|Liberian rapper, scientific|
Lonestar Cell MTN has become the primary sponsor of the Liberia Music Awards. The awards will now be known as MTN Liberia Music Awards.The development is the latest move by the telecoms company at contributing to the Liberia music industry.
“We believe in the power of the youth and it is because of this reason we have overwhelmingly supported the music industry’s growth," Lonestar Cell MTN chief marketing officer Yaw Ankoma Agyapong said.
"Our support to the music industry over the years signifies our company’s commitment to helping diversify the country’s economy by empowering the music industry to become an engine of growth.”
The company says it has spent more than $500 000 in the past few years to support the growth of the music industry. The support has come from concert sponsorships and signing endorsement deals with artists. It has also become the first telecoms company in Liberia to use ringback tunes to help artists generate additional revenue from their music.
Now in its fifth edition, the Liberia Music Awards have over the years been held in the US but with the new partnership, according to Agyapong, the awards ceremony will be held in Liberia going forward, starting with its upcoming programme scheduled for 22 December.
“The partnership between the company and the award organisers is a long-term one that will have a vastly positive effect on the growth of the music industry and expose its talent to the world," Agyapong said.
“This is something we have been committed to, no matter the situation. It is our foremost responsibility to make sure that local music or the entire film industry is developed to international standards that will benefit the players."
Since signing the deal, MTN has initiated several changes, a major one being the hiring of auditing firm TD Joseph and Associates to handle the vote tallying process.
“One of our foremost priorities as part of the rebranding process is to strive for transparency in all that we do," said Joseph Junior Teah, a representative of the Liberia Music Awards. "And it was for this reason that we hired an independent firm to monitor and tally votes from SMSs and the online platform."
Cash prizes have also been added to the awards' 26 categories, which, according to some sources, will range from $5 000 to $20 000.
“Adding a monetary prize to the awards comes with lots of benefits. While I cannot disclose the amount, it will be something good,” Agyapong said.
Author: Robin Dopoe Jr