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The Gidi Culture Fest founder will head up Universal Music's Nigeria division, as the label giant makes senior appointments in Africa
By IQ on 04 Jan 2021
Chinedu Okeke, founder of promoter Eclipse Live and executive producer of ‘Coachella in Lagos’, Nigeria’s Gidi Culture Festival, has been named managing director of Universal Music Nigeria.
Reporting to Sipho Dlamini, who has been also promoted to CEO of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, Okeke will oversee the expansion of Universal Music Group (UMG)’s operation in both Nigeria and other English-speaking west African countries.
The hiring of Okeke is one of a trio of new appointments for UMG in Africa, with Elouise Kelly also joining as COO of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, similarly reporting to the newly elevated Dlamini.
The leadership appointments cement UMG parent Vivendi’s focus on growing its activities in Africa, which also include similar initiatives in French-speaking west Africa, where the company has built a string of entertainment venues and cinemas.
UMG, the world’s largest recorded music company, is itself active in Nigeria, Kenya, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, Morocco and South Africa.
“There has never been a more exciting time for African music around the world”
“There has never been a more exciting time for African music around the world,” says Dlamini, “as it continues to influence and inspire culture and creativity while reaching a wider audience globally each day through streaming.
“I am delighted to welcome both Elouise and Chin to the UMG family; their unique skills and experiences will only help to further establish UMG as a bedrock within the African music community that will continue to put the interests and opportunities for artists first and help elevate African talent to new levels of success at home and abroad.”
Adam Granite, UMG’s EVP of market development, adds: “I am thrilled to announce these strategic appointments, as we look to further develop our domestic infrastructure and label rosters within Africa. Most integral to achieving our long-term ambitions is to build a strong leadership team on the ground, with deep foundations in each country, to help grow a dynamic ecosystem for all to benefit in the future.
“Over the past few years, Sipho has shown great leadership, commitment and vision for music in Africa, helping UMG to introduce new talent to audiences around the world and identify opportunities to lead the industry in licensing and supporting new platforms to reach African music fans.
“Elouise and Chin both bring welcome new skills, proven entrepreneurship and important leadership experience that will only serve to bolster UMG’s position as the market leader across Africa.”
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