African digital lifestyle and entertainment platform Accelerate TV is set to debut a web series titled Clinically Speaking this month.
The medical dramedy follows a smart, young and beautiful doctor whose struggles are synonymous with those of every Nigerian doctor. It follows her as she wades through the waters of her one-year compulsory internship at a government hospital.
Produced by Temilola Balogun and Esse Akwawa and executive produced by Collette Otusheso, the show’s cast includes Eso Dike, Gbemi Akinlade, Eniola Adeoluwa, Shalewa Ashafa and Paul Utomi.
Akwawa said: “We have been cooking up this new series for some time now, and it’s finally here! Well, in few days! Produced by yours truly, this series features some of your favourite stars and we are sure that you are going to be glued to your screen longer than usual, because this series is more than amazing.”
Clinically Speaking will debut on Accelerate TV’s YouTube channel on September 22. The show will sit alongside other Accelerate series such as The Big Tech Show, Just Friends, The Whole Truth and Visa on Arrival.
YouTube has commissioned a documentary series about the legacy of Nelson Mandela through its YouTube Originals Black Voices Fund.
The Mandela Project will premiere on BET’s YouTube channel on July 18, marked internationally as Mandela day.
The five-parter is being produced in Africa by Paramount’s international studio, VIS, and sets out to showcase the lasting legacy of the late South African president and activist through the eyes of some of today’s brightest stars and their experience working with community projects.
Taking part are TV chef and musician Big Zuu; former Manchester United star Patrice Evra and F2 Freestyler Jeremy Lynch; American actor and Blackish star Marsai Martin; Miss South Africa and Miss Universe (2019) Zozibini Tunzi; and the new Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Jabari Banks. Each will explore a different project focused on a subject close to their heart.
They will meet the people central to making a difference to their communities across the UK, US and South Africa, with the whole story linked to the man who has inspired them. The series will also feature unheard anecdotes and personal stories from Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Ndaba. Shurwin Beckford serves as showrunner.
Sony Pictures Television has launched a YouTube channel fronted by Nairobi-born restaurateur and celebrity chef Kiran Jethwa.
Kiran Jethwa: Fearless Food will feature a series of original episodes produced by Nairobi-based Quite Bright Films, in which Jethwa demonstrates exciting and unique ways to cook familiar and unfamiliar foods in ways that stretch culinary boundaries.
Jethwa is known in Kenya as host of African culinary show Tales from the Bush Larder and as a judge on The Great Kenyan Bake Off. Since 2016 he has been a co-host of UK pubcaster Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped and Extreme Food.
In addition to original content, the channel will use and showcase footage from Tales from the Bush Larder and another Jethwa-fronted show, Fearless Chef.
Sarah Edwards, senior VP of international creative development at SPT, said: “Fearless Food is SPT’s second dedicated YouTube channel following the launch of Impossible Science in 2020, which has created over 50 videos to date and over 26 million views worldwide.
“We’re always on the lookout to work with and showcase brilliant talent and Kiran brings to the screen the unique ability to combine his natural culinary flare with his love for adventure. His approach to food and ingredients has already built a fantastic following, and we are really excited to be launching this channel and bringing him to a global audience.”
TNC Africa, a YouTube channel dedicated to Nollywood movies and series, is lining up a second season of miniseries Our Best Friend’s Wedding.
The romantic dramedy follows a young man who buys an engagement ring on a whim. He recruits his two female best friends to help him go through a list of potential candidates and sets off on a series of events that leads to a wedding.
Season one of Our Best Friend’s Wedding launched in 2017 while the second season will premiere in October. It is directed and produced by Belinda Yanga, executive produced by Olawale Adetula and features a cast including Eso Dike, Adekanla Desalu, Oshuwa Tunde-Imoyo, John Njamah and Marycolette Unamka.
“Our Best Friend’s Wedding, our award-winning YouTube series, is coming back for a second season. This season is packed back-to-back with drama and we can’t wait for you to see the beautiful show we have created,” said the TNC Africa channel on Instagram.
YouTube Originals Kids and Family has ordered a second season of African animated series Super Sema, which is exec produced by Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o.
