Over the past decade or thereabout, there has been a lot of positive developments in the African entertainment industry. For one, the quality of content has improved considerably, and so has the appeal/reach of said content. But most importantly, the willingness of investors to put down their money in the industry also improved. Now, stakeholders envisage even more investment, especially from foreign investors. One of these stakeholders is former Hollywood actor and current CEO of AMP Global, Derrick Ashong.
During a recent interview with Business Elites Africa, Derrick Ashong said “some artists are already standing on the global stage; Burna Boy is a good example that easily comes to mind. Already, you have global superstars like Beyoncé coming to the continent to draw some African inspiration into her own works by collaborating with amazing African talents. With all of these, African music should be a driving force in the global music industry. I do think it will get there. And I envisage much more investments being made into the African entertainment industry by some of the big global players.”
More Work is Required from African Creatives
Speaking further, he mentioned how nice it is that companies like Sony Music Entertainment and even Netflix are now paying closer attention to Africa by collaborating with African artists. However, he believes more work is required from African creatives, especially in the area of TV/film production.
“I think it’s very positive the fact that Netflix has stepped up on the continent. However, there is a lot of room for growth, particularly in the quality of the production. Every time I turn on the local television when I’m in Accra, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Mauritius or wherever I am on the African continent, the typical TV production is of a much lesser quality compared to what you will see on local TV stations say in the US or Europe. Part of this problem is due to budget constraints. But then again, it is also due to the models that have developed overtime in that the content creators and content distributors have come to the consensus that this is the standard that our audience will accept so this is what we are doing. Now, what ends up happening is that you have some wonderful talents that may never be known beyond their locality because the methodology and the infrastructure of storytelling is not at a global standard,” Derrick Ashong said.
Derrick Ashong is a major player in the global entertainment industry. Earlier in his career, he starred in a Steven Spielberg, collaborated with global music talents like Janet Jackson, worked with Oprah Winfrey and produced hit television shows for major networks like the BBC. At the moment, the Ghana-born, American-raised and Harvard-trained actor/rapper is currently helping to position African entertainment on a global stage through his startup AMP Global Technology
EDITOR’S NOTE: Read more about him by following the link below to the interview session we had with him.
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