Investing in Music Entertainment

I have the opportunity to visit Kenya and the words of the fallen first Malawian President Ngwazi Dr. Hasting Kamuzu Banda that “Travelling is a form of education” had a ring of resounding truth to me more than any time that I had heard them.
More so with the spirit of investing in entertainment in general and music in particular that I have found fascinating here in East Africa.
For some time, the East African Breweries Limited has been carrying out competition for musicians in the Eastern African Region called Tusker Project Fame – a reality Television competition, which was at a value of 1 billion Kenyan shillings which is an equivalent of 12.8 million US dollars which is about 1.92 billion kwacha. All this money invested in music, imagine!
Now perhaps to give you a clue of what is done let me share with you what I stumbled on here in Nairobi.
This East African Breweries Limited on the Sunday of June 26, 2011 launched Tusker All Stars reality Television competition. Now in this one they plan to woo consumers to their newly unveiled new-look Tusker Larger bottle.
What this all stars involve is that they have now invited eight former winning participants of the Tusker Project Fame to battle it out in this one Tusker All Stars. These artists include Alpha Rwirangira of Rwanda; and from Kenya there is Davis Ntare, Patricia Kihoro and Ng’ang’alito. Tanzania has also her four participants in Hemedy Suleiman, Peter Msechu, Amileena Mwenesi and Caroline Nabulime.
The host of the show is none other than Gaetano Kagwa of the Big Brother Fame.
My heart therefore bleeds when the private sector in Malawi always invest towards its marketing drive upside down.
Football has been tried enough, but while I am not advocating for a stop in investing in stuff like football I am trying to make the private sector that they are failing to utilise one thing that can boost their products and services.
In the case of the East African Breweries Limited, it posted more success than they imagined with the Project fame and they never hesitated after unveiling the new Tusker brand to take the same musical route to sell the product and at the same time promote music and musicians.
What fascinated me is that they never restricted participating artists to a particular genre neither were they compelled to sing about Tusker. Eventually the situation created is a win-win one where both the investor and the music industry and the musicians in particular do benefit tremendously.
Business is about daring, sometimes even trading where angels fear to step and apparently music is one aspect of art that no man will tell you do not come in touch with.
They might be faithful(s) of any religion or pagans, children or adults, men or women, old or young and even the deaf…cannot be without music.
Unlike other areas of investment like in football, for example where other people have not heard of Edison Arantes do Nascimento the all famed Brazilian soccer legend a.k.a “Pele” no one would never tell you they have never listened to music.
It’s just so simple to deduce and it is mind boggling when the private sector looks the other way round in this aspect. Obviously, the CEO needs to realise that his or her market team is a sham.
You can mention anything, be it a service or a product that you know, and see if it is not linked to music.
Now since this is a TV show – here it brings me the question of whether or not we are a serious country when political whims are making politicians to decide how many television stations we can have.
This to an extent is killing the aspect of creativity and perhaps this is why we do not have project fame that other countries are enjoying.
But even in a situation like ours where we only have MBCTV, we still need initiatives and an investing spirit from the private sector.
Try investing in music and ask me later if you would have missed the target.


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