Director of Brand Communication for the African Music Award, Ms Matlou Tsotetsi, has said that the height the Grammy Awards has reached is an inspiration to drivers of AFRIMA, whose maiden edition will hold in Nigeria in October.
She says although AFRIMA is not in vain competition with any brand, it cherishes ideals that can achieve long-term values for African music.
Besides, the marketing and advertising executive – a South African – notes that the award hopes to achieve for the continent what the Grammy has achieved for world music.
“We aspire for Grammy,” She says. “It has been around for decades. I was actually surprised when one of our potential sponsors, upon listening to our goals and methods, said, ‘This is the Grammy of Africa!’
“So, I can say the Grammy is an inspiration. It is a fantastic award that has been there for generations. It is now a brand with millions of equity. And good enough, AFRIMA is an African brand with growing equity, and the way various people and organisations are buying into our dream is phenomenal.
“We aim very high, and we are painstakingly working on our aspirations. We are actually thinking about a project that will beat the Grammy. Indeed, after October, people will be talking about two things: the World Cup and AFRIMA.”
Only recently, AFRIMA came up with the names of a number of African leaders that will potentially form the board of its patrons.
Members of the public have been asked to vote those they want to be the patrons among the nominees.
These are Desmond Tutu (South Africa), Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Winnie Madikizela–Mandela (South Africa), Kofi Annan (Ghana), Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (Kenya), Mohammed ‘Mo’ Ibrahim (Sudan) and Emeka Anyaoku (Nigeria).
Others are Patrice Motsepe (South Africa), Alpha Oumar Konare (Mali), Dame Patience Jonathan (Nigeria), Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun (Namibia), Mohammed Ibn-Chambas (Ghana), Joaquim Alberto Chissano (Mozambique), Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia) and Bola Tinubu (Nigeria).
Tsotetsi stresses that the idea is part of the proof that AFRIMA is not just about annual awards. Rather, it encompasses programmes that would lead to the overall development of African music.
As a result, she adds, it encourages support and partnership from all strata of the society.
She notes that it is the overall ambition that inspired a concert that will hold in June in the US, a reality, trans-Africa show that will bring musicians and allied workers from different parts of the continent together, while workshops will also be held for capacity building. AFRIMA is also relating with the African Union on the ideals.
“We will be raising awareness on education too,” she adds. “The concerts are going to address this. An enlightened mind is an enlightened continent. Education is the foundation of civilisation and modernisation.
“So, Africa must connect its music, film and all to developing this. At AFRIMA, we are not looking at things in isolation.
“These are what we have been communicating to people. We have held meetings with key brands and they are excited about this. Not a single one has said that they can’t support us because they see the uniqueness of our dreams.
“We are, of course, creating publicity and awareness about Africa. We want to establish Africa as a destination.”