By Amin Kef Sesay
Africell, Sierra Leone’s leading telecommunication company, has been described by the John Konteh who is the Head of the company’s media during a virtual interview with US based Disc Jockey, Egerton Shabba, as the biggest promoter of Art and Entertainment. John Konteh furthered that:
“Whether it is music, film, pageantry, talent exhibition etc., Africell has been in the lead in terms of supporting the entertainment industry.”
John Konteh, during the interview, maintained that the company is the giant not only in providing affordable and reliable mobile and internet network connectivity across the nation, but also in promoting the entertainment industry in the country. He stressed that many people and businesses are not seriously supporting the industry, disclosing that Africell has sponsored shows to help promote young talents and the ‘Be A Star’ platform is one of such programs that has seen the winner, Mohamed “Larkson” Sesay, taking home a whopping Le50 million cash prize, a recording album and a concert.
John Konteh further explained that to empower more young people in the entertainment business, the company has signed a lot of artists as its Brand Ambassadors, offering them cash remuneration and free airtime on its radio, AfriRadio, thereby promoting their jingles and music. He further disclosed that it is a policy of the company that its radio station plays Sierra Leonean music for some 12hours. This is a means of helping them promote their music. In the event of launching any album, Africell provides support to the artists, who are being branded as Brand Ambassadors.
“Africell also makes its radio station, AfriRadio, a platform to support the industry in diverse ways such as using it to support emerging entrepreneurs with free airtime to play their jingles and free talk-shows in order to market their businesses,” John stressed.
On the participation of other corporate bodies in the promotion of the industry, Konteh maintained that they are not serious to come on board and promote the creative industry and maintained that if other institutions come on board it will help develop the industry.
“Whether it has to do with music, film, pageantry, talent or expedition, Africell remains in the lead in terms of supporting the industry,” he reiterated.
In other fields, Africell is said to be a major partner in the pageantry sector as it has been supporting the ‘Miss Sierra Leone’ beauty pageant over the past years. It has also contributed to the development of the media, as it supports Radio Democracy and AYV, with further support to over 20 radio stations across the country.
Africell, John Konteh maintained, is also involved in support to Sports in the country and in this sector, the company provided 2 sets of football jersey and cash to the Sierra Leone Premier League 2019 and supports the Volleyball tournament whenever it is held in the country.
“In football, the 2019 Salone Premier League was supported with each team receiving two sets of a football jersey with cash emoluments,” he said.