One of the chief ways that musicians in Africa are able to make money from their art is through top brands making them their brand ambassadors.
With the many talents scattered across each country in the continent, it is really a testament of talent and hard work to become one of the brand ambassadors of a top company especially for telecommunication giants, an industry in which MTN leads the pack in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, where piracy still plays a huge role in foiling album sales and digital downloads have still not been heartily embraced, many Nigerian music superstars rely on endorsements to bankroll their expected superstar lifestyle. On their part, brand ambassadors are expected to support the brands by maintaining their image, being available for concert appearances and brand adverts.
The telecommunication giant, MTN revealed its list of ambassadors today, September 1, and while they retained a handful of Nigerian entertainment celebrities who have endorsement deals with the company, a number of them were noticeably absent.
MTN’s General Manager Consumer Marketing, Richard Iweanoge, said today;
“In line with our commitment to supporting Nigerian musicians by providing alternative platforms through which they can receive lucrative value for their intellectual property, MTN has announced brand ambassadors for 2016-2017.”
He then went on to list the brand ambassadors for 2016-2017;
“Music ambassadors for 2016-2017 are: Praiz (Praise Adejo); Iyanya (Iyanya Mbuk); Chidinma (Chidinma Ekile); Falz (Folarin Falana); Tekno Miles (Augustine Kelechi) and Skales (Raoul Njeng-Njeng). Four other ambassadors are – Saka (Hafiz Oyetoro); Nedu; Osuofia (Nkem Owoh) and Adamu Zango.”
Eleven Nigerian superstars with respect to the announcement have lost their endorsement deals with MTN, they include; Davido, Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, Sound Sultan, Banky W, KCee, Harrysong, Patience Ozokwo (Mama G), Timaya, and Sean Tizzle.
It is still unclear why they were dropped, but for MTN users who have been complaining that the telecommunication giant would use their money more judiciously by improving on services rather than signing more brand ambassadors, this should be a good sign.