News / Africa

Young Entrepreneurs Search for Stars in Ghana

The eighth in a series on Africa’s Rising Stars

Crew and friends mug the camera at Celebrations, a club where Moonlight Café produces RSVP, smaller entertainment venue featuring new artists. (Courtesy Moonlight Cafe)
Crew and friends mug the camera at Celebrations, a club where Moonlight Café produces RSVP, smaller entertainment venue featuring new artists. (Courtesy Moonlight Cafe)
Kobby Koomson co-founded Moonlight Café to reach out to young underground artists and discover new talent in music, poetry and the spoken word. Koomson and his partner, Sydney Sam, believe that creativity must replace financial gains as the main driver of entertainment.

“Our primary focus is to change the face of entertainment in Ghana and Africa in the medium term,” says Koomson, “because entertainment here has become more of a financial thing than for the sake of the art.

Hear how two young businessmen discover a music model
Hear how two young businessmen discover a music modeli
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

“People go into it because they have talent and they want to make money. It doesn’t come with the desire to do better than what is already there. There is less creativity.

“So we are trying to bring back the feeling of creativity in entertainment.”

Moonlight Café is born at the University of Ghana, Legon

It all began three years ago when two college freshmen, Koomson and Sam decided to turn their love of music and poetry into a public show on their university campus. And with a shoestring budget they pulled out of their own pockets, Moonlight Café was born.

Koomson describes he and his former college roommate, Sam, as lovers of music and poetry. “I used to sing a little when I was in high school and I used to dabble in poetry, too,” Koomson says.

  • A popular rapper, M’anifest, was named best rapper at the 2012 Ghana Music Awards. He sings for an enthusiastic crowd at Monlight Café event at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi.
  • The Legon branch production crew posing with Moonlight Café Ghana founders Kobby Koomson (far left) and Sydney Scout Sam (second from left). (Courtesy Moonlight Cafe)
  • Singer Vanessa performs at the Season 6 show in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi. (Courtesy Moonlight Cafe)
  • A girl from the audience dances with emcee Titus at the Season 6 show at the University of Cape Coast in Cape Coast, which opened the group’s tour of Ghana.
  • Crew and audience mug the camera at Celebrations, one of several clubs where Moonlight Café produces RSVP, a smaller entertainment venue featuring new artists. (Courtesy Moonlight Cafe)
  • Eva sings at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi on the Season 6 tour. (Courtesy Moonlight Cafe)
  • Shim performs rhythm and blues and soul music at the Kumasi show sponsored by the production company Moonlight Café Ghana. (Courtesy Moonlight Cafe)
  • A rapt audience in the social science auditorium at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi. (Courtesy Moonlight Cafe)
  • Singer Vanessa performing at the Season 6 show in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi. (Courtesy Moonlight Cafe)

One day they talked about getting start-up capital to do a show. Sam had some money to get them started. They talked about creating a platform for showcasing new talent that would be popular on college campuses.

They registered Moonlight Café with the student club at their school. “We do it for the students as part of the student club, so we don’t need to go outside campus to get any permission. If we need we get it from the school authorities,” Koomson says, “we are good to go.”

Quickly they recreated their model on two other Ghana college campuses and with teams of organizers on each campus they spread the word to audiences and potential new performers through social media and on public radio.

Koomson and Sam had ambitions beyond their college campus and Moonlight Café was quick to be reproduced on two other campuses across the country. Through social media and public radio, teams of organizers reach out to far audiences and potential performers.

“We have teams on every campus we operate on, so fundamentally the teams on campuses go around doing publicity for the artists who sign up.”

Moonlight now looks for new stars

“What we did in the first two years was to put on performers who are already known,” says Koomson. “Popular and famous artists who get people to come to the shows.

“But this year, we have realized that the show itself has gotten to a point where it gets people to come either way, so we are dropping the whole concept of using star artists.”

The new strategy is to focus on the upcoming artists so that we can build and develop their talent much better. Now they hold auditions for all of their new performers.

“It’s really social media that help us reach them,” Koomson says. “From time to time we go on radio shows and they help us go on the air to get new artists.

“And as long as the art is good and the talent is there.”

The duo helps to create the branding for new artists and their shows to give them more exposure in the growing Ghana entertainment industry. Koomson and Sam want to change the face of the country’s entertainment industry.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid