

Yanga!, the UK channel that targets African diaspora, has been at the MipTV market in Cannes this week on the hunt for high-end drama and reality content.

The channel, which launched four weeks ago, is run by Africa MediaWorks MD Lindsey Oliver, the former director of networks at CNBC Europe and founding director of Al Jazeera International, who said “top quality, contemporary West African drama” was top of her content agenda.

“We’re also interested in some fun reality programmes if we can find the right ones. We have a few in mind we’re looking at from Nigeria but we’re interested in Ghanaian programming and really anything from Africa that’s English-speaking,” Oliver said.

Yanga! is currently available on Sky and Freesat in the UK and Oliver said any content the channel does pick up this week probably needs to be on an exclusive basis to make it destination viewing for its audience.

“We’re only four weeks in but, as we go, we’re already adapting the programming line-up we’ve got. We’re finding that some shows inevitably work better than others so we’re on the hunt for some new, compelling content to launch in the autumn,” she added.

“Our demographic is keen on celebrity and high fashion. We want things that are fun, dynamic and have lots of energy.”

Yanga! has also been shopping its own programming slate this week, which includes a range of factual shows. “We’re making lots of different series,” said Oliver. “We have a comedy series called Number 6, a children’s series called Fizzi and a young people’s Afro beats music chatshow called Turn Up.”

While commissioning content is not yet in Yanga!’s plans, Oliver said it would be an option in the future.

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Yanga! takes to Sky

Stand-up series Number 6

UK firm Africa MediaWorks has launched an entertainment channel aimed at the African diaspora on Sky’s pay TV platform in the UK.

Yanga! is run by Africa MediaWorks CEO Lindsey Oliver, the former director of networks at CNBC Europe and founding director of Al Jazeera International. Its programming director is Simon London.

It offers a mix of original commissions and acquired content across a range of genres, from lifestyle, comedy, music and drama to kids, current affairs and news. The network is the first commercial venture from Africa MediaWorks.

Originals on the slate include late-night show Turn Up, stand-up comedy programme Number 6, magazine talkshow Noni and current affairs-based Journalists’ Hangout UK. Children’s segment Fizzi also features, while acquired programmes include Before 30, Crazy, Lovely, Cool and Wives on Strike.

“Yanga! will nurture new talent both in front and behind the camera, which is an important part of the ambition of Africa MediaWorks to strengthen and scale the volume and quality of African content,” said Africa MediaWorks MD Lindsey Oliver.

Content Nigeria reported on the launch plans in October last year, when Yanga! presenter Mansour Bellow was at trade fair Mipcom in France shooting for the channel. Yanga!, which is Nigerian slang for being confident, will aim to give UK viewers with Nigerian heritage a “closer understanding of their culture,” Bellow added.

The channel will broadcast 15 hours a day from 09.00 to 00.00. It has been in testing stage for the past six months but officially launches on Sky today. Content will also be available on the Yanga! UK YouTube channel and website.

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