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“MTV Networks Africa and MTN have joined forces in a groundbreaking pan-African multimedia campaign designed to inspire African youth by connecting them with some of the world’s most influential personalities.
Young people the world over are gradually taking interest in national and global affairs, and are increasingly becoming vocal on issues that affect them and the world they live in.
The pan-African broadcaster and Africa’s leading mobile operator are partnering to produce MTV Base Meets…with MTN, an 8-part youth empowerment initiative and TV series that creates a dialogue between young people and the political, business and cultural leaders who shape the world today.

The intimate documentary series will allow Africa’s young minds to put probing questions to influential, inspirational and sometimes controversial individuals. Among the eminent people who will feature in the series are: Liberian President Madame Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Africa’s first and only elected female head of state), Mr Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and South African politician Mr Julius Malema (President of the ANC Youth League) and many African leaders or influencers who exercise a significant impact on the continent.
The gripping series will keep television viewers – young and old – on the edge of their seats.  A diverse panel of young people representing different youth interests will be assembled from across the African continent, with participants coming from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, among others.

Young, but well-informed, the panelists are articulate, engaging, provocative and opinionated on a range of complex subjects – be it HIV/AIDS, global warming, education, poverty, corruption or entrepreneurship.  They are fearless and have attitude. Their no-holds-barred approach will make for exciting television viewing as they fire BIG questions to the influential people whose actions and opinions have a direct impact on their lives.

African youth will be encouraged to nominate influencers and submit their proposed questions for the programme via a dedicated MTV base Meets…with MTN website or via their mobile handset. To register go to or from 10 May 2011 or follow the campaign on Twitter at #MTVMeets@MTVbaseAfrica.

MTV Base Meets…with MTN is an African localized version of the established MTV Meets… franchise and has previously interviewed influential individuals including Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Morgan Tsvangarai and Wyclef Jean. The series will air across African from 18 July on MTV base (DStv Channel 322), and on terrestrial, DTT and CATV channels including STV (Nigeria), HiTV (Nigeria), WBS (Uganda), NTV (Kenya), Canal2 (Cameroon), Muvi TV (Zambia), Zuku (Kenya), ZAP (Angola), Smart TV (Kenya) and Star Times (Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi).”

At this point you my have the following questions in mind:

What is MTV Base Meets…With MTN?
MTV Base Meets…With MTN is a groundbreaking multimedia young empowerment campaign and television series devised by pan-African entertainment platform, MTV Base, and Africa’s leading mobile operator, MTN.  The initiative creates a unique platform for African youth to ask important questions directly to important influencers and world leaders in a candid and intimate forum.
What are the key components of the campaign?
The campaign includes an 8-part TV series premiering from 18 July 2011 on pan-African TV channel MTV Base and terrestrial TV partners across Africa.  There will also be an advertising campaign on TV and other media to promote the series and youth participation in the initiative.  Interaction is a key component of the campaign so there will be lots of content on our dedicated web and mobisites as well as activity on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  To encourage young people to engage with the campaign we will be running consumer competitions in key markets offering prize hampers and one major money-can’t-buy prize (a trip for two to see Manchester United play at Old Trafford in the UK).
Why is MTV Base Meets…With MTN a good thing for African youth?
MTV Base Meets…With MTN brings African youth into direct contact with world leaders and influencers who shape their world,  giving them undreamed-of access  and the chance to communicate their interests and concerns to the people influencing their lives and futures.  No intermediaries, no filters – just real young people in a room talking with a head of state, or a business leader, or similar.  We think that it is important to give African youth this kind of platform to raise the issues that matter to them and then broadcast the answers in a TV programme that is palatable to the youth audience.
Who are the influencers featuring in the programme?
We will be interviewing 8 influencers in all for this series.  So far, we have announced Madame Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Mr Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and Julius Malema, President of the ANC Youth League.  Five further ‘influencers’ will be announced in the coming weeks.
How were the influencers chosen?
In a few cases (those episodes taped already), MTV Base has chosen the influencers – based on our knowledge of the continent and the subjects that we know our viewers are interested in.  For future episodes we are opening this up to African youth and asking them what influencers they would like to see and what questions they would like to ask them.

Are all your influencers from the African continent?
All three influences that we have announced so far are from Africa.  However we are very conscious that there are many influencers from outside of Africa whose roles and decisions impact the lives of young Africans too.  When we announce our final 5 influencers later in the campaign, I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one non-African name among them.
How were the youth panelists chosen?
Most of the panelists will be chosen by MTV Base based on submissions made by young people to our campaign website or mobisite (launching 10 May 2011).   For a few early episodes – taped before the campaign formally launched – we handpicked young people representing a wide cross section of interests, nationalities and topics, using our own contacts from around the Continent.
What countries did the youth panelists come from?
So far we have worked with panelists from Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Uganda and we expect to engage individuals from many more countries as the campaign progresses.
How many youth panelists feature in each programme?
As a rule we have 5 panelists actually in the room with the influencer but sometimes we may have questions posed by young people offsite (by video or email).
Why has MTN got behind this initiative?
MTN has a long tradition of youth empowerment and MTV Base Meets…With MTN is a powerful way of extending its support for youth empowerment.  Through this series, MTN hopes to give this growing segment of Africa’s population a bridge to connect with decision-makers through dialogue, relinquishing to the past the days when young people were relegated to the periphery of important debates in business and politics
Where and when were the interviews taped?
MTV base Meets Julius Malema with MTN interview was taped in South Africa in April 2011.  The interview with Madame Johnson-Sirleaf was filmed in Monrovia, Liberia in May 2011, and Paul Kagame will be filmed in Rwanda later this month.
What kind of questions do you expect youth be asking in the series?
So far, the question topics have covered a wide range of subjects from child soldiers and drugs to peace, leadership, education, economic inequality, nationalisation and democracy, among others.  There have also been lots of questions about the personal beliefs and careers of the influencers themselves.
Why do you think that senior politicians and heads of state are interested in featuring in this initiative?
With half of Africa’s population of 1 billion being under 35 we feel that politicians, heads of state and other influencers are well aware that they need to engage with and understand the youth audience better.  For heads of state such as Madame Johnson-Sirleaf and Mr Kagame to take this time sends an important message to young people that their thoughts and aspirations are being taken into consideration when decisions about their futures are being made.
Who is the presenter of MTV Base Meets…With MTN?
MTV Base Meets…With MTN will be presented by a number of different MTV VJs (TV presenters) including Cynthia Okpala (Nigeria) who will be interviewing President Johnson-Sirleaf, and Sizwe Dhlomo (South Africa) who has interviewed Julius Malema.

From your girl Allegro Dinkwanyane- “I’m just saying”, so have your say…


As young people will you be watching this series?

I’m a passionate writer, who enjoys writing and informing people as well as learning new things. I love sports, the arts and music. I am a sports presenter of UJfm 95.4 as well as other things. Simply put, I am a dynamic young lady who wants to bring about chnage and have an impact in both the media industry and in people’s lives.

Allegro – who has written posts on Farai Today.

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