SABC: THIRD OF OUTSIDE BROADCAST TRUCKS NOT USABLE

Saturday, June 7, 2014

2014 MTV AFRICA MUSIC AWARDS: 'It is the stories that happen behind the scenes that makes it powerful,' says Alex Okosi.


"If you look at what happens with something like the MTV Africa Music Awards when we bring Africa together, it is actually the stories behind the scenes that makes it powerful".

So says Alex Okosi, the senior vice president and managing director of Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) who runs the MTV Base TV channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

The 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA's), revived after a three year absence, will be broadcast live on MTV Base (DStv 322) and MTV (DStv 130) on Saturday night at 21:00, on BET (StarSat 190) on Thursday 12 June at 22:00, and on e.tv on Saturday 14 June at 22:00.

At the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards press conference held at The Playhouse in Durban on Friday evening, TV with Thinus asked Alex Okosi why the awards show was revived, wby VIMN Africa and MTV Base is doing the awards show, and why it matters.

"I think its critical to celebrate our talent this way," says Alex Okosi. "If you look at what happens with something like the MTV Africa Music Awards when we bring Africa together, is actually the stories behind the scenes that makes it powerful".

"It's the collaborations, it's the camaraderie between the artists from different countries, going into studio to record songs together".

"There's nothing more inspirational than for a young creative or a young artist - and this year we have three new lifestyle categories that all talk about leadership - there's nothing more inspirational to know that if you do well at what you do that there's going to be an endorsement recognising that," says Alex Okosi.


"If I'm a young artist and I'm trying to be the best, I can have something to look forward to and strife to attain. I think its really critical. What's powerful about this is the attention that this awards show gets. It's an amazing thing to have good stories about Africa being written, versus everything else that gets written".

"We're talking about a celebration of African music in Africa and you see amazing young people, which is far better than the sad stories people see about Africa. That's why we get together and work so hard to pull this off," says Alex Okosi.

"Africa is a beautiful place with an amazing youth culture.We restarted the MTV Africa Music Awards because we wanted to make sure that there was enough content".

"We don't want to patronise Africans to say we have an Africa awards show. We wanted to make sure that we're able to package it for the world to see the music and youth culture of Africa".

"What is great about the MTV Africa Music Awards is that we don't just package it for consumption in Africa but that it's packaged for global distribution for the world to see what we have to offer as young Africans".

Since the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards is broadcast live this year on MTV Base and MTV, it also adds a new dynamic to the awards show.

"It brings an amazing shift to the offering to be broadcast live. Being live makes it immediate. It also enables us to engage with our audience on multiple platforms for the first time. We have a big digital and social media element to the show this year. "Because we are live, we can engage the continent," says Alex Okosi.

However, being live adds a lot of pressure onto the crew and a lot of pressure onto the team.

VIMN Africa on a technical level has a team doing the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards that's from all over the world - some of the principal people on the team are responsible for the MTV Europe Music Awards and various other big awards shows around the world.