CultivARTe: Viacom Africa Country Manager Speaks on Starting Career in Entertainment
Country Manager, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, Bada Akintunde-Johnson and a number of the key industry leaders and dignitaries mentored and inspired hundreds of attendees who gathered at The Podium, Lekki on Friday, June 28 2019 for the maiden edition of the one of a kind day conference, CultivARTe.
The show was organized by Amin Ameen and Mofe Ade, two individuals dedicated to supporting the lives of young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Designed to create systems for growth by laying the adequate foundation for the development of African human capital, the CultivARTe was hosted by Lamide Akintobi and featured some of the industry leaders in the creative space.
The industry leaders and mentors include: Tokini Peterside (Founder+Director ArtX Lagos), Abayomi Awabokun (CEO/MD Enyo Retail), Jameelah Sharrief – Ayedun (CEO/MD Credit Registry) and Fareed Arogundade (Founder, Workstation).
Others on the panel are Lisa Folawiyo (Founder + Creative Director JewelByLisa), Nwanda Ajene (Executive Marketing Professional), Jolami Tumara (Director of Developer Programs, Andela) and Ade Shokunbi (Creative Director PWDC + Architect).
While all the speakers delivered very informative and riveting speeches, Bada Akintunde Johnson’s speech and contributions during the panel session definitely has to be one of the more enlightening portions on the show. One of the insightful notes Bada shared was in relation to the business of making entertainment content and how his brand, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN Africa) has been able to keep the lights on for so long. Here’s what he said:
“For a company that spends $6 billion in creating content globally, operating in a tough business climate like Nigeria and not having the opportunity to make some of that money back can be frustrating. It can be the reason some companies want to discontinue the business in Nigeria, not us. What keeps Viacom going is that connection to young people and the potential we see to inspire them. Most of our brands actually speak to people from ages 0 – 30. For instance, Nickelodeon covers from age 0-14 while MTV Base will cover from 14-30 and we also have the international MTV brand, BET and Comedy Central.”
Bada also talked about the importance of giving young talent the opportunity for expression, especially Africans. He also discussed why its is crucial to have all the right hands on deck for any project. He had this to say about this topic:
“The opportunity to give Africans the chance to tell their stories differently from how the rest of the world understands is also what keeps us going. In relation to what he looks for in hiring people he had this to say “In business, you will be shooting yourself in the head by seeing someone who can offer solutions to your business problems and choosing someone who can’t. The stakes are so high, you have to just deliver. This is why I look for competence while hiring new talent as well as massive conviction and most importantly, value. When you come into any conversation and make it obvious that money is your driving force, it will turn people away because it limits the extent you can add value.”
Many other practical and cautionary nuggets were shared during the course of the event . There were also numerous opportunities for networking at the eye opening event for creative and business minds alike, Granted the success of this first edition, it is safe to say that CultivARTe is on its way to becoming a staple conference on the Nigerian creative and business networking scene.