Music Business For Africa (MBA 2021): A revolutionary campaign designed for entrepreneurs and employees in the creative industry

Since time memorial; ignorance is how the players in the NMI and Africa at large have been towards creating and sustaining business models. More creatives have fallen than gotten away with operating the risque business model based on vibes stipulated within implied contracts, barely making a living while overseas counterparts with up-to-date systems make a killing of which in contrast to being Africa’s giant is a fair comparison.

 A few months earlier into the year MI Abaga was recording his positively acclaimed debut studio album ‘talk about it he was scheduled to meet for the second time the person whom he originally wanted to be his assistant manager but later turned out to be his general manager that will manage his yet to begin impressive career run at the time. At the meeting, MI said to him “Dude I am 27. I don’t have a degree. I can’t get a job at a bank. I am the first son. Responsibilities are piled. If this doesn’t work, I am f**ked” 

MI Abaga* was more concerned about making a living off his creativity which was innate but at the time felt incomplete to him for not receiving proportionate returns on creative energy invested. In layman’s terms, the artist’s music needed someone with an understanding of business processes and principles but that meeting re-introduced Godwin Tom to the music industry. 

Since then GT has gone on to manage other A-List artists spanning an eleven-year career run. According to him all thru those years one of the dominant and obvious features he noticed about the industry and its educational narrative was that they lacked the system and structure to create profitability, a theory he has been building, catering, and practicing for A list artiste who employed his services. 

Humbly, This article is not about the man GT, to know more about him you can google him and although music as a form of expression is as old as time in Africa, the business of it hasn’t quite leveled up compared to the craft such that in the whole Africa there is no accredited music business academy even though the industry is worth billions. 

Rather It’s about what the man has been doing in selfless service of the industry in curating an enabling environment, resource and structure for the benefit of potential men and women with African roots by building Music Business Academy -the biggest music and entertainment education-related project in Africa.

 In 2018 to mark his 10th anniversary of being in the game, you can say GT started with preaching the gospel of righting industrial wrongs thru his #10yearsalearner podcast (where MI debuted as the first guest). the next year he organized a one-of-a-kind talent management training powered by imanage Africa- his talent management company and Mr. Eazi’s emPawa. 

Unfortunately for 2020 in the wake of the death of one of the core engines of our music industry -Liveshows, events, and touring- the pandemic showed the dearth of music business education and its integration within the industry. 

While other advanced nations found it complex to adapt, we found it difficult to comprehend. Later that pandemic year his team announced a stellar partnership with a commercial bank to organise the first-ever music business academy session but with a widely Nigerian outlook. 

WHAT MAKES THIS YEAR’S MBA 2021 EDITION SPECIAL 

Post pandemic 2021 the Academy still stands strong with stronger alumnus like the Doble Seis team who manages Teni, Dice Ailes, etc. and strongest hopes in collaboration with local & international labels, imanage Africa, Chartmetrics- A music data analytic tool site with global insights, Musically-a global music knowledge outfit and Dr. Carlos Chirinos, associate professor of music business and director of the music and social lab at NYU Steinhardt.

 Asides from the stellar partnership, Unlike the previous first edition of 2020, this year has a total African outlook with notable African giants and global music organisations showing their support for the academy indeed and on social media starting with the #wedecidedtodoit campaign segueing to Other hashtags like the #StartHereAtMba & #MbaForAfrica21. 

Modern African music business modules and curriculum for the 2021 session are being designed and developed by Godwin Tom, Dr. Carlos, and a host of other industry professionals to cover the nooks and cranny of core industry best practices. Issued certificates also have the backing of the global platform that trains the biggest companies in the world endorsing it (certificate) to put the holder on a path of employment towards music entrepreneurship. 

You can register for the full program here or you can flexibly register per course/module in the curriculum here It will be great to see lots of African institutions reach out to the Mba team for adaptation of the curriculum into their calendars. In terms of affordability, the tuition fee has been optimized to be affordable ($300) for every African descent, compared to the global average virtual learning institution fee ( >$1000). 

A large chunk of this year’s edition will be virtual and online as facilitators will be creating digital modules for students to cover online. From the 18% female participation rate of 2020, the MBA team is dedicated to increasing the rate to 40% in 2021 by setting up the MBA for Africa ‘21 women’s fund. 

The initiative is committed to helping more women chase their dreams and creating equal opportunities for women in the industry in Nigeria and across the continent. To support or sponsor the fund, send a message to sponsorships@musicbusinessafrica.com

Overall, the program, in the fashion of a call to action, is open to anyone interested in educating themselves about how the music business works and how we can develop an ecosystem that can connect and compete with global markets and by showing your support for the need to educate and empower creative entrepreneurs across the continent. It calls for all hands to be on deck regardless of if you are in the industry or not.

 Visit: musicbusinessafrica.org & Follow @godwintom @mbacademyafrica @imanageafrica on Twitter for more info. GT stands for Godwin Tom

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