MTV has launched its first ever pro-democracy campaign in Africa ahead of the upcoming elections in Nigeria. The initiative tagged "Choose Or Lose" flagged off this January (2011) to mobilize and encourage young Nigerians to participate in the coming elections.
To maximise youth voter registration for the April 2011 elections, MTV will use its appeal to launch a series of on-air promotional spots on African music channel MTV base (DStv Channel 322) and on the MTV base blocks on Nigerian terrestrial TV partners STV and AIT. The promos are fashioned to urge young people in Nigeria to determine their future by registering before January 29 and to ensure Nigeria's largest ever youth voter turnout.
A key component of the initiative will include the release of a special music video fronted by Nigerian contemporary musicians titled "Rep 4 Naija". The track, an upbeat hip hop/R&B number is a collaboration of Nigerian stars – eLDee Tha Don, Sound Sultan, Black Twang, Naeto C, D'banj and M.I.
MTV's "Choose Or Lose" campaign is designed to inform and empower young voters on the political issues that concerns them a great deal and to provide a platform for airing their views.
First launched in 1992, the campaign has helped fuel several of the largest youth voter turnouts in the United States history, including in 2004, when it helped inspire nearly 22 million 18-30 year olds to register and vote. The campaign has successfully engaged youth voters in many other countries around the world including Mexico's 2006 Presidential election.
"Choose or Lose" is part of MTV Network Africa's on-going social responsibility campaign that has spawned initiatives such as "MTV Base Meets" (a platform where young people are given the opportunity to interact directly with politicians and foster mutual involvement.
In a chat with The Jarmzone, Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, MTVNA said, "With a huge percentage of the Nigerian population under the age of 24, "Choose Or Lose" is designed to remind young
people that they should take their civic responsibilities seriously and play a part in determining who should lead them." In conclusion, Alex adds, "For Africa to develop, its young people need to secure a future that enables them to achieve their goals and that can only happen with good leadership."
Take note that Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that elections, which were initially scheduled for the end of January 2011, are now set for April. The elections for the National Assembly will be held on April 2; the Presidency on April 9 while, the gubernatorial and state assemblies will hold on April 16.