On Tuesday, May 10, 2011, member of the fourth realm gathered at Planet 1 to witness the official unveil of MTV Base Meets… with MTN. The media brief which started at 10.00am shared actual details of the rumoured relationship between MTV Networks Africa and telecoms giant, MTN. Both companies have joined forces in a groundbreaking pan-African multimedia campaign designed to inspire African youth by connecting them with some of the world’s most influential personalities.
It is no longer news that young people in Nigeria, Africa and the world over are gradually taking interest in national and global affairs, and increasingly becoming vocal on matters that affect them and the world they live in.
The initiative is an 8-part youth empowerment TV series that creates a dialogue between young people and the political, business and cultural leaders who shape the world today. And following closely, it is not just about mentorship, it is also about understanding how these leaders or personalities carry out their duties.
The intimate documentary series will allow Africa’s young minds to put probing questions to influential, inspirational and somewhat controversial characters. Among the eminent people who will feature in the series are Liberian President Madame Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Africa’s first and only elected female head of state), Mr Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and South African politician Mr. Julius Malema (President of the ANC Youth League) and many African leaders or influencers who exercise a significant impact on the continent.
The gripping series will keep television viewers – young and old – on the edge of their seats. A diverse panel of young people representing different youth interests will be assembled from across the African continent, with participants coming from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, among others.
Young, but well-informed, the panelists are articulate, engaging, provocative and opinionated on a range of complex subjects – be it HIV/AIDS, global warming, education, poverty, corruption or entrepreneurship. They are fearless and have attitude. Their no-holds-barred approach will make for exciting television viewing as they fire BIG questions to the influential people whose actions and opinions have a direct impact on their lives.
African youth will be encouraged to nominate influencers and submit their proposed questions for the programme via a dedicated MTV base Meets…with MTN website or via their mobile handset. To register go to www.mtvmeets.com or http://mtvmeets.mobi from 10 May 2011 or follow the campaign on Twitter at #MTVMeets @MTVbaseAfrica.
Commented Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, MTV Networks Africa, “MTV base Meets…with MTN provides young people with the opportunity to engage directly with decision-makers and world leaders in order to address some of the key issues that are important to them. The initiative demonstrates our belief in the positive impact that the youth can have in shaping the future of the Continent. We hope that MTV base Meets…with MTN will inspire young people across Africa to know that their voice matters and to help prepare them to take their own roles among the leaders of tomorrow.”
MTN Nigeria Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Bola Akingbade, says “MTN’s association with MTN base Meets…with MTN forms part of its on-going focus on youth empowerment, which is informed by the recognition that the world’s demographics favour the youth – with half of Africa’s population of 1 billion being under the age of 35.
“Through this series, MTN hopes to give this growing segment of Africa’s population a bridge to connect with decision-makers through dialogue. Gone are the days when young people were relegated to the periphery of important debates in business and politics,” says Akingbade.
Thought provoking questions were thrown at MTN and MTV Base representatives and all were answered satisfactorily. While The Jarmzone commends this initiative, we hope to see a lasting relationship between both parties; at the end of the day, there must be a business tie around this relationship and any form of discontinuity will affect the plan, especially when it’s a case of inability to financially sustain the cost of production.
MTV Base Meets…with MTN is an African localized version of the established MTV Meets… franchise and has previously interviewed influential individuals including Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Morgan Tsvangarai and Wyclef Jean. The series will air across African from 18 July on MTV base (DStv Channel 322), and on terrestrial, DTT and CATV channels including STV (Nigeria), HiTV (Nigeria), WBS (Uganda), NTV (Kenya), Canal2 (Cameroon), Muvi TV (Zambia), Zuku (Kenya), ZAP (Angola), Smart TV (Kenya) and Star Times (Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi).