<![CDATA[One of the most talented and humble players of his or any generation, 28-year-old Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah returns to ESPN to Monday Night Football for a unique journey as he takes the ESPN crew to Ghana for the first ever American Football Camp in Africa.
Radio & TV
Best international series on Showmax in June, from The Idol to Mrs. Davis to Warrior S3
Radio & TV
Comrades broadcast to set all-time SuperSport record
The 96th edition of the Comrades Marathon, set for Sunday,11 June 2023, will represent the biggest broadcast in SuperSport’s history and unique offering for viewers on DStv and GOtv.
SuperSport is the ultimate destination for Athletics fans, with an unparalleled selection of action from around the world.
Over 230 people will be involved in the broadcast, which will for the first time offer variety in how viewers consume the race with a combined 28 hours of live action.
Apart from the main 13-hour broadcast feed, which will take in much of the day’s drama and front-running action, there will be a women’s only feed on SuperSport.
With a pair of cameramen riding pillion with two motorcyclists, they will track the women’s race (05:00 CAT to 12:00 CAT) which could be very special this year: In-form Gerda Steyn, who holds the up-run record of 5hr 58 min 53 sec, will attempt to smash the 5:54:43 mark set by the incomparable Frith van der Merwe in 1989, two years before she was born.
Van der Merwe herself has said that she expects the record to fall, chiefly on account of Steyn’s speed, which was evident when she broke the up-run record in 2019.
Apart from the two main feeds, there will be an OTT feed at the finish line, perfect for the second-screen experience and for those hoping to witness friends and family completing the 87,7km race epic.
Viewers can set up their phones or laptops to stream the finish (OTT channel 246), which won’t have commentary but rather the ambient audio effects of runners finishing what is commonly known as the Ultimate Human Race.
Commentary on the 45-camera operation will be anchored by the experienced crew of Gerald De Kock, Cuan Walker, Mosibodi Whitehead and Bruce Fordyce, who lends a unique analytical voice to proceedings.
Jenna Challenor, who was so heroic in last year’s race but had to pull out this year due to illness, will also be on the SuperSport microphone and will no doubt add depth and insight into Steyn’s record attempt, and much else.
Presenters will be OG Molefe, Thato Moeng, Toks van der Linde, Candice Naidoo and Mbali Singidi. Shaun Pollock, the esteemed former SA cricketer, joins this year’s team to hand out the roses to the top 10 men and women and engage with runners at the finish venue.
Meanwhile, there is a vibrant scene-setter available on Catch Up, “Down”, a revealing documentary that tells the remarkable history of the race, first run in 1921, with last year’s event weaved in to give a modern twist to a race layered in history and heroes.
No rival can compete with SuperSport’s coverage. Our viewers on DStv and GOtv can see all their favourite Athletics stars dominating events across the world. Visit www.dstv.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream action on the DStv App.
2023 Comrades Marathon broadcast details
All times CAT
05:00: Main Feed – LIVE on SuperSport Variety 4, SuperSport Maximo 360 and SuperSport GOtv Select 2
05:00: Second Feed, Women’s Race – LIVE on SuperSport Variety 2 (and SuperSport Grandstand from 08:00)
10:00: Finish Line – LIVE on SuperSport OTT2
Radio & TV
Qing Madi steps into Spotify EQUAL Africa spotlight
Global streaming giant, Spotify, announced today that Nigerian sensation singer, Qing Madi has joined its EQUAL Africa music programme. Since her arrival on the Nigerian music scene, the multi-talented songwriter and entertainer has captivated fans with her craft, and this month, she is being recognised as Spotify’s EQUAL Africa ambassador for June.
For Qing Madi, born Chimamanda Pearl Chukwuma, music has been her only calling and her artistic genius was evident when she launched her career. at the early age of seven. At 16, she delivered, See Finish, a record that highlighted her abilities and has made her a rising star to watch.
Heavily influenced by her cultural background and the lyrical arrangements of Kendrick Lamar, the versatile Nigerian prodigy is shaping the future of music with her unique genre-bending fusion of Afrobeats, Pop, Soul and R&B.
She took the Nigerian music industry by storm when ‘See Finish’ went viral on social media and caught the attention of listeners. While Qing Madi is currently working on her debut EP, she released a follow-up single Why which further showcased her genre-blending ability as she combined smooth R&B vocal texture, Dancehall cadence, and Afrobeats melodies and lyrics to create an infectious song.
Qing Madi joins other Nigerian artists, Tiwa Savage, Ayra Starr, Asa, and FAVE as part of EQUAL Africa, which aims to spotlight and amplify the voices of talented female artists making waves in the music scene. In addition, it amplifies their music by exposing their catalogue to global listenership.
“We are proud to welcome Qing Madi to the EQUAL programme, and we’re so excited to see how her talent continues to take her from strength to strength. We hope by shining a light on talent like hers, we can inspire a new generation of creators,” says Spotify’s head of music for sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu.
Qing Madi says “As a female in the male dominated industry, I have to work a million times harder to be seen and heard. Being part of the Equal programme is an opportunity as a female to be visible globally and to grow my fanbase.”
With more young female stars like Ayra Starr, FAVE, Ria Sean, and Bloody Civilian breaking into the mainstream, Qing Madi is positioned to be the next young female talent to take her music to a bigger audience and Spotify is set to assist her in her goal through its EQUAL Africa Program.
Check out Qing Madi’s single Why on the EQUAL Africa playlist, and get to know more about her with our artist Q&A below:
1. What is that one surprising thing your fans might not know about you?
That I am bilingual. I speak Spanish and Igbo as someone that was born, bred and raised in Nigeria. More so, I am currently learning Mandarin. One more thing, I am obsessed with learning to the point where I do it unintentionally.
2. When did you realise that making music was in your destiny and what is your WHY for pursuing this craft?
Music for me wasn’t just a talent or an ability that I had. Not something that I was able to do, it was a life I wanted to live. A feeling that I wanted to express. Music is my shallow thoughts spoken loudly. It is my comfortable and confident space as a teenager. I knew it was my destiny from the first time I climbed on stage and held the microphone at seven years old. Something about being in charge of millions of people and being heard.
My why is easy. Growing up antisocial, it has been hard to justify my feelings and emotions, and music was a safe haven for me, and I believe so many people are still seeking theirs. As a 16-year old teenager, I want to be who they listen to when they seek peace.
3. Which African songs or artists did you grow up listening to?
Tiwa Savage, Davido, Burna Boy and Wande Coal.
4. To someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe the sound, tone, and style?
Afro, R&B, and a limitless sense of emotion.
5. Any advice for someone dreading following their dreams?
Deafen your ears to the crowd and begin. Nothing begins unless you just start.
Radio & TV
Guest Blog: TV3 ‘Brings’ Big Brother to Ghana?
TV3 entered the media sphere on October 1 in 1997 and since that time it’s been peerless on the television scene. The Kanda-based TV station ain’t just “first in news” and “best in entertainment”, but it is “first” and “best” in virtually everything in relation to television broadcasting (and I am talking about Ghana, not the whole wide world).
TV3 is currently so far ahead that by the time the other television stations operating in Ghana match its ‘level’, the world would have probably come to an end. Apparently, the other TV stations are just mere statistic, lagging behind like a “tortoise” racing a “cheetah” (no disrespect, please. I am only stating the obvious).
Over the years, the TV network has established itself as the home of ‘original’ TV programming in the country. Whereas the other TV channels mostly telecast imported TV shows and/or TV contents from independent TV production companies (not forgetting the relaying of signals from international broadcasters viz. Aljazeera, BBC, DW TV, et al.), the folks at TV3 have invested in creating, developing, packaging and producing their own TV formats/concepts, albeit often ‘copied’ from other foreign TV programmes. Adesa Productions Limited (APL) was actually set up to oversee and handle all ‘original’ television productions at TV3.
In recent times, the team at TV3 has found its mojo for producing enthralling and entertaining TV shows (especially relationship/dating programmes), that keep increasing the number of eyeballs for the channel, making it the most viewed TV station in Ghana today.
In their quest to continue drawing big TV ratings, TV3 rolled out yet another compelling dating TV show called “Perfect Match Xtra” (PM Xtra) about a fortnight ago. PM Xtra is the sequel to TV3’s blind date show “Perfect Match”, which premiered last year on the network. Unlike “Perfect Match”, PM Xtra houses the participants together in a residential facility with rotating cameras/microphones capturing and picking every activity and sound in the house, à la Big Brother.
A 24-hour online streaming platform has been created to stream the show live for those interested in watching what the housemates are up to in the PM Xtra house. In addition to this, there are daily slots allocated to broadcasting the live feed on TV3 (Media General should ‘sacrifice’ Onua TV for the 24-hour live feed. LOL.).
A Copycat Version of Big Brother?
It’s no denying the fact that TV3’s PM Xtra reality dating TV show bears the imprint of internationally acclaimed Dutch reality TV franchise, Big Brother. And any first time viewer might even mistake it for “Big Brother Ghana” (this version of Big Brother doesn’t currently exist though).
However, the Big Brother show itself is not an original TV concept. The idea for Big Brother stemmed from the “1991 Biosphere 2 experiment” in the Arizona desert (U.S.A.), in which 8 men and women discovered how ‘hellish’ it is to live together inside an airtight glass and steel geodesic dome, that sought to replicate the Earth’s environment.
Big Brother was also inspired by MTV’s “The Real World” which first aired in 1992. This MTV show pioneered the concept of putting “strangers” together for an extended period and recording the drama that ensued.
Moreover, the idea of introducing a 24hr/7 live streaming video on the Big Brother show was highly influenced by “Jennicam.org” (defunct since December, 2003). JenniCam was a popular website created by Jennifer Ringley (now known as “Jennifer Johnson”), an American college girl who became an “internet celebrity” in the late 90s and early 2000s after installing video cameras in her college room to share her daily activities with “web watchers” and “netizens”.
That’s not all, the term “Big Brother” was even taken from George Orwell’s dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (often published as “1984”), with its theme of continuous oppressive surveillance.
So clearly, ’tis not a big deal at all for the producers of PM Xtra to ‘copy’ some aspects of Big Brother or draw inspiration from it.
The PM Xtra Housemates
When TV3 announced that they were going to launch PM Xtra, some of us were hoping to see new faces on this new TV show. “Everyone deserves love” and there are a myriad of people out there searching for their “perfect match”.
But on that day, some former contestants of “Date Rush” (TV3’s other dating show) were the ones inducted into the PM Xtra house as housemates, much to the disappointment of some viewers (including yours truly).
Even if the organisers wanted to select persons who had taken part in the other dating shows on TV3, it should have been those youngsters who partook in “Perfect Match” last year and got “partners” from the show. After all, this is “Perfect Match Xtra” (PM Xtra)!
If this new show was created to feature “Date Rushers” (people who have taken part in Date Rush), then it should have been named “Date Rush Xtra” (DR Xtra). And this would automatically be the “Part 2” of Date Rush, such that if lovers met on Date Rush and afterwards proved to be in a serious amorous relationship, these “Date Rush couples” would subsequently be housed together with other couples from Date Rush to compete for “best couple prize”.
Considering how very popular Date Rush is, this TV concept too would be another hit show on TV3. There is absolutely no need for a sequel to “Perfect Match” because it is not highly acclaimed as “Date Rush”. It’s only advisable to do a sequel to a TV show if and only if it becomes successful and received rave reviews from the public and/or critics.
The team handling PM Xtra must go back to the drawing-board and “review” this PM Xtra format for next season. It is not too late to make changes to it after the maiden edition.
