Zain to sponsor MTV Pan-African Music awards ceremony which kicks off in November 2008

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Pan African entertainment network, MTV Networks Africa, and mobile operator, Zain, have joined forces to launch the MTV Africa Music Awards. MTV’s first ever Awards ceremony for the African continent, the MTV Africa Music Awards with Zain honours the passion, creativity and artistry of the African music industry, showcasing the Continent’s brightest and best contemporary music and artists to a global audience.

The first, star-studded MTV Africa Music Awards with Zain music and entertainment extravaganza will take place at the Velodrome, Abuja, Nigeria on Saturday 22 November 2008 in front of thousands of musicians, celebrities, media and music fans. The MTV Africa Music Awards with Zain will take the form of a 2-hour TV spectacular, combining performances from top African and international stars with award presentations and an international superstar host.

Conceived as the ultimate celebration of African contemporary music talent, the MTV Africa Music Awards with Zain will provide a major promotional platform for the burgeoning African music industry, championing, supporting and empowering African talent by broadcasting their music around the world via MTV’s global multimedia network. The awards will focus on contemporary African and international genres loved by the MTV audience in sub-Saharan Africa including hip-hop, hip life, R&B, rock, Afro Pop, Afro Beat, kwaito, bongo flava, dancehall, soul, rock and funk.

Commented Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, MTV Networks Africa, ‘The MTV Africa Music Awards with Zain will create an unprecedented global platform for African musicians to shine and to spread the word about Africa’s extraordinary music talent. We are very excited to partner with Zain to realise our vision of creating an MTV awards ceremony for the artists and music fans of the African continent.’

Announcing the sponsorship, Mwambu Wanendeya, Zain Group Corporate Communications Director for Africa, said, ‘Through this partnership with MTV, the world’s leading television music network, we are demonstrating our commitment to the promotion of African musical talent which we believe is among the best in the world. We are committed to showing the world the depth of this talent through this sponsorship. This is a natural follow on from our sponsorship of the 90th birthday concert for Nelson Mandela which was held recently in London and which attracted a global audience of over 1 billion viewers.’

The MTV Africa Music Awards with Zain will be preceded by four high octane concerts celebrating the musicians nominated for the awards. The concerts, featuring international musicians and local nominees, will take place in Johannesburg (5 November), Nairobi (8 November), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (13 November) and Lagos (15 November).

The MTV Africa Music Awards with Zain will broadcast around the world on MTV TV, online, mobile and radio platforms, including pan-African TV channel MTV base (DStv Channel 322 and GTV), MTV2 (USA) and African terrestrial TV channels STV and AIT (Nigeria), TBC (Tanzania) and TV3 (Ghana), and selected partner radio stations across the continent. The MTV Africa Music Awards are sponsored by Zain as part of a three year partnership with MTV Networks Africa.