Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Okyeame Kwame
Busy Internet launched the JUMP online platform on March 30 to give a one stop shop to young people and growing entrepreneurs on reading materials that border on entrepreneurship, self-development, education and lifestyle.

Okyeame Kwame’s interview is rounded up here https://jump.com.gh/lifestyle-n-entertainment/6-branding-tips-from-the-okyeame-kwame:

Rapper Okyeame Kwame known in real life as Kwame Nsiah Apau is one of Ghana's most celebrated Hip-life Artist. The "rap doctor" as he is affectionately called was a member of the defunct group Akyeame. As a solo act, his works include Bose Ba (2004), Manwesem (2008), The Clinic (2011), and The Versatile Show (201 2). His laurels are numerous, including the topmost award in Ghana music —VGMA Artist of the Year in 2009.


Okyeame Kwame is one of the few artists in Ghana who makes branding his top priority and has even gone ahead to launch a book for his brand "OK" i.e. Okyeame Kwame.

He pursued his Master's Degree in Marketing Strategy at the University of Ghana Business School and was recently honored by the CIMG after his presentation at the organization’s Continuous Professional Development (CPD) seminar under the theme: ‘Branding For Global Recognition'.

In an interview with him on how young musicians can build a successful brand, the father of two shared these inspiring tips:


Be Different: What it means is, study the status quo and something different which is is exciting and interesting, find a way of blending everything to make your approach different.


Be Original: Draw from your cultural source, talk about things that are relevant to your community and audience. Don’t rap about profanity. Example if you live at Nima the problem is mosquitoes so rap about it. Be original, don't be like others.

Be Consistent: No matter how inexpensive your videos are, make sure that whatever message you want to sell is there and we can see that in your videos.


Association: You have to look like the job you want not the one you have. Associate with where exactly you want to go so you become an artist that has importance, choose a name from a place that people find important for example, Akyeame chose the name "Akyeame" because we saw that people didn’t like rap so we went to the court and palace where people have respect everything that goes on there, hence seeking inspiration to form the name "Akyeame". Choose a name like that. When you receive an award, like “the keys to a city”, if you have the opportunity, show it to Asantehene or the president.

As an upcoming artist, find a rapper or a singer that you look up to and associate with him or her. If you meet an amazing presenter like Bola Ray, Kwame Adinkra, Andy Dosty take photos with them and share on your social media platform.

Build an Army: Begin with your family, friends, church members, classmates, associates, and enemies. In everything you do, you're surrounded by them so build your army beginning with them. Stay in contact with them via phone or social media.  Now set targets and work on getting it done, rent a crowd, convince your friends to come and watch you perform.  After they praise you, onlookers will do same.

Do not work hard, work smart: Working hard is for regular people, working smart is for winners. Working smart means paying attention to little details, once that is done, the big things will follow. Be Smart, when you have a plan walk through with it and execute.

Okyeame Kwame is currently out with a new single Saucing featuring his kids Sir Bota and Shante.
Stories like this are compiled on www.jump.com.gh and offer a good source of materials to inspire young people and young entrepreneurs.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Busy, 4G LTE provider of the year for 2016 has unveiled its new operational strategy, with a tremendous focus and commitment towards empowering Ghanaian youth, entrepreneurs and SME’s.

The 4G operator, who has a new brand promise of Great Things Happen, is positioning itself to become the #1 next generation 4G operator in Ghana, by championing the youth empowerment agenda. The new outlook aims to further establish Busy as the hub for young people and up-and-coming entrepreneurs, where they can connect to the world, develop business plans, network, and kick-start their dreams.

Chief Executive Officer of Busy, Praveen Sadalage, says “Busy is shifting its focus to one that is youth-centric and digital first with the introduction of mobile digital platforms such as MyBusy Mobile App, an interactive platform that allows customers to track their data usage, top up data, bundle data and control their data usage. There is also the Web self-care platform, which allows customers to interact with Busy on their laptops or desktop,” he said.

George Andah,  Minister for Communications
“When we launched our three-pronged youth strategy with the unveiling of our JUMP platform at the end of last month, it was to signify our intentions to operate in a space where most of Ghana’s population is; and to offer them an incredible access to materials that will ensure their professional and individual growth, this strategic shift further accentuates that initial commitment,” the CEO added.

Chief Marketing Officer of Busy, Michael Fitzpatrick disclosed at the launch in Accra that Busy will also be launching a new mobile interactive app known as Chat+.

This will be free for all Busy customers as it will allow them to chat, call, share pictures and videos with friends and loved ones. In line with this new vision, Busy is rolling out some innovative products with the customer at the centre.

It is our desire to get closer to our customers; hence, we have opened our new multi-functional flagship store which will have a collaborative work space at the back for young entrepreneurs, to come and experience our 4G WI-FI.

