Issue no 64 30th September 2009

top story

  • Tiger Aspect’s Head of Animation and Children’s Claudia Lloyd travelled to East Africa and fell in love with Tanzania’s Tinga Tinga art and the classic African childrens’ tales about the origins of animals and why they are the way they are. She first did a pilot three years ago and chose to work with Kenya’s Homeboyz director Myke Rabar. Together they set up an animation studio in Nairobi and will be ready to release the 52 x 11 minute series in January 2010. Russell Southwood spoke to Claudia Lloyd about how it all happened.

    In her travels across Africa, Claudia Lloyd came across two things that were the basis for the Tinga Tinga series. She had been involved with Comic Relief and wanted to teach herself Swahili so started reading childrens’ stories. These tales about - Why Lion Roars?; Why Giraffe has a long neck?; Leopard spots and Zebra stripes? - were all traditional African tales for children in the much the same mould as the Just So stories that Rudyard Kipling “borrowed” from India.

    In the course of her travels she also came across the Tinga Tinga style of art production that through the efforts a local artist flourishes in Tanzania. Looking at this work, she thought that its flat and graphic style would easily lend itself to 2D animation.

    However, neither of these discoveries were the “bolt of lightning” that led immediately to the production idea but after a while she thought to herself that it would make a good animation:”I thought I have to go and do this.” UK production company Tiger Aspect where she worked liked the idea enough to give her development money and she set off to recce possible production bases in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Nairobi.

    Soon it became clear that neither of the Tanzanian possibilities had either sufficiently reliable power supply or Internet access:”(Modern-day animation) needs lots of computers and good Internet access.” In Nairobi, she found a local production company called Homeboyz run by Myke Rabar, who is heavily involved in the local music scene and has started radio stations:”He was a pragmatic, open-minded risk-taker.”

    She persuaded him that she would bring the pilot programme to him if he would set up 25 computers, an Avid edit suite and a network connecting the lot. True to his word, he did and it all worked so Claudia Lloyd moved to Nairobi with her three heads of Department from Tiger Aspect in the UK:”There was six weeks when we were experimenting to see how to do it. The idea was to do two minutes but we actually ended up doing 8 minutes.”

    The production team was assembled by word of mouth in Kenya but included two Tanzanian animators and also Tinga Tinga artists. Although some had had animation experience on commercials or done short-training courses, experience was limited and many were self-taught. Nevertheless in Kenya there was a strong tradition of cartoonists and caricaturists and much interest in comics that the production team was able to build on.

    The production employed 16 animators, 11 designers and 5 Tinga Tinga artists (reducing to 2) along with a music person, a sound department of 4 people (who it trained in the UK), a production team of six, 3 Kenyan writers and voice overs. (Lenny Henry is also one of the voice over contributors.)

    What of the overall level of production skills in Kenya?”There’s a relatively small TV industry and hardly any animation. Local programming is heavily underwritten by advertisers and they don’t appreciate what they’re funding and why. It’s beginning to change but it feels like sponsorship controls the whole show.” She cites the example of the success of local Spitting Image-style political satire show:”Its ratings grew and grew. Kenya needs more risk-taking and creative programme making but it’s definitely changing.”

    Everything is produced in Kenya and then delivered to London on a laptop in HD:”There’s no HD capacity here in Nairobi.” For work in progress, it is uploaded to FTP sites so that comments can be got from Tiger Aspect in London:”Each tale takes a day to upload. Internet costs were very high but are likely to come down (with the arrival of the international fibre). Power and water costs are also very expensive and are going up. Final deliveries are by myself on hard disks.”

    Nevertheless the whole production has been produced 15% more cheaply than it would have been in the UK:”But there were enormous start-up costs. Myke invested in it and I hope they make money out of it when we leave.”

    There then followed 18 months when Lloyd took the pilot and pitched to major potential backers around the world. BBC childrens’ channel CBeebies agree to put up 25% of the money and Disney Playhouse in America 6%. Once these two major channels committed, she was able to add on a series of subsidiary rights sales for World TV sales to distributor and producer Classic Media and a publishing deal with Puffin.

    The attraction of the series, according to Lloyd, was that the African stories were “so fresh” and “a return to big storytelling.” But the these things had to be moulded for a global audience:”We had to adapt the stories so they would work for global audiences. We had to create a cast of six different characters who feature in the different episodes.”

    Each episode is 11 minutes and they will either be shown as 11 minute episodes or packaged together in half hour slots. The 52 episode series will launch in the UK on the CBeebies channel and then have its American release in Q1, 2011. Its African and Middle East distributor is Tanweer.

    Why did she do it? "I did it because the idea was great and I wanted a bit of an adventure and a challenge. I wanted entertaining content, not NGO-funded content.”


  • Chief Executive officer of Multimesh broadcasting company, Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa has called on African countries to borrow a leaf from Nigeria , by returning to family-driven TV content. Ohuabunwa made this call at the Discop 2 media market held in Nairobi. He argued that adopting the Nigerian approach to content production and delivery would go a long way in helping African countries to boost their desire to increase the production of local television content in the content.

    Emphasizing the need for the broadcasting operators in Africa to reconsider the kind of content they deliver to their viewers, Mutimesh broadcasting company boss said, broadcasting operators need to provide content that would be edifying and offense-free."As operators, we need to provide content that would encourage parents and their wards to sit in the comfort of their homes, and watch television programme together without the parents having to ask their wards to go out, or close their eyes, while certain programmes are being beamed."

    "We need to look at the platform upon which these content are provided and make amends where necessary to guarantee the future of television broadcasting in Africa . Naija choice is a very simple platform and technique to adopt for the emerging broadcasting industry in African."

  • South Africa’s Free-To-Air channel eTV is seeking to raise its profile across the continent by selling its channel to other broadcasters in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has cleared 99% of the rights for distribution in the region and will provide replacement content for content not cleared.

    It has currently sold its content into Ghana (where it is branded eGhana) and Kenya (where it is branded eAfrica). The model is advertising-driven. Once a company sub-licences the channels, they have the responsibility of finding advertisers to pay the transmission costs. Rights prices for the channel are based upon the broadcast company’s geographic footprint and viewership.

    eTV thinks that the channel will make particular sense for Free-To-Air broadcasters who are making the transition to DTT and want more than one channel. eTV effectively provides a ready-made channel that is cheaper than doing it yourself. It anticipates that its channel will be available across most of Sub-Saharan Africa in a year’s time and it will also be running a news channel on DStv.