Made by an all-female team, the show is about a young superhero girl called Sema and her adventures saving the world. Season one debuted in March and its finale was made available last week.
Super Sema is produced by Kenyan outfit Kukua, with Kenyan-Mexican actor Nyong’o voice-acting on the show as well as exec producing. YouTube Originals creative exec Daniel Haack and kids and learning head Nadine Zylstra helped develop the series for the video platform.
Zylstra said: “The success of the show is due to both the creative guidance of its all-female led team and the relatability of the characters to our diverse, global audience of young viewers.”
Other shows on YouTube Originals Kids and Family include virtually filmed teen series Lockdown, Pinkfong Wonderstar and Sherwood.
MTV Base Africa, YouTube and British actor and producer Idris Elba have announced the return of the Africa Day concert, which is slated for May 25.
According to ViacomCBS-owned channel MTV Base, this year’s concert will shine a light on Africa’s next generation of talent that is making its mark on the global stage. It will be hosted by Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Elba.
The event will feature artists and performers from South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Kenya, including Bahati, Bella Shmurda, Blaq Diamond, Elaine, Focalistic, Gyakie, Omah Lay, Suspect 95, Teni and Zuchu.
Alex Okosi, MD at YouTube EMEA Emerging Markets, took to Instagram to say: “We are doing it again. Celebrating Africa and showcasing our talent to the world. Salute to my bro Idris Elba for his commitment to the mission.”
The event will stream on YouTube at 19.00 CAT/18.00 WAT and on MTV Base DStv channel 322 at 21.00 CAT.
Lifestyle channel Red TV, launched by United Bank for Africa (UBA), is set to debut new drama Public Figure on its YouTube platform on May 19.
The show is a tale of power, fame and lust and will feature award-winning Ghanaian actors including Van Vicker, Dela Seade, Kingsley Yamoah, Aaron Adatsi and Daisy Little. Eddie Seddoh is directing and associate producers include Obina Okerekeocha and Olufemi Bamigbetan.
The lifestyle channel said: “This time we bring you something really shiny from the Gold Coast. Prepare to be entertained like never before.”
Red TV is also behind other recently launched series, such as The Men’s Club, Inspector K and Our Best Friend’s Wedding.
The most recent series, Assistant Madams, was announced in January. The story revolves around the lives of three aspiring female Lagos socialites and their journey to ‘big girl’ status.
“Red TV was birthed by the UBA to support the creative industry in Nigeria and also across the African continent,” said the channel’s exec producer Bola Atta, speaking at the Assistant Madams launch in Lagos recently.
“For about four years now, we have been creating employment through entertainment. The potential revenue that can be generated in this industry is often underestimated and it is only in recent times that more people have had the courage to leave traditional professions and embrace the creatives. We want to encourage talented and creative professionals to pursue their dreams and to confidently feel that they are contributing to economic growth.”
Cartoon Network Africa has unveiled a new original production titled CN to the Rescue which will premiere on YouTube on November 14.
The seven-episode series follows Tapiwe Lembwa (aka Taps), a creative and fun-loving youngster with a knack for getting into trouble.
With the help of his cartoon friends and visits to his imagination room – a mental archive of everything that he’s ever seen on Cartoon Network – he solves daily household issues in a surprising and imaginative way, according to the producers.
The show features the voice of African comedian André Lembwa, who will play four characters, including Taps’ nerdy younger brother Garcia, their glamorous mom Lyzette and the happy-go-lucky Gogo.
The aim is to keep audiences laughing with African humour and fresh content relating to everyday situations in an African household.
Lembwa said: “I am ecstatic to be part of CN to the Rescue on Cartoon Network Africa’s YouTube channel. This collaboration is an all-new format that combines the power of Cartoon Network with the clever use of local comedy and humour. I know that young audiences and families across Africa rate Cartoon Network, and I know they will enjoy the crossover of their favourite channel with their soon-to-be-favourite family – The Lembwas!”
ViacomCBS Networks Africa and YouTube have partnered with British actor and producer Idris Elba to host a home-based benefit concert for Africa Day.