The PM Xtra House and Happenings therein
TV3 and the show’s sponsors no doubt lacked the wherewithal and big budget to construct a plushy home like the ones we have seen in the various editions and versions of Big Brother screened in different countries across the world. Nonetheless, they deserve a big pat on the back for putting up such an ‘elegant’ housing structure, which looks quite comfy and squeaky clean.
Looking at the live images, I wish the production team could add more cameras so viewers get to see the live feed from more different angles, especially in the bedroom, which looks too small for 10 housemates (the weekly eviction will eventually reduce the number of housemates). The 9 or so cameras in the house are not enough for this kind of elaborate television production. At least, 15 cameras would suffice.
Still on the bedroom, I think the organisers should have gone in for “double beds”, one for each couple. As a matter of fact, those bunk beds in there really make the whole bedroom looks like a dormitory for high school students (free SHS “fuor”! LOL.).
And instead of hanging long boom microphones from the ceiling like chandeliers to pick up sounds from the house, the production team ought to get tiny high-tech microphones that are invisible to camera, like the ones installed in the Big Brother house. The body mics the housemates always don not sufficient to be picking up sounds for TV.
The crew in the master control room (MCR) have been trying very hard to rotate the cameras in a way not to capture those hanging boom mics in the house, but oftentimes the rotating cameras betray them. I am just praying that the microphones don’t fall on any of the housemates.
Besides, I have been wondering why there are no cameras and microphones fixed at the lounge area of the house, knowing very well that the housemates would be spending time there every Friday night. Seeing TV3 cameramen in the background busily filming the housemates as they “party” all night just doesn’t look good on TV.
So far, the show has witnessed some squabbles and dramas, which mostly originated from the Date Rush show. Some of the housemates have a history together which dates back to Date Rush, and so, if you place these same characters under the same roof, issues from that past would surely crop up.
Right from the outset of the show, my ‘worry’ has always been how the housemates are inundated with excessive supply of food items to the extent that they take gleeful delight in wasting them, something they would not do in their individual homes.
For this reason, a limited ration of food must be provided to add a “survivalist” element to the show, just as it is sometimes done on Big Brother. The housemates must be starved like “prisoners of war” from time to time, or better still, the organisers should build a “piggery” near the PM Xtra house so as to be carting the tonnes of surplus food generated in the PM Xtra house to this facility.
Is it possible for the production team to install cameras in the bathroom for “shower hours” like Big Brother? This is definitely tongue-in-cheek, chale!
Since PM Xtra (Perfect Match Xtra) is the continuation of “Perfect Match”, I was expecting that Helen Appiah-Ampofo, who had hosted the maiden edition of “Perfect Match”, would be asked to take charge of the “-Xtra” edition too.
Another on-air TV3 personality I thought could also effortlessly host PM Xtra was AJ Akuoku-Sarpong, who had shown at her previous workplace (Citi FM/TV) that she has the gravitas to handle dating/relationship programmes.
Surprisingly, TV3 opted for Thiery Nyann and Adwoa Noella or Noella Donkor (as she now wants to be called) as hosts of PM Xtra. Honestly, these two were simply not up to the task. Thiery and Noella were such a colossal flop that AJ (the “Radio Princess” herself) had to be brought in last Saturday to salvage the show.
Thiery may be good at presenting sports programmes on TV3, but hosting a dating/relationship show is just not his forte. If TV3 ever create a sport reality show (like MTN Soccer Academy which used to air on Metro TV), they could ask him to host it.
For Noella Donkor (Adwoa Noella), she is still a budding TV presenter and must “understudy” her seasoned colleagues like Berla Mundi and Anita Akua Akuffo. She often seemed overwhelmed and tongue-tied on the show, which is a clear indication that PM Xtra is beyond her. TV3 shouldn’t ‘rush’ this lass who looks very promising on the media scene. Asking Noella to host a TV show of that magnitude is just like placing a “deep freezer” on the head of a “teenager”.