    It is no secret that eTV has its own acquisition plans in Sub-Saharan Africa and has already bought shares in broadcast companies in a number of countries. Selling its channel is a cute way of building pan-continental brand awareness for when it finally comes out as a regional player.

  • The hit South African feature film, "White Wedding", is South Africa’s official selection for entry into the Foreign Language Category of the 82nd Academy Awards (Oscars) in 2010.

    This was announced by the South African Academy Award Selection Committee and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) on 17 September at the NFVF’s offices in Johannesburg. If approved by the Oscars Academy Award Selection Committee, White Wedding will then represent South Africa as a nominee in its category.

    Directed by Jann Turner and executive produced by renowned best-selling novelist Ken Follett, White Wedding was produced by its two stars, Rapulana Seiphemo and Kenneth Nkosi. It is described as appealing, feel-good movie about love, commitment, intimacy and friendship and a host of maddening obstacles that can get in the way of a happy ending. Uplifting and at times uproarious this is a movie that affirms the dream that romance can overcome any obstacle.Said Nkosi: “We are thrilled, overwhelmed and Really honoured to represent our country.”

    The National Film and Video Foundation is officially recognised by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences as the body to represent South Africa and makes the submission on behalf of the South African film industry. "We are very excited that a very deserving film has been selected to represent South Africa. The film's performance at the box office has shown that this is a film that will resonate with audiences around the world," said Eddie Mbalo, CEO of the NFVF and chairperson of the SA Academy Awards Selection Committee.

    Released nationwide in April this year, the film boasts a proudly South African producing and directing team, the sound track is predominantly in languages other than English, and the key cast members, with the exception of Jodie Whittaker who plays an English character, is South African. The story is told in Afrikaans, English, Zulu and Xhosa.

    The cinematographer, editor, production designer, costume designer, music composer and sound mixer are all South African nationals.During its first week of release on circuit the film grossed over R1.1m at the box office. It has since run for 11 consecutive weeks in a total of 43 cinemas in South Africa.

    Ster-Kinekor and Next Video are the distributors of White Wedding.

  • Over Discop Africa 2, several producers and broadcaster expressed their concerns about the lack of skilled audio-visual staff in Africa. As an African broadcaster, who can you get help from in order to improve your company management and processes, get extra quality content, increase profitability and modernise your infrastructure?

    As a small African producer, how can you distribute your content internationally?

    CFI is able to support your efforts in many ways.

    Sylvain Béletre of Balancing Act interviewed Etienne Fiatte, CFI Director, and Guillaume Pierre, CFI director Africa and Indian Ocean to find out more.

    Q: On the fringes of Discop Africa 2 held from 16 to 18 September, CFI conducted two major cooperation initiatives. Could you please tell us more about that?

    GP: These initiatives organised in Kenya are part of the co-operation mission conducted by CFI to develop the media, encourage sharing between North and South and promote cultural diversity.

    CFI rallied French expertise in East Africa as we conducted two major co-operation initiatives with public and private East African TV channels in Kenya. The aim of this dual mission is to facilitate forging closer links between French operators and East African TV channels, thanks to the network and the knowledge of the African audiovisual sector developed by CFI in the last 20 years. CFI provided five experts from various French media operators, namely France 24, the French audiovisual institute (INA) and AITV.

    They came along and shared their experience. CFI is working to protect African audiovisual heritage. In Nairobi, we have launched the project “Protecting and Promoting Archives” for public TV channels in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania back on 15 September, as part of the Plan Images Archives scheme initiated by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE) in 2003. This project has been initiated by the Regional Audiovisual Department of the French Embassy in Kenya. David Hivet, Director of the Sales Department (INA) talked about the INA’s experience.

    This initiative, scheduled to run over 18 months, aims to put forward new technical and strategic directions for these organisations to take. We want to help organise content archives' protection and how best to evaluate the challenges of operating and promoting them. The programme includes regional workshops for technical directors and chief information officers aimed at improving their skills in the field of IT and the switch to digital, tailor-made workshops designed to tackle the specific issues of each TV channel, and the development of archive-based coproduction. Check out our recent online interview with KBC - Protecting and Promoting Archives in Kenya : interview with Monica Waceke, Programme Director at the KBC (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation).

    Secondly, CFI promoted sharing between France 24, AITV and the East African media. We organised a seminar with France 24 entitled “International information, the French approach” on 16 September. This meeting brought together 20 or so chief editors from private and public TV channels in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Burundi. The agenda featured Folly Bah Thibaut, presenter of “The week in Africa” on France 24 who talked about the editorial identity of France 24; Georges Kazolias, an AITV reporter, addressed issues related to the status of press agencies and Daniel Couret, in charge of new technologies at France 24, talked about how information is handled on the channel’s Web site. Finally Jeff Koinange, a K24 anchor, tackled the international information viewed by African TV stations.

    Q: What is exactly CFI - Canal France International's mission?

    GP: We are now what you would call a TV content wholesaler-distributor, a training firm and an audiovisual consulting firm. We provide programs, advice, training and now celebrate 20 years of experience. Our key mission is about transferring expertise.

    Q: how can CFI support an African TV channel?

    GP: CFI has worked towards the development of television channels in Africa since the beginning. Our organisation aims to empower partners in the marketplace to supports processes with a view to foster democracy and good governance; CFI encourages independent operators, working with media regulatory bodies and nurturing professionalism among journalists.

    We also supports the production and circulation of programmes from Africa. We have conducted a proactive purchasing policy to support the development of local African production and encourages the intelligent supply of programmes to TV partners.

    CFI contributes to the modernisation of companies in the audiovisual sector. It helps TV channels to enhance their commercial and marketing strategy, facilitating the availability of studies on audience ratings and viewer expectations, bolstering their identity and helping them achieve better negotiating outcomes when purchasing rights.

    Lastly, CFI works towards the set up and consolidation of public TV, communication and regulatory services. We have helped set up state broadcasting corporations, assisting managers to lead change and providing consulting services to hone their strategy in the switch to digital.

    Q: What is CFI's annual budget?

    EF: Between 18 and 19 Million Euros per year.

    Q: How are you funded?

    EF: CFI is financed at 90% from the French Foreign Ministry. We also get commissioned by International organisations and may get extra revenues from broadcasters.

    Q: How and where do you get your information from in the African field?

