We’re All United Through Music – Monde Twala, MTV Awards Boss

Africa’s music industry is growing at a phenomenal rate, as more and more Africans have access to internet services and smartphone penetration continues to soar.

Monde Twala: We are all united through music.
Monde Twala: We are all united through music.

In less than three weeks, MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) 2021 will be held in a virtual award ceremony in Kampala, Uganda. The Interview chats with the Senior Vice President and General Manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa, Monde Twala on the upcoming award.

Do African governments readily express willingness to invest in music industries?

Music has an immense power to unify and inspire communities.

It’s this power that we all have to harness and use, to elevate youth culture across our amazing and talented continent.

This is very much a shared responsibility between public sector, music industry and artists.

We need to recognise the enormous potential of fostering collaboration, to grow the continent’s music industry through sustainable partnership.

In addition to ViacomCBS Networks Africa, industry has led the charge in growth and investment through these partnerships ranging from telcos, and tech leaders, as well as independent and mainstream record labels and platforms.

Africa’s music industry is growing at a phenomenal rate, as more and more Africans have access to internet services and smartphone penetration continues to soar.

According to the World Bank, mobile broadband coverage on the continent is now at 70 per cent of the population. And, although Africans are listening to international artists like Drake, the most streamed artist on Deezer is Algerian rapper Soolking.

Further, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has forecast consumer spending on recorded music revenues to hit $43 million in Nigeria this year.

PwC also projects an annual growth rate of 13.4 per cent in Nigeria’s music industry in 2021 to $73 million.

The MAMA now currently in partnership with Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, is a great example of an event that creates powerful platforms and opportunities to drive cultural collaboration and a bridge between our continent’s music industry and attracting international investment, accolades and recognition.

The purpose and intent of the MAMA is to elevate and showcase African talent and culture beyond the continent and encourage global interest and investment.

We are taking the MAMA to Uganda to expand and showcase Africa on a global platform and showcase talent from that country in a bid to change perceptions of the continent

What if the awards receives an offer from an African government perceived in bad light, for its anti-youth policies or actions? For instance, won’t the #EndSARS campaigns be a blight on the record of the Nigerian government, if it offers to sponsor?

The MAMA belongs to the youth and to all Africans.

Our intention is to make sure that we use this opportunity to bring the continent together through a celebration of music and culture.

We are taking the MAMA to Uganda to expand and showcase Africa on a global platform and showcase talent from that country in a bid to change perceptions of the continent.

Our role is to inspire the youth in Africa and create a platform that amplifies youth voices.

The MAMA has long shown its commitment to bringing diverse cultures, African and international artists and society together to unify, create hope and inspiration.

There could not be a more powerful or important time than now to bring the MAMA to life in celebration of the continent, to bring excitement, to unify and to support music, cultural unification and youth from across Africa.

The upcoming awards have been dedicated to the youths, what’s the reason behind this?

One fifth of the world’s youth population live in Africa (source: United Nations) with a median age of 15. Young Africans are driving change in society, they are championing culture and actively standing up for what they believe in.

The MAMA represents a great platform for a young audience with the intent to shape culture, inspire positivity and elevate excellence.

MTV Base continues to break borders, we give a voice to the youth across the continent, and we shine the light on African talent, through authentic African storytelling and music culture.

There are so many areas of engagement with youths, can the focus be narrowed down for a better and more robust and beneficial partnership?

We are all united through music. Music brings people together and empowers the youth, who are the leaders of tomorrow.

The MAMA in Uganda is an amazing opportunity to celebrate both youth culture and Africa’s musical talent.

Awards platforms like the MAMA are key to nurturing new musical talent and ensuring that we also inspire the next generation of African stars who will journey on to become the best in the world.

Written by The Interview Editors

The Interview is a niche publication, targeting leaders and aspiring leaders in business, politics, entertainment, sports, arts, the professions and others within society’s upper middle class and high-end segment in Nigeria.