The Deputy Communications Minister and Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya West, George Nenyi Andah who relaunched the revamped Busy brand and opened the flagship store urged Busy to lead the way in delivering affordable and reliable data for the youth segment in particular.

Mr Andah said “Our young ones need data for their studies and businesses; but do not have the financial wherewithal; Government is in the process of ensuring that some of the factors that tend to slow down the growth of businesses like data are permanently solved so there is a phenomenal growth in that sector which will result in opening up employment avenues for the talented Ghanaian youth who have had artificial barriers forestalling their growth”, he said.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Digital television -an innovative approach to television broadcasting- has many benefits available to countries that adopt it. This piece seeks to share insights into four major benefits serving viewers, broadcasters, producers and advertisers respectively.

VIEWERS

IMPROVED VIDEO QUALITY AND CLARITY:  There is no doubt that digital TV comes along with improved picture and video quality. Signals are more compact than the analogue system and allows multiple channels to occupy the same airspace than the single analogue channel. Digital television will provide viewers with the quality of sound, images and videos needed to enjoy quality television experience.

With digital TV, one does not need to re-adjust an antenna as usually directed by local TV technicians as first stage in television signal troubleshooting.  One does not have to direct an antenna towards the transmission site of a particular station to get clear signals at the expense of other stations. A viewer has to simply turn on a TV with an antenna and enjoy quality TV with crystal clear pictures and sound.


BROADCASTERS

LESS FOCUS ON TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE: Television stations in Ghana compete not only on content but on infrastructure; an opposite of industry trends in other parts of the world where competition is strictly on content because infrastructure is standard for all players. Ghana’s era of television stations with tag lines such as “nationwide availability, total coverage etc. will be over with digitization.

Statistics at Brekuso- Ghana’s popular TV transmission site for most stations in Accra show that about 7 television transmission sites operate within 2km apart from each other.  All these stations have 24/7 security, standby power generators, water storage, mast, technicians, transmission halls and other important assets. Couldn’t a strategic and cost saving approach such as co-locating and sharing the running cost of the sites be adopted to ensure that the little revenue made from advertising due to the clustered nature of the industry is invested in content and staff remuneration rather than transmission?

In South Africa, television stations have no business with transmission because a reliable and professional firm maintains and manages their sites on contract basis. Ahwerase, a town in Ghana’s Eastern region noted for radio transmission has a similar case like that of Brekuso. There are about 10 radio operating sites within 1km radius apart from each other. Some local broadcasters are adamant to co-locate because of fear of sabotage by competitors. But I believe with the right systems and processes, such fears can be eliminated and co-location managed professionally by independent service providers with expected deliverables.



PRODUCERS

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT: With an equal playing field, television owners have no option than to compete on content. Digitization attracts broadcasting regulations such as prioritizing local content over foreign content and ensuring that prime time is dedicated to local content. This will improve the state and quality of Ghana’s production industry.

Production divisions of television stations, independent production firms and other sections of the production chain will benefit from this. Digitization guarantees the creation of jobs in the production chain ranging from producers, directors, actors, cameramen, props, location drivers, graphics and effects, editors, sales and editing.

It also guarantees massive development of our local movie and production industry. ‘Kumawood’, ‘Ghallywood’ and other private producers are at an advantage because there will be reliance on what they produce. Ghana’s National Film and Television Institute graduates and graduates from other production training institutions will be put to good use.

ADVERTISERS 

ACCESS TO CREDIBLE TV VIEWERSHIP DATA: Strategic advertising and marketing decisions on television should be made on credible viewership data. Even though professional media research is gradually gaining grounds in Ghana, marketing managers of some brands make decisions on guts and personal orientation with no accurate data supporting such decisions.

In the past, media owners have accused media research firms of skewing data and results in favour of the highest bidder. Though such claims may not be factual, digitization affords the industry a cheaper and more reliable way of knowing viewership ratings of stations across specific times. It also affords credible data on television viewership necessary for national policy and decision making.

If managed properly, television license collection can be enhanced and improved with higher collection rates.
Telemetry -an automated communications process by which measurements and other data are collected- can be used to provide viewership ratings in real time. Similar to the publication of subscriber base in Ghana’s telecommunications industry, publishing viewership of television stations from an authoritative source such as a national platform would improve television competition among industry players and serve as a trusted source of data.

It is unfortunate that time-lines set by the Government of Ghana to migrate all television stations unto the digital platform were missed last year. Discomfort and hesitation accompanies change efforts but we must embrace this innovative change in our broadcasting industry to benefit from its numerous advantages. The Ministry of Communications, National Communications Authority and other State institutions mandated to ensure television digitization is actualized must commit to this good and critical cause.

By: Timothy Karikari
timothykarikari@yahoo.com

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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