    EF: Via our local partners, and to a large extent from the French diplomatic network since we are a public entity. Agents working in French embassies and consulates are indispensable contacts for CFI, passing on information about the local media, as well as finding the right contacts and passing these on. They can also pinpoint projects, organise and jointly fund assignments for which they call on CFI. In short, their presence and initiatives greatly facilitate the implementation of CFI’s training and consulting assignments.

    Q: You provide content: How do you nurture and protect local African productions?

    GP: CFI purchases and pre-purchases original programmes produced in partner countries. It supports specific productions through training missions in television project management. This allows programmes to see the light of day and to be subsequently enjoyed by the maximum number of viewers.

    CFI also facilitates and promotes exchanges, both between developing countries (South-South) and with industrialized countries (South-North). For example, CFI supplies the Malian variety show "Top Etoiles" and series made in Burkina Faso, like "Les Bobodiouf" or "Allô, police...", to all of its African TV partners.

    Q: You supply training to broadcasters: Could you please tell us more about your training solution and its relevant topics?

    GP: As an example, we have finalised training workshops for TV channels' news department on how to remain independent towards the presidential elections in Gabon. We also trained political journalists in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Togo, etc.

    Training programmes are designed to benefit industry professionals working for partner television networks, whether public service or private, and target the employees of these networks which may include freelancers. In 2007, 76 training missions were carried out, that is to say 1, 850 days of field expertise globally, including in Asia-Oceania, in the Arab world, in Central and Eastern Europe, and in Africa and Latin America. Again in 2008 CFI trained 1,472 professionals from the South, called on 151 French experts and carried out 104 cooperation assignments.

    Some missions also tie in with medium-term support programmes and may run for a number of years. For example, television networks in Senegal, Burkina-Faso, Niger, Benin and Djibouti, are currently benefiting from a specific three-year consulting, research and training plan.

    Q: Do you also get into technical training and support?

    GP: Providing or upgrading the facilities of partner television channels does not lie within CFI’s remit. CFI provides technical support within the framework of its consulting missions. This may involve working with channels to carry out an assessment of technical infrastructures and draw up specifications, or analyzing operational organization and providing guidance on how to optimize performance.

    Q: Where do you get your expertise from?

    GP: CFI is supported in the implementation of its projects by the expertise of the France Télévisions group, as well as by other industry professionals working in the French television sector, either on a freelance basis, or from other French companies, including: Arte France, INA, TV5 (francophone channel), RFI, CNDP.

    They include TV reporter-directors, editors, sports journalists, editorial managers, directors, marketing or research specialists, and programme directors. CFI’s experts are recognized and respected in their field. Increasingly, CFI is also calling on local talents who speak various languages and is investing in training programmes for trainers.

    Q: Who do you work with in Africa?

    GP: we have 150 partners including 75 TV partners in Africa, mostly TV stations. Therefore, Africa represents about 50% of our activities. We provide a large volume of content to African partners, and assist most of them in increasing their professional skills.



  • - South Africa’s Cookie Jar Entertainment’s most recent film projects are based on books: Ella the Elephant and Peter Pepper’s Pet Spectacular. “We developed Ella with a Canadian partner, and we’re looking for presales,” Austen says. Peter Pepper has been greenlit for production this year as a joint venture with Clockwork Zoo in South Africa, the first Canadian-South African animation co-production where the work will not be subcontracted outside of either country.

    - Ethiopian-born model Liya Kebede plays Dirie"Desert Flower," the best-selling book by former super model Waris Dirie, has been adapted for the big screen. German-US director Sherry Hormann hopes it will draw attention to the problem of female genital mutilation.


  • In the spirit of Independence, Pay TV Company, HiTV Nigeria has announced plans to give its subscribers with gifts in commemoration of the nation's 49th Independence anniversary celebration on October 1.

    Mrs. Kemi Fashina, the company's Head, Brand/Marketing in a statement said the promotion began last Friday, September 25 and will run for three months. Consequently, all subscribers on Premium bouquet from last Friday paid the low sum of N4, 900 as against the N6, 000 they have been paying. "This is our offering to Nigerians at this auspicious time of our 49th Independence anniversary, so our subscribers can pay N14, 700 and enjoy our services from now till December instead of the monthly N6, 000."

    Fashina said even as she gave reasons why HiTV decided to give back to its subscribers and Nigerians who have stayed loyal to one of Africa's fastest growing Pay TV company. "We are a Nigerian company, we have the interest of Nigerians at heart, and we see our subscribers as partners not customers, so to create an atmosphere of good partnership, which will make it a win-win situation for all, we are giving to our partners in progress a special

    Subscribers that have not operated their HiTV decoders for five months now, and have missed out on the fantastic new channels that HiTV has been offering for the period they have been inactive, now have a chance to rejoin the new family of happy partners according to Fashina. "We are giving a free month's airtime/subscription to all our subscribers that had been inactive for whatever reasons. All the subscriber needs to do is call the customer care hotline, 01-2800990 and he/she will be reconnected immediately for them to enjoy what they'd missed in the last five months," the HiTV top official said.

    What has the subscriber missed in the last five months? Fashina has this to say: "Clear signals that can match any international Pay TV anywhere in the world; improved programming and fantastic channels for adults and kids and of course an unbeatable array of live sports channels. For instance, HiTV's Hi Kids, Kidsco among others not only educate the kids, they also entertain them non-stop, our Hi Movies, Hi Nolly, Amuludun channels show the best of local and foreign movies, you can't find elsewhere in this part of the continent and then for live sports, we have the best of them all; the Barclays Premier League, Carling Cup, Serie A, EUROPA Cup and the mother of all football shows on earth, the UEFA Champions League. Sky News, BBC, Al Jazeera among others take care of news. Now, tell me if that person has not missed out in the last five months that he has been off our platform?

    But we cherish the partnership we have with our subscribers, so we are offering that category of people a chance to see what we have now as against what we had before they went off due to circumstances beyond their control. Seeing is believing, that is what we are trying to tell our partners in progress."

  • Southern Africa Direct has been awarded for its innovative and creative use of technology to serve Africa. As a multi-platform destination marketing company promoting Southern Africa to an international audience, Southern Africa Direct was honoured in the corporate category of the Highway Africa New Media Awards 2009 during a ceremony at Rhodes University on 7 September.

    The Highway Africa awards, now in its ninth year, highlights the role that digital technologies play in the media and reward the pioneering, innovative and creative use of technology in doing journalism that serves Africa and its citizens.

