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MTV Networks Africa relocates to Joburg

MTV Networks Africa, the pan-African entertainment platform and creator of African music TV channel MTV base, has relocated its head office to Africa as a key component of the network's growth strategy and to increase its resonance with African TV audiences, it was announced earlier this week.

MTV Networks Africa is responsible for driving the growth of African music TV channel MTV base, as well as other MTV Networks' entertainment brands distributed in the continent which include MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon. The move will allow MTV to consolidate and build its African operations and bring the network closer to its key stakeholders including viewers, the music industry, distribution platforms and commercial partners in the region.

Official opening

MTV's Africa HQ was officially opened on Tuesday, 24 October 2006, at a launch party at the new office in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

Attended by South Africa's hottest contemporary music stars and hosted by Alex Okosi, vice president and GM, MTV Networks Africa and Simon Guild, president and CEO, MTV Networks Europe, the celebration featured live acoustic performances from South African Afro-pop sensations Freshlyground and rising new stars talent Seed. DJ Bongani Fassie kept the party swinging with some hot deck action.

The move to South Africa follows the high profile launch of MTV's first African TV channel, MTV base, on 22 February 2005. Since its launch, the channel has experienced an intense period of growth, developing from a pay-TV channel to a pan-African TV network that is accessible to 48.5 million viewers across Africa, with terrestrial exposure in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and South Africa.

Team of 24

MTV's African operation is headed up by Alex Okosi, vice president and GM, MTV Networks Africa, and the man responsible for launching MTV base in Africa in 2005. Okosi, 32, will be leading a team of 23 Johannesburg-based staff, including programming and production, talent and artist relations, music programming, commercial development, marketing, online and mobile. Key members of the team include:

  • Cecil Lyons (head of commercial development and marketing),
  • Jandre Louw (marketing, events, online, mobile),
  • Isis Nyong'o (commercial development),
  • Dudu Qubu (programming and production),
  • Sizwe Dhlomo (MTV's first African VJ/presenter) and
  • Gordon Hagan (talent and artist relations).

MTV Networks Africa also retains a network of marketing and music consultants in key African markets, including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Ghana, France, and Uganda. The network will retain a few roles in its former London headquarters to maximise synergies available to it as part of the larger MTV Networks International structure.

Comments Okosi, "A key component of MTV's vision for Africa was to establish a permanent headquarters in Africa. This move enables us to be much closer to consumers, artists, advertisers, distributors and other stakeholders that contribute to driving our business. Johannesburg is a perfect fit for MTV, offering great infrastructure and a vibrant creative community that will foster the growth of our music and kids' brands."

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