By: Eugene Selorm Owusu
Radio & TV
BBC World Service relaunches flagship shows in Africa with renewed editorial vision
New episodes of Dira ya Dunia, Focus on Africa TV and Focus on Africa podcast will air from 5 June 2023 on BBC News TV channel, BBC World Service radio and media partner channels. Focus on Africa TV, presented by Waihiga Mwaura, and Dira ya Dunia, with Roncliffe Odit, will build on the use of digital storytelling methods in the programmes, including the introduction of explainers, to help break down complex news topics with in-depth analysis, context and insight.
The new Focus on Africa podcast will continue to diversify the range of opinions coming out of Africa, and offering more context behind African news and current affairs. From 5 June, the podcast will replace Focus on Africa radio.
BBC News Africa will continue to hold power to account, and amplify African voices and a wide range of perspectives across its programming.
The changes support the BBC World Service’s plan to create a modern, digital-led and streamlined organisation that drives the most value and delivers more for audiences.
Mehvish Hussain, Executive Editor, BBC News: “The way audiences are seeking news is evolving and so are we. With the BBC’s trusted brand and our deep understanding of Africa, we are uniquely positioned to provide audiences with the independent news and analysis they need to make informed decisions about their lives. These changes mean they will be able to watch and listen when and where it suits them.”
Alice Muthengi, Editor, Focus on Africa: “We are thrilled to unveil the refreshed Focus on Africa TV and podcast to audiences. Our incredible production teams have worked hard to create new and engaging content that will provide our audiences with more value than ever before. Focus on Africa will be closer to our audiences, providing more than just headlines, and putting African voices at the heart of our programmes.”
Athuman Mtulya, Editor, Dira ya Dunia: “For decades, Dira ya Dunia has been a trusted source of news for millions of listeners in East and Central Africa, as well as diaspora audiences. We have brought quality news to audiences in Swahili, evidence of BBC News’ unique multilingual broadcasting offer globally. As the new editor, I look forward to bringing our audiences a more in-depth, more engaging, and more relevant show than ever before. We want to ensure that we focus on stories that are representative of our audiences.”
BBC News current digital weekly reach in Sub-Saharan Africa is 15 million people, and has been a trusted source of news for millions in the region and the diaspora. It has a strong digital offer on multiple platforms which the programming refresh will build on.
Viewers and listeners will be able to access the programmes through BBC News TV channel, BBC World Service radio and via media partner channels across Africa.
Where can audiences find our programming?
- Focus on Africa TV will continue to broadcast on BBC News channel at 1730 GMT and media partner channels on weekdays (Monday-Friday).
- Focus on Africa podcast will be available via BBC World Service radio at 1500 and 1900 GMT on weekdays (Monday – Friday). You can also listen on global podcast platforms at 1500 GMT, and on BBC Sounds.
- Dira ya Dunia will broadcast at 1800 GMT via media partner channels across Africa on weekdays (Monday – Friday).
Radio & TV
Empire FM pairs Joe Kumi with Hertilicious on Empire Drive
The hottest late afternoon show in the Oil City , Empire Drive takes a different twist this time as Hertlicious pairs up with Joe Kumi.
The introduction of Hertilicious on the show comes as exciting news as she has cemented her name and craft in the Takoradi media space .
She brings on board a new energy of charming engagement coupled with smooth voice of Joe Kumi , which promises to offer more fun on radio .
Hertilicious since her entry in the mainstream media three years ago has proven her growth to blossom into a household name.
Her new role , would add a whole new vibe to urban Radio in the Western and Central regions since Empire Fm has remained the undisputed leading urban brand in recent times and always noted for introducing innovations to delight its numerous listeners and followers .
Starting June 1st 2023, tune in to the leading urban radio in the western region , Empire Fm 102.7 from 2:15pm till 5pm every week day to experience this blend of the 2 exciting drive hosts , Joe Kumi and Hertylicious .
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