    Judging criteria include the use of new media technologies to advance press freedom on the continent; encourage social empowerment amongst marginalised communities and highlight innovative and creative applications of global technology for the benefit of the continent’s overall media development.

    SA Direct’s multimedia approach to telling the African story in a credible and entertaining manner, resulted in a second place trophy.CEO, Pierre van der Hoven said: “As a global destination marketing company promoting Southern Africa in the international arena, we are proud to be recognised for our efforts to showcase the region’s geographical and cultural treasures, and tourism and investment potential. We thank Highway Africa for encouraging the innovative use of technology in media through these awards – African media organisations need to start better harnessing the power of the Internet to make sure the continent’s voice is heard”.

  • GlobeCast has renewed and significantly expanded its contract with UEFA in a deal to provide HD coverage of the UEFA Champions League and HD and SD coverage of the UEFA Europa League to non-European rights holders. As a result, GlobeCast has made a significant investment of more than €2m in HD upgrades for its two UK sites.

    For the UEFA Champions League, GlobeCast has partnered with Israeli-based Satlink to deliver all games of Europe’s most prestigious football competition in HD to 26 territories across the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa each night of the competition which runs from mid August to May.

    For Asia, Africa and the Middle East, two feeds will be uplinked out of Brookman’s Park to the IS904 satellite and the other six out of Satlink in Israel to the Asiasat 2 satellite for downlink by rightsholders across the region. Similarly for the UEFA Europa League, GlobeCast and Satlink will provide downlink, capacity and uplink services in SD for the early stages and the same in HD for the later stages of the competition. GlobeCast has worked with UEFA for the delivery of the UEFA Champions League into Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas since 1997.

    Currently there are only two HD channel providers in Sub-Saharan Africa: AIT/Daar in Nigeria and DStv/Multichoice in South Africa.

  • A Kaya FM DJ, Majota Khambule, nicknamed Phat Joe has been suspended following complaints from listeners regarding his comments about revelations that South Africa’s World Champion Athletic Runner, Caster Semenya (18) was inter-sex. Listeners complained that the DJ’s comments were “harsh”. He allegedly invited listeners to express their views on the Semenya issue on Friday morning, 11 September 2009, after an Australian newspaper claimed the results of a gender test on the teenage athlete show she had “no womb and no ovaries, and had internal testes”.

    During his show, Phat Joe allegedly said the following:

    * “Does this mean that at this point she has never had a period? To some extent, she should have known that something is not 100 percent right, she was still waiting for her period perhaps?”

    * “Did she cheat when she left those women (behind) in Germany? Why is it possible that she could not have known that she is not 100 percent female?

    Some of the callers were offended by the remarks. One male caller allegedly asked him to be sensitive about the issue, telling him, he had three times referred to Semenya as having testicles instead of internal testes, as it had been reported. But Phat Joe shot back: “What is the difference between testes and testicles? Let’s say she has testes, what does that mean to you? Does it mean she is a man or a woman? She is either a natural phenomenon, or something is wrong and something should be fixed”.

    Meanwhile on 15 September 2009, Kaya FM confirmed that Phat Joe’s suspension was due to the Semenya issue. The station said that while it would continue to entertain and inform, it would not do so at the expense of any individual, and that they will do an internal investigation regarding the DJ’s comments. “They (listeners) said they thought it was a bit harsh,” said station General Manager Greg Maloka. Phat Joe was not reached for comment.

    Media Institute of Southern Africa MISA

  • - Top management at the BBC in a review of the public broadcasters various businesses is considering a partial privatisation of its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide. BBC director-general Mark Thompson told The Guardian, the review proposed listing BBC Worldwide on the stock market. BBC Worldwide posted revenues of nearly £ 1 billion last year.The partial privatisation would allow investors to buy shares in BBC Worldwide, while the BBC would maintain control of commercial activities, such as international distribution of programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing and Top Gear, magazine publishing and merchandising and licensing.

    - After 18 years on air, South Africa’s longest-running daily drama Egoli (The Place of Gold) has been discontinued by M-Net.

    - South Africa’s Portfolio Committee of Communications has recommended 12 candidates to serve on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board.

    Cedric Gina; Desmond Golding; Pippa Green; Peter John Harris; Barbara Masekela; Magatho Mello; Nkomotane Motsepe; Ben Ngubane; David Clephane Niddrie; Clare O'Neil; Felleng Lorraine and Suzanne Vos all made it on to the final list.

    The 12 names will be submitted to the National Assembly for approval. If the House endorses the candidates, then the final decision will be made by the President.

    - In the next few weeks, some cable subscribers in Yaounde could cease receiving their TV signal. A new anti-piracy campaign will oblige cable operators to encrypt their signals, and consequently, to prevent clandestine structures to pirate them. The idea, already supported by Canal Sat Horizons and taken up by the Ministry for Communication will regulate several piracy problems.

    - The MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) 2009 will be happening in Nairobi, Kenya. Join the Wyclef Jean., Kenya's leading online travel agency for luxury and boutique hotels and lodges, has put together a holiday of a lifetime for 4 lucky winners. They will enjoy seven days of luxury staying at Ol Seki Mara Camp and Almanara Diani Beach Luxury Resort.

    - Uganda’s New Vision Group has launched Etop FM which will serve the people of Teso.


  • Africa’s first media market in Dakar in February (Discop 1) was always going to be a hard act to follow. There were over 600 people in one hotel for the first time and the sheer sense of amazement and excitement was palpable. So it was a brave decision to hold Discop 2 in Nairobi only six months later.

    Discop 2 was about two-thirds of the size of the first market and the buzz may have been lower but everyone we spoke to agreed that they were doing good content deals and that it was an extremely useful event. No report can cover everything that happened but here are some of the things that Balancing Act saw and heard.

    * Vivien Marles, Synovate provided compelling research showing how local content captured audiences more effectively than international content. Top programmes in Kenya included: Taludi High; Papa Shivandula; Inspekta Mwala; and Makutano Junction. Generally there was a feeling that African audience expectations are increasing and that this will also be true of what they want in terms of local content. Local doesn’t just mean “one nation” content but explaining the differences between different ethnic and tribal groups.

    * There was considerable cut and thrust after a FIFA 2010 progress presentation by Hide Arai. In some countries FIFA has given FTA rights to a single public broadcaster and in others like Nigeria and Ghana, consortia of broadcasters came together to share the rights. The sheer volume of games make it a difficult task for one broadcaster.