The May 25 concert is aimed at raising funds to support the World Food Programme and Unicef in their work to help African children and families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
African musicians performing from home for the concert include Davido (Nigeria), Burna Boy (Nigeria), Bebe Cool (Uganda), Busiswa (South Africa), C4 Pedro (Angola) and Reekado Banks (Nigeria)
There will also be special messages from South African comedian and author Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central US’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah; reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi; American rapper and actor Ludacris; and UN Goodwill ambassador and actress Nomzamo Mbatha, among many others.
Elba, who has recovered from Covid-19 after being diagnosed in April, said the concert would provide “a moment to shine a light on African arts to benefit the African homeland and its people.”
The star of TV series including The Wire and Luther and movies such as Pacific Rim added: “A continent of this size should find a way to dig deep and stand up for one another at a time like this. It’s important for the future, and history will not forget.”
Monde Twala, senior VP and general manager for ViacomCBS Networks Africa, said: “We are proud to have formidable partners and talent on board as we tackle this unprecedented humanitarian crisis. ViacomCBS Networks Africa is proud to work alongside YouTube to support the World Food Programme and Unicef in their efforts.”
Alex Okosi, YouTube MD of emerging markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, added: “African Music is powerful in its ability to uplift and connect the world. YouTube is proud to be a platform for the amazing talent that have come to celebrate Africa Day and play a role in helping to raise funds for those affected by Covid-19 on the continent.”
Lola Castro, the World Food Programme’s regional director for Southern Africa, said: “With so many people on the continent already acutely food-insecure, we are extremely concerned about the prospect of Covid-19 causing a hunger catastrophe.”
On May 25, the benefit concert will stream on MTV Base Africa’s YouTube channel at 18:00 CAT and across TV networks MTV Base (DStv channel 322), MTV (DStv 130), BET Africa (DStv 129) and Comedy Central (DStv 122) at 21:00 CAT.
After Africa Day, organisations and individuals will still be able to contribute towards fundraising through the World Food Programme and Unicef campaign website.
ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has rejigged its executive leadership team in Africa ahead of veteran exec Alex Okosi’s move to YouTube EMEA.
Craig Paterson, senior VP, business operations for VCN Africa, and Monde Twala, VP of VCN Africa’s BET and of youth and music at VCNI and Africa, have been elevated to lead VCN Africa as co-general managers.
They will take up the positions on March 1 after Okosi leaves his role as executive VP and MD of VCN Africa and BET International at the end of February to join YouTube as MD of the Google-owned platform’s EMEA emerging markets.
As senior VP and general manager at VCN Africa, Paterson will be responsible for all corporate functions, including business development and strategy.
He spent nearly five years at Viacom, beginning in 2011 as VP of operations and finance in Africa and returned to the company in 2018 as senior VP of business operations in Africa.
As senior VP and general manager, editorial at VCN Africa, Twala will focus on content, creative, editorial and marketing for VCNI brands.
Twala joined the company in 2016 after nearly 20 years’ experience in the South African broadcasting and media industry.
“Since launching MTV Base in 2005, Alex has spearheaded the development of our business on the continent, which now delivers more channels to Africa than any other international network, reaching 100 million viewers in 48 territories across MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and BET,” said Raffaele Annecchino, president of ViacomCBS Networks EMEA and Asia.
“Craig and Monde are experts in their respective areas and in addition to incredible business acumen, have demonstrated leadership and collaborative excellence throughout each of their careers and tenures with the company,” added Annecchino.
YouTube has awarded family entertainment satellite TV network WapTV the Silver Play Button Award after its YouTube channel achieved the milestone of 100,000 subscribers.
Wole Adenuga, WapTV’s MD, said: “We appreciate every one of our 130,000 Subscribers on YouTube. We are equally grateful to YouTube for this award as a recognition of the quality of our content. While we continue to have millions of viewers watching WapTV on live TV via satellite, the YouTube channel helps us satisfy audiences who want to re-watch something they have already seen on TV, as well as those who prefer the video-on-demand method of consuming content.”
