June 3, 2014
“An African City” Major Players Talk Business, Ghana And More
Created by Nicole Amarteifo and Millie Monyo, An African City, has hit viral proportions. The YouTube sensation follows the lives of five returnees to Accra, Ghana, who are looking for love in a country ruled by men. With the success of the webseries, Nicole, Millie, and “the Ghanaian Carrie Bradshaw,â€ MaameYaa Boafo has had their work compared to HBO’s Sex and the City. The show features the talents of Nana Mensah (Sade), Marie Humbert (Makena), Maame Adjei (Zainab), and Esosa E (Ngozi) – An African City spotlights a growing entertainment hub and production capital in the Motherland.
As An African City continues to skyrocket to the top of the charts, BlackEnterprise.com sat down with the creators and actress Esosa E to talk about their respective origins, how they went after sponsorships, how the show developed into an entertainment hub in Accra, and why ladies should be wary of “The Belly Button Testâ€.
BlackEnterprise.com: When you and the team were developing the show how was it to formalize a plan of action to court sponsors? What opportunities were you willing to offer in exchange for support?
Millie Monyo: Getting organizations to sponsor anything can be a very daunting task, but it has to be done. Nicole and I literally sat down one day and wrote down every single company, brand, person, and product that came to mind and set them as our targets. When seeking sponsorship, it’s your job to find interesting ways to get people interested in what you have to say. We had to think of getting sponsors for our show as another project that needed to be completed. It’s no different than finding locations, clothing, or talent.
Nicole Amarteifio: For our sponsors, they saw the immense opportunity to align themselves with something Afropolitan and showcase themselves among an Afropolitan audience. For example, African Regent is the leading Afropolitan hotel on the continent, so our audience is the perfect fit for their offerings. With them being modern, sophisticated, classy, and undeniably African, it was only right that we attempted to work with them while producing An African City.
However, being that the series was going to be on a global platform such as YouTube, we wanted to make sure that we showcased the best of what Africa has to offer on a worldwide scale. We needed to showcase the best of what Africa has to offer in terms of fashion, such as Christie Brown, Kiki Clothing, Ameyo, Osei Duro, Afro Mod Trends, Deborah Vanessa, Unknown Collections, Afrodesiac, and Chemphe Bre. We wanted to showcase the best music from artists like Jayso, Rhian Benson, M.nifest, Samini, ChorkorHeights, Jeff Spain, Efya, and A.I.
Even with books that the characters are reading on the show were important to showcase and spotlight. Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selassi, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are just two that people should check out for themselves. The painting in Nana Yaa’s room was also sponsored to us by a Nigerian artist based in Washington, D.C. named Aniekan Udofia.
On the next page, the gang talks about Ghana’s acceptance of An African City…