    * There was an interesting session that looked at how research with Joe Otin, Synovate and Michel Gregoire of the European Group of Television Advertising. Both stressed how essential research was for persuading advertisers and creating rates genuinely based on viewer or listenership. Currently only just over 20 countries in Africa have regular media research. Gregoire talked about how his organisation enabled broadcasters to sell advertising to those looking to create continent-wide campaigns, surely something that relevance for Africa.

    * Paris-based distributor Thema which launched a 6 channel African diaspora bouquet in France has increased the number of channels to eight and has attracted 46,000 subscribers, well beyond its initial target. Some of its distributors are reporting that Thema’s African bouquet is one of their best sellers. It will shortly launch a VOD content offer. Today the diaspora in France, tomorrow the world?

    * New television stations seem to continue to make their appearance even in more competitive territories. Among others, - Zambia’s Copperbelt region will soon have a new Free-To-Air satellite channel called Ngoma TV. After initial launch, it will spread its coverage to the capital Lusaka. Similarly, Tanzania will also have a new Free-To-Air channel called Milestone TV.Tanzania’s IPP Media is extending the satellite coverage of its East African Free-To-Air channel to Rwanda and Burundi shortly. Nigerian Pay-TV operator Multimesh is moving to offer coverage across West Africa and has a target of 150,000 subscribers by this time next year (for full story see Investment section below). And these are just some of the more well-advanced plans….

    * DStv is launching a web site to support the sale of its film library. Victor Ngei, General Manager of Nation TV revealed that the company had made US$20,000 selling its programmes for distribution on MNet East.

    * The big spending advertisers are the new programme producers. Often those buying rights will first see whether one of them will sponsor a programme before making a decision. Hence most of the buyers operate without a formal budget, relying on what they can raise over the year. Big spenders remain large multinational companies: food and beverages such as CocaCola, Maggi, Nestle; Banks; Car manufacturers; white and electrical/electronic goods; cleaning and building products and of course telcos. Mobile companies always take the top slots in analysis of spending so mobile competition is good for media.

  • Chello Zone has secured a deal with Africa's My TV platform for the launch of the women's lifestyle channel Zone Club as a 24-hour English-language offering this October.

    Zone Club features everything from drama to chat, health to documentaries and a strong lineup of entertainment shows and original programming. The schedule includes series such as Divine Design, Maxed Out and Saturday Cooks! This deal builds on Chello Zone's existing presence in Africa, where its Zone Reality channel reaches more than 2.5 million subscribers on the Multichoice platform.

    “We’re delighted to be extending Chello Zone’s reach within the African region,” said Louise Cottrell, the VP of affiliate sales at Chello Zone. “My TV is going from strength to strength against some tough competition and we’re happy to help boost that with Zone Club’s high-quality entertainment and lifestyle programming for women.”

  • - ITV Studios Global Entertainment has sold season three of its crime thriller Lewis, to M-Net. Beyond Blue and Grey has been licensed to Founoun Films in the Middle East/North Africa Breakthrough Entertainment has firmed up sales on a number of its factual programs with broadcasters in Africa, Europe, Italy and Australia. "War of the Wheels" was licensed to African Business Channel in Southern Africa.

    -All3Media International has picked up the global rights for Discovery's U.S. version of the hit factual-entertainment property WA$TED!, for which the company has already secured an agreement for France and French-speaking Africa and Europe with Odysee and Ushuaia TV.

    - The John Utaka Premier League Challenge will soon begin to be viewed on Nigeria’s HI-TV. This followed an exclusive Programme Broadcast Agreement between the management of HITV and Arthur Mackenzie who are the developers and managers of the programme.


  • Executives from Cable Africa Network (CAN) who were present at Discop 2 Africa announced that it will be launched later this year.

    As a broadcaster in the cable medium with over 15 years experience, Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa stated that the cable TV has strategically positioned itself to play big with its operations office currently located in Abuja. He explained, "Our strategy has been to consolidate, grow and market in the South of Nigeria. Today we are very proud to say that we are the second largest cable TV company in Nigeria. We have been able to grow our channels and we are covering all the states in the Niger Delta in the South-South of Nigeria.

    Interview by Lucky Fiakpa, Ohuabunwa explained that his company's move to Abuja is part of a plan to cover the whole of West Africa with the proposed establishment of an authentic African Cable TV channel to be called Cable African Network, CAN.

    "Coming to Abuja is a strategy which we have planned over the last five years for a number of reasons. One, as we speak our market has gone beyond regional. We have gone to direct-to-home (DTH). By October to December this year, we are launching our Cable Africa Network (CAN), which will be the premium African family content channel. We plan to launch this station in Abuja. Our DTH will also be based in Abuja. Part of our group strategy is to bring our head office to Abuja although our operations office will remain in Port Harcourt".

    As part of efforts to make the operations of the cable station a nationwide one, Multimesh has taken over the management of Crowther Radio station, which is now known as Family Love FM. It can be assessed on 104 Family Love FM in Abuja. Its CMTV is also coming to Abuja.

    To properly position the cable TV to play its role effectively, Ohuabunwa disclosed that the station was giving the provision of sound and African value-oriented contents serious attention. And to achieve this aim, two high profile Nollywood content providers, Jetta Amata as executive director, and Amaka Igwe, are already on board to realise this. He was of the opinion that content was a major challenge in television programming in the country, saying that there was a need to address it with the best professionals the industry could provide.

    "A lot of the broadcast operators in Nigeria have great equipment but who mans them? Multimesh is bringing the best brains. You are aware that we are bringing the CEO from CNN, we brought somebody from Multichoice who is going to head one of the CAN channels, we have also brought a new finance person from Deloitte. We have also entered into partnership and great relationship with one of the premium Nigerian producers, Jetah Amata. He is an Executive Director with Multimesh Entertainment Limited, which is the content company of Multimesh Broadcasting".

    To this end, the company is targeting N1 billion for content provision for the next year alone with N300 million already on the table for this purpose. Furthermore, with Amata just back from the US, the company has procured an HD production called 'The Red One', reportedly the first of its kind in Africa. To achieve the kind of Africa-oriented content Multimesh Communications Limited envisions, Amata has just shot Queen Amina that would run on the station for the delight of viewers.

  • Portuguese cable co Zon Multimedia, intends to enter the Angolan market soon, and has bought 30% of a company called Finstar through another acquisition, Teliz, via which it reportedly intends to set up a local venture in Angola.