WapTV’s YouTube channel is free and gives subscribers unlimited access to thousands of programmes including Papa Ajasco, This Life, Superstory, Nnenna & Friends and Binta My Daughter.
It is available across Nigeria and other parts of Africa on all major satellite TV platforms, on DStv 262, StarTimes 116, GOtv 102, StarSat 189, PlayTV 275, TStv 223 and MyTV.
Nigerian web series The Bridge is set to return to screens tomorrow.
The show, produced by BusinessDay Media, will start airing weekly from September 13.
The series consists of 13 episodes and will air on both Silverbird Television, Business Day Television and the YouTube channel of BusinessDay partner FCMB Group.
Anchoring the show will be Arese Ugwu, author of The Smart Money Woman, and other guest speakers are Mai Atafo, creative director of Nigerian fashion brand Mai Atafo; Adebola Williams, co-founder of Red Media and Statecraft; as well as other successful business owners.
Viewers will be able to take part in practice lessons. The aim of the show is to improve financial literacy among young people and help them build successful businesses.
Christian television station Emmanuel TV’s YouTube channel has passed the one million subscriber mark, making it the most watched Christian ministry online.
Launched in 2006 by TB Joshua, founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, it aims to follow three principles: changing lives, changing nations and changing the world.
Emmanuel TV has attracted viewership in a number of territories, including Australia, Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and North America.
Although the station’s programmes come in different languages, each language has its own YouTube channel. This diversity has amounted to the TV station attracting a total of 1.4 million subscribers and more than 500 million views.
Despite the fact Emmanuel TV airs its Sunday services live weekly, it also airs documentaries on social issues such as unemployment, education, migration and deportation and other related Nigerian stories.
The station also broadcasts other Christian programmes, such as Standard for Life, Prayer for Viewers, World Prophecies, Changing Lives Interviews, Christian Cartoon Series for Children and Musical Renditions from Emmanuel TV Singers.
The television station’s humanitarian arm provides charitable assistance to prisons, rehabilitation centres and flood victims around the world.
TB Joshua is also the executive producer of Emmanuel TV.
Nigeria’s minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed kicked off the second edition of the Creative Nigeria Summit (CNS) this week, calling on the creative industry to focus on what consumers want.
The CNS is a two-day conference held annually to bring together international and indigenous experts, thought leaders, industry players and renowned professionals within the Nigerian film and television industries to discuss issues affecting the business.
His speech in full:
Good morning gentlemen, and welcome to the 2018 Creative Industry Summit, with the theme Content – The Future of Nigerian Film and Television in a Digital Era.
This is the second edition of the summit, which started last year. The summit has thus become an annual event designed to bring together international and indigenous experts, thought leaders, key players and renowned professionals from the entertainment and media industry, to examine and exchange ideas and innovations, to create sustainable solutions to challenges and harness the full potential of the Nigerian film and television industry.
The two-day summit, put together by Think Tank Media and Advertising Ltd, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, was born and executed out of a desire to urgently transform the film, television and music sectors into a well-structured industry.
The first edition last year achieved several milestones:
i) Following the summit, a delegation of the Nigerian Film and Music Industry, led by my humble self, held a piracy stakeholders’ meeting with the inspector-general of police, resulting in the establishment of police anti-piracy units in all the 36 states. The subsequent extensive piracy raids have led to the confiscation of pirated products worth hundreds of millions of naira.
ii) Granting of pioneer status for the creative industry by the federal government to reduce financial burdens on new investments and encourage both foreign and local investments within the industry.
iii) A meeting with the governor of the Central bank of Nigeria requesting the provision of stimulus capital for the creative industry to be invested through long-tenured single-digit debt to private investors to build 100 community cinemas, six music arenas across the geopolitical zones and state-of-the-art pre- and post-production facilities across the country.
iv) Granting of special priority status to international and national investors to access foreign exchange.
v) A sovereign guarantee to back up international loans to achieve any of the stated infrastructure projects.
vi) Co-ordination of an arrangement to establish a world-class media services production company that will produce Premier League [football], music videos for artists, films for Nollywood and TV shows and soaps for television.
vii) Setting up of an audience rating and measurement body for TV and radio, on the back of the ongoing rollout of the digital switch-over (DSO).