    Another Portuguese firm, Visabeira Group is partnered with Angola Telecom in their 50/50 joint venture owner TV Cabo Angola , a digital cable TV and cable broadband internet access provider in the Luanda area. The potential entrance of Zon to the market could give TVCabo its first direct competition.


  • - Lagos-based infrastructure provider Netcom Africa has extended its relationship with satellite operator SES by contracting additional capacity from SES World Skies to expand its services in Nigeria and western Africa.Netcom will use the Ku-band capacity on Astra 2B and NSS-10 to offer broadcast TV services.

    - The international division of French pay-TV operator Canal Plus has acquired a raft of Multichoice’s African subscriber base. Canal Overseas has bought the central African French-speaking customer base of Naspers-backed pay-TV operator Multichoice. Specifically, the acquired subs are in Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Canal Overseas has also picked up the French-speaking TV rights to the English Premier League soccer division for sub-Saharan Africa. No financial details were released for either deal. The move follows a period when MultiChoice broke an informal agreement with Canal Plus to distribute its service only in anglophone territories in Africa by launching a bouquet of channels in French. This was followed by a threat by Canal Plus to enter English-speaking markets, possibly through the acquisition of the failed low-cost pay-TV service GTV.

regulation & policy

  • One of the summer's biggest blockbusters — a sci-fi morality tale about aliens and apartheid — is not welcome in Nigeria because of its portrayal of Nigerians as gangsters and cannibals, Nigeria's information minister said Saturday.

    Information Minister Dora Akunyili has asked movie houses in the capital of Abuja to stop screening "District 9" because the South Africa-based sci-fi movie about aliens and discrimination makes Nigerians look bad. "We have directed that they should stop public screening of the film," she said. "We are not happy about it because it portrays Nigeria in bad light."

    Akunyili said she has asked Sony for an apology and wants them to edit out references to Nigeria and to the name of the main Nigerian gangster Obesandjo, whose name closely resembles that of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

    "We have written to the producer and distributor of the film, Sony Entertainment, expressing our displeasure and demanded an apology," she said. "We have asked that the areas where Nigeria and Obasanjo are mentioned should be edited from the film."

    She and other government officials first saw the movie Wednesday during a private screening. In one scene, Obesandjo tries to cut off and eat the arm of the film's protagonist, in an attempt to gain his supernatural powers. In others, Nigerian prostitutes are seen courting alien customers.

  • "A major battle looms between the Kenya Government and broadcasters over new regulations seeking to take back licenses and vet programmes.

    The most significant and potentially controversial change by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) appears to be a proposal to introduce the so-called one frequency per spot rule. Its effect will be to force some of the major broadcasters to surrender frequencies already in their possession. "All licensees, except the public broadcaster, shall not be assigned more than one broadcast frequency for radio or television broadcasting" in the same coverage area, according to a draft of the rules seen by the Nation.

    The broadcasting industry in Kenya has been attracting new players at a phenomenal rate, creating huge demand for frequencies. The upshot has seen an insatiable demand for the broadcast spectrum that has recently forced the CCK to revoke a number of frequencies, citing hoarding by those allocated.

    With competition in the broadcasting industry becoming fiercer by the day, forcing big broadcasting houses to relinquish the frequencies they already own will be a major challenge for the regulators.

    Although broadcasters are going to be given as much space as five years to adjust their operations in line with the new regulatory regime, the one frequency per spot rule is bound to face stiff resistance since some of the big broadcast houses have invested millions in infrastructure, their plans based on the multiple frequencies they have been holding.

    The draft regulations contain several other radical proposals with respect to use of frequencies. Under the new rules, frequencies assigned to a public broadcaster for use in public broadcasting shall not be transferred to a third party.

    By far the most ambitious attempt at shaping broadcasting in Kenya, the new rules basically follow modern trends, with the regulations seeking to determine broadcast content, technology, advertising, ownership and public interest issues.

    For instance, new conditions have been introduced to regulate change of ownership and control of a broadcasting company. The draft regulations stipulate that any change in shareholding exceeding 15 per cent of the issued capital of a broadcasting company can only happen with prior consent of the market regulator.

  • - The National Broadcasting Board (NBB) has asserted that it has jurisdiction over both licensed and unlicenced broadcasters operating in Botswana.

    - Sierra Leone's largest opposition party has taken the country's media monitoring body to court for banning its radio station.

    - When the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Mutebi, was blocked by the Government from visiting Kayunga, riots broke out in Kampala. The kingdom's two radio station 88.8 and 89.2 CBS FM plus three others were closed by the Uganda Broadcasting Council. The Council's actions have been questioned by various sections of the public and human rights bodies.

    - The fraud trial of former Namibian Broadcasting Corporation Director General Gerry Munyama and a co-accused, Engelbrecht Theodor, resumed in the High Court in Windhoek yesterday after an interruption of more than half a year.

technology & convergence

  • Kenya became one of the first African countries outside South Africa to begin the journey to digital broadcasting. That journey involves migrating all broadcast media from analogue to digital. It will start in earnest at the end of this month when national broadcaster, KBC, migrates from analogue to digital broadcasting, setting the pace for mass migration that will end in 2012.

    To undertake this process successfully, both broadcasters and consumers of their services will need to undergo a transformation that will require change of equipment on both sides. The State has already moved to show the way with the announcement that it has formed a subsidiary arm of KBC - Signate- that will act as the signal distributor of content on the digital platform.

    Consumers are required to prepare to buy set up top boxes - the gadgets that the millions of analogue TV sets in Kenyan homes need to receive digital broadcasting signals.

    First, the technical capacity that digital broadcasting offers is the silver bullet that the country needs to solve the acute shortage of frequencies currently inhibiting investment into broadcast media. Broadcast engineers say digital platform would make available eight channels for every single frequency available on analogue platform currently.

    Limitations of the analogue system is the reason the Communication Commission of Kenya has a list of more than 100 investors on the queue for frequencies to set up radio and TV stations. Besides, digital broadcasting bears the potential of significantly lowering the cost of entry into the business of broadcasting.

    Having a single distributor of signals means that operators will no longer need to set up own transmission systems cutting out a large chunk of the costs that investor incur to enter the business.

  • MultiChoice and MTN recently expanded on their plans to release a mobile television offering in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana in time for next year's FIFA World Cup.

    Mybroadband are reporting that DStv Mobile should be launched by the time the FIFA World Cup kicks off.

    Tom Manners wrote in MyBroadband that "MultiChoice believes ICASA will issue a broadcast licence before the end of 2009 MultiChoice and MTN today expanded on their plans to release a mobile television offering in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana in time for next year’s FIFA World Cup.

    Earlier this year the two companies announced that they would be launching a DVB-H service, which could potentially feature up to 16 channels and stream digital mobile television to MTN subscribers.

    MTN also revealed that it will have various Digital Video Broadcast services for Handhelds (DVB-H) for FIFA’s 2010 World Cup, including a personalised TV bouquet, a dedicated highlights channel, a dedicated blitz channel, interactive capabilities, SuperSport3, SuperSport5 & supporting soccer channels, video-on-demand, pay per use and a results channel. Despite testing services since 2005, MultiChoice is still awaiting issuance of a license for the service from communications and broadcast regulator ICASA.

    Multichoice CEO for DStv Mobile Mark Rayner believes that it is simply an unfortunate time to be launching such a service in South Africa in relation to licensing issues. “The launch of mobile TV has come at an inopportune time due to the roll out of digital migration. ICASA has to perform an exhaustive and thorough sequence of events before it can issue licenses. The country still needs to finalise a national frequency plan, until this is cleared up the service cannot proceed.”

    Rayner says the service experienced a “false start” in December due to e-TV’s petition to halt ICASA’s issuance of the required broadcast license. The channel was simply looking out for its own interests in this regard says Rayner, who explained that DStv has since dealt with e-TV “behind the scenes in this matter”.


  • - Kagiso Media , the radio station owner and publisher, has said it will place a strong focus on digital solutions to help it adapt to a new media future and move away from an overreliance on advertising.

    *1 October 2009 - 4 October 2009

    Pan African Space Station 2009

    venue: greater Cape Town, South Africa.

    The second manifestation of PASS in 2009 will be a four day genre-busting global African music intervention that will resound around greater Cape Town and be available online with videos

    *1 October 2009 - 3 October 2009

    International Festival of Documentary Film - Festival International du Film Documentaire - FIFDOK

    venue: Khouribga, Morocco.

    1st. Edition on documentaries.

    *3 - 19 Oct. 2009


    Venue: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth in South Africa.

    *3 - 4 Oct. 2009

    MIP Junior

    venue: Cannes, France.

    The world's showcase for children's and youth programming screenings

    *5 - 9 Oct. 2009


    venue: Cannes, France.

    The world's entertainment content market event.

    MIPCOM is the unique business event where you can meet all the major decision makers in one place, at one time:

    Major content studio representatives, Producers and distributors, Strategic broadcasting partners, Advertising agency executives, Digital network operators.

    Benefit from a market with 25 years' experience, meet up to 4000 buyers, expand your business and reach out to 102 countries, take part in the $5bn business transacted at the market BBC, network face-to-face with over 11,500 participants and 1700 exhibitors.

    *7 to 20 October 2009

    "Le Maghreb des Films"

    venue: selected theatres across France

    This second manifestation will feature films, debates and meetings focused around Cinema from Maghreb. The website offers news, festivals and a database of film artists from Maghreb.

    *10 October 2009

    MTV Music Awards (MAMAs)

    venue: Kenya, Nairobi

    *11 - 14 Oct. 2009


    venue: Maseru, Swaziland.

    This year's Conference will be hosted by the Lesotho National Broadcasting Services. About 100 delegates from the Southern African countries are expected to attend, as well as partner organisations such as the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA), the African Union of Broadcasters (AUB) and the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcast Development (AIBD).

    One of the topics include digital migration progress as it is expected to emerge in Africa.

    *13 - 16 Oct. 2009


    venue: France - Sciences Po Bordeaux - Maison des Suds – CEAN- CNRS - 12 Esplanade des Antilles - Domaine universitaire de Bordeaux

    ICT/Content Strategies in the South.

    * 16 Oct. 2009

    Promax|BDA Africa

    venue: Johannesburg, SA, at the Sandton Convention Centre.

    *21 - 23 Oct. 2009


    Venue: Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Abuja, Nigeria.

    * 21 October to 31 October 2009

    Kenya International Film Festival

    venue: in various places in Nairobi, Kenya

    hosted by the Kenya International Film Festival Trust, films will include features, student films, animations, documentaries, and experimental films.

    *22 October to 1 November 2009

    The Africa in Motion film festival (AiM)

    venue: Edinburgh Filmhouse, Scotland.

    The programme for Africa in Motion 2009 has just been launched and tickets are on sale!

    *2-6 November 2009

    Africa Media & Broadcasting Congress 2009

    Venue: Sandton Convention Centre - Johannesburg

    The Africa Media and Broadcasting Congress 2009 is a dedicated forum where key stakeholders gather to share knowledge, network and find solutions that enable you to maximise revenues and profitably leverage emerging markets.

    The event will discuss the uptake of mobile TV and video streaming.

    *7-13 November 2009

    8e édition, les Rencontres africaines de la photographie: "Frontières"

    Venue: Bamako, Mali.

    This edition will show pieces of work from African artists, whether they are "videasts" (video artists) or photographs.

    *11-12 November 2009


    venue: Cape Town, South Africa.

    The 12th annual AfricaCom Congress & Exhibition will offer networking opportunities with 3,500+ telcos and a 220+ exhibition for you to discover new products and build profitable business partnerships - not to mention the 2nd annual AfricaCom Awards.

    The event will gather players in Movile TV and broadband IPTV.

    *15-16 November 2009

    IPTV World Forum Middle East & Africa -

    venue: Jumeirah Beach Hotel - Dubai.

    Established as the world's leading event on IPTV, this is a must-attend conference and exhibition in he diaries of all Telco, TV and content executives. IPTV has evolved and telcos pursuing a television strategy across Middle East & Africa can launch with more sophisticated television services than witnessed during early-adopter deployments in Europe and North America, with more personalisation and cross-platform, multi-screen delivery among the obvious targets. Regional telcos have the chance to demonstrate their ambition to win, and not just play, in the Pay TV marketplace.

    Featuring Over 80 Speakers and 20 Service providers, the conference will also hold 2-Day Post-Conference Training Course. The event is organised by Informa Telecoms & Media.

    * January 2010 (date TBC)

    venue: Nigeria.