During the intervening period between the inaugural edition and the year’s summit, our personal research has been focused on an understanding of what, in particular, the customers in the 24 million TV households in Nigeria really want. We have arrived at the findings that the digitisation of television required a much deeper understanding of customers, content and the quality of delivery of ‘video.’ Yes, I did not use [the word] television and that is because that is not what people all want to watch. They want to watch videos, however they are delivered, including – but definitely not limited to – television.
The landscape has changed. The accelerating shift towards mobile delivery continues unabated and a content rekindling has left consumers feeling lost in a sea of available programming. I believe the time to act is now. Media and entertainment companies that want to stay in the game may need to embark upon a holistic, coordinated and integrated programme of digital innovation to focus their resources, investments and capabilities on the things that truly matter.
With respect to content consumers in Nigeria, a well-researched survey of what the customers want, where they are, what they watch, want to watch, when and how they want it delivered, does not exist. The stakeholders within the ecosystem of the DSO project are unfortunately focused on their immediate economic returns and convenient modules of implementation. But technological growth does not flow along those lines and, in the near future, smart media entities will outstrip all plans, institutions and government power and reach the customer, leaving non-informed players with empty castles.
On the issue of content, Nigeria is the clear leader in raw content in Africa. Nollywood, hip-hop, Afrobeat and our comedians testify to this. But we are hardly monetising them either through production, distribution or royalty collection. In fact, with about 20 billion naira currently expended on the DSO, less than N500m has gone into content. It is apparent Nigeria has forgotten that video, not television, is about content.
And everywhere in the world, Video has exploded via on-demand and live streaming. Online TV or subscription services are now the norm – YouTube, Netflix, Iroko etc. Video is now delivered via social feeds like Facebook, WeChat, LINE etc. Indeed, video is the future of media on the web and is competing with scheduled linear TV content for consumer attention. I implore the key players in the DSO project to focus on any of the above.
A recent survey done in over 42 countries revealed that expected video consumption on devices over the next three years will grow 45% on mobile, 45% on internet-enabled TVs, 40% on tablets and 36% on laptop computers. Traditional TV grew by 0%. This led the researchers to come to the conclusion that video is not only increasingly consumed from the internet, it is clearly going mobile.
TV companies have used their advantage of being first in the homes to introduce data to the homes, thereby not only improving their revenues significantly but securing their roles in the future of video watching. Some 70% of homes in the UK get their data from Sky, Virgin or YouView. In fact, BT, the main telecom operator, rushed to set up their own TV entity, acquiring Champions League football rights and offering it for free, if you buy data from them. Who is doing this in Nigeria? This is where we have to play.
Very soon the race for content will begin. With a significant increase in the number of distribution channels and a variety of content to choose from, the clear winner will be the media company that invests in high-quality original content that has taken into consideration the preferences of the customer. Ultimately, the goal will be to match content with audience expectation and enjoy maximum compensation.
Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to use this opportunity to salute all the players in our creative industry. They have all made Nigeria proud. Between the 2017 summit and this year’s edition, we have seen a harvest of global recognitions for our industry players. Mo Abudu and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde were named among the top 50 women doing extraordinary things on the worldwide stage by Variety magazine, and prolific author Chimamanda Adichie’s novel Americanah was listed in the New York Times’ list of 15 remarkable books by women that are ”shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.”
Also, Wizkid has made history by becoming the first African artiste to sell out the Royal Albert Hall in London, while Davido emerged winner of the 2018 BET Award International Act. Congratulations to all these stars who are making our country proud, and indeed to all of you in the rapidly flourishing creative industry
Finally, let me assure you that this administration remains dogged in its determination to grow the creative industry and turn it into a creative economy. I wish you all fruitful deliberations and I thank you for your kind attention.
For more information about the conference, click here. The Twitter hashtag for the event is #CNS2018 and the Instagram account can be found here.