    Nigeria, India plan joint film festival

    INDIAN and Nigerian governments have concluded plans to host a joint film festival for Bollywood and Nollywood to commemorate the 60th and 50th independence anniversaries of both countries respectively. The festival, which is scheduled to take place by January 2010, is expected to serve as a vehicle for strengthening the cultural and economic ties that have existed between the two countries over the years.

    Mahesh Sachdev, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria said the result of the partnership would benefit 1.1 billion people in India and 140 million Nigerians.

    *22nd till 28th February 2010

    Aluta Film Festival

    venue: Kimberley, South Africa.

    Call for Entries: The organisers of the Aluta Film Festival, South African premier township cinema event, are calling for entries from South African and International filmmakers for 2010, the 7th edition of the festival.

    Deadline: November

    Categories: Features; documentaries; animation; short films

    Requirements: Preview: DVD PAL. Screening: 16mm, 35mm and video

    Awards: Aluta! Revolution Awards

    Fees: None

    Administrative address: 18985 Guttenburg Pitse Street, John Mampe. Phase One, Galeshewe, Kimberley 8300, South Africa

    Tel: +27 (0)76 853 1214

    Fax: +27 (0)86 513 7783

    Festival Administrator: Nandipha Shwababa

    *24-26 February 2010


    Venue: Pullman Teranga hotel in Dakar, Senegal.

    Film and TV content trade show, one of the most important event for the development of audiovisual content business in sub-saharan Africa fueled by overall growth in disposable income and advertising spending, the ongoing switchover process, strong broadband deployment, a fast-growing home-video marketplace, the construction of multiplex cinemas and the emergence of IPTV.

    * February 2010 (date TBC)

    SAFTA 2010 -

    The 4th South African Film and Television Awards. The closing date for entry submission was July 30 2009.

    Formats include:

    * For the Feature Film, Made for TV Movie, Documentary, Television Non Fiction, Short Film, And Student Sections

    * In the Television Fiction section: TV Drama, TV Soap, Mini Series and TV Comedy

    *10-15 April 2010

    NAB Show 2010

    Venue: Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada, USA.

    More than just broadcasting, the NAB Show is the world\rquote s largest digital media industry event attended by leading media, content, entertainment and communications professionals who share a passion for the next generation of video and audio content across multiple platforms \emdash from television, radios and computers to phones, the big screen and beyond.

    Over twice the size of any other event of its kind, the annual NAB Show usually attracts more than 23,000 buyers from outside the U.S. who come to do business with more than 1,500 of the leading industry suppliers.

    *10-11 April 2010

    MIPDoc 2010

    Venue: Cannes, France.

    *12-15 April 2010

    SatCom Africa 2010

    Venue: Sandton Convention Centre - Johannesburg, South Africa

    *12-16 April 2010

    MIPTV 2010

    venue: Cannes, France.

    The World's international TV content market event. The conference programme usually presents over 150 of the biggest names in global TV and film entertainment, digital media and advertising.

    Exhibitors from Africa and Middle East usually accounts for 3% of total figures.

    *13-April 2010

    SatCom Star Awards

    Venue: Sandton Sun Hotel - Johannesburg, SA.

    Africa\rquote s premier satellite event brings you the industry awards for best practice.

    *19-21 May 2010

    Broadcast & Film Africa 2010

    venue: Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) Nairobi - Kenya.

    *June 2010 - date TBA


    venue: Kigali, Rwanda

    *July 2010 - date TBA


    venue: Tanzania

    *2-3 August 2010

    The Internet Show Africa

    Venue: Sandton Convention Centre - Johannesburg, SA.

    There are four seminar theatres themed around the following: Digital advertising and marketing, Web 2.0 and social networking, e-commerce and payments, Content management and streaming.

    - Wilfred Kiboro has been elected chairman of the Nation Media Group's Board of Directors.

    - Variety reports that South African filmmaker/actor Sharlto Copley, who played the lead role in District 9, is in talks to star in the Ridley Scott-produced big screen remake of the hit TV series, The A-Team.

    - Stuart Baxter will oversee the distribution of all Sony Pictures Entertainment's feature films and TV properties throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

    African productions: call for co-production, investment/sponsors, product placements, distribution and broadcast - from Discop Africa tradefloor.

    *Kenya-based Janet Kanini Ikua, Managing Director of Exotic Expeditions Ltd. presented her work at Discop Africa 2 and is currently looking for support to produce two magazines filmed in Kenya: a cooking and a travel program.

    *Award-winning Kenynan production company Hotsunfilms is looking for support for the production and distribution of their new film. The company also offers crews, logistical support and post-prod equipment for hire. Via its foundation, the team also trains the youth of the urban slums of Africa in audio-visual expertise.

    *Martin Baker, company director of Tottenham Ltd based out of Nairobi, Kenya is inviting sponsors to contact him regarding the production of an international soap opera filmed at USIU (United States International University in Nairobi).

    Sponsorship investment is priced at 782,768 KSH per show.

    So far, Mr. Baker has confirmed an intent from NTV to air the 26 x 1/2 hrs show in East Africa.

    Baker is currently talking to various distributors from the USA, SA, Nigeria and China who were present at DISCOP Africa 2 and have shown interest in seeking sales or co-production deals.

    The soap opera mixes a cross range cast of nationalities in order to attract pan-African audience.

    Named “Ngeli Ya Unii", the soap is a sophisticated drama that goes behind-the-scenes of a group of mixed raced students attending an international university in Nairobi. The series follows their individual approach to life, how they integrate together, their cultural differences, their early adulthood growing pains and character building lessons.

    In addition, Mr. Baker has also set up a TTV professional studio, equipped with computerized lighting, quality sound recording & mixing, plus control room with 4 x camera mixers "Genius Box O8", which are squarely aimed at producing high quality programmes for local African markets.

    *Allan Aligula from Fiyuhworks! in Kenya has several productions that are in various stages of production:

    1. SOFAR, this is a social commentary on culture and craft told through the eyes of various personalities and day to day people. It has already aired on MNETs Africa Magic Plus for 1 season of 13 episodes and I am in pre-production of season two. I am lookign at taking it regional and would be seeking for co production from interested partners.

    2. PAKUA, which is a cuisine, discovery, travel and lifestyle format is in production currently.

    3. ALTRUISM, is a short film is currently in pre production.

    *Nigeria: Nollywood Worldwide is looking for distributors for various programs, including soap/sitcoms and lifestyle mags, more than 1000 Nollywood movies and musicals.

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