It’s almost becoming a cliché, if it already hasn’t, that Zylofon Media is synonymous with ‘signings.’ “Zylofon should sign this person! Why won’t Zylofon acquire this/that? Zylofon needs to invest in that!” are some of the many pleas that people throw at the gold steps of Zylofon Media.
For many, Zylofon Media deserves every good thing, or needs to partner every fledging endeavour in the industry. That’s positive. At least, people see in the capabilities of a young company, with a heart of gold, or so it may seem, showing huge interest in investing in the creative arts industry.
Zylofon Media announced their presence last year by partnering Ghana Movie Awards. Their investment/involvement was huge, as many wondered what they had seen in a seemingly unattractive awards scheme, one saddled with organisational flaws and controversies, year in year out.
The company, an off shoot of MenzGold, a gold investment company, has a complete creative arts agenda.
Artistes that Zylofon media has signed so far are Kumi Guitar, Becca, Stonebwoy, Joyce Blessing, Obibini (all musicians) and actors James Gardener, BenedictaGafah, Bibi Bright, ZynellZuh and Too Sweet Annan. Just last week, they inaugurated their Kumasi office, and I gather a Tamale office is in the offing, so also are their radio and television stations.
The Cynicism Surrounding Zylofon
Barely a year in the industry, the company has been able to make a mark, one that easily cements a recall among industry players, and outsiders alike. That’s another positive! But there are equally many who are quite cautious in buying into what Zylofon is doing. For them, Zylofon seems to be doing too many things at the same time, with too much already on their plate.
Some industry players believe the investments of Zylofon may crash because they fear the company cannot recoup the monies they are investing in the artistes and the sector as a whole. Does that suggest there isn’t money in the industry? Does that bode ill for a company that seeks to invest in the core aspects of every creative industry such as creative arts production, marketing and promotions, event management, and talent grooming and management?
Or the cynicism seems self-inflicted? That Zylofon has positioned itself as a super-rich company, with all the largesse to spread across. Even if that is the corporate positioning, it is up to them to live it, and maintain, or? Is that why some are calling for the company to be probed? For showing a high sense of investment? An investment, I can say may be a fraction of what others invest in other sectors of the economy? Is it that the creative industry is so starved to the extent that any investor seems to be ignorant of what to use their monies for? At least crediting them with some iota of sense is just appropriate.
Killing the Investor Dream
Have we wondered why sponsorship has become a big deal in the industry? Haven’t we all been on a wailing agenda, crying over the ‘influx’ of foreign content in the multimedia space? Award schemes spring up and die overnight. All because sponsorship is a big deal!
Corporate Ghana has lost interest in the creative industry. Fact. Check why your favourite programme isn’t airing. Find out why your cherished award scheme has fizzled out. Have you wondered why your favourite musician is struggling to make a hit and stage shows? Ask yourself why you won’t put your hard earned cash in the creative industry!
Our actions, as industry players is a major factor. We talk too much. Yes, we do. If the talking wasn’t a killjoy, it would be good, for it is good to talk. But we specialise in that aspect that seek to bring down people, sometimes even to the extent of defaming others. Mrs.Bawumia visits India, calls on industry players in Bollywood, and that’s the worst thing she did to kill the Ghanaian film industry? And you have know-how influencers who wield the power to interview her, before launching attack, attacking?
Do we think, the Second Lady will ever arrogate herself the will to even help the sector in any capacity? This is how we have killed many promising initiatives in Ghana. And we all cry aloud why Miss Ghana appears “dead”? Those old enough will now appreciate how Pioneer Tobacco Company with their Embassy brand held the pageant. With the mantra of: “companies are only interested in bikini ladies and not other ‘worthy’ causes” is what has left us with what we have today.
But the Dream is On
There is hope. I am very certain. At least Zylofon is taking that big risk. And I know they are more than happy these few months they have associated with the arts. Why? As a communication person, I see how Zylofon Media has repositioned the parent company MenzGold. If for nothing, the company has become very visible. Their radio adverts easily have recall now. As an arts writer, I have a sudden interest in a gold investment company. I see how the expensive artistes signed onto Zylofon are intrinsically becoming brand associates of MenzGold. At least, I see Becca and Stonebwoy proudly grace the bill boards of the MenzGold.
I bet you will want to check how much it cost the MTNs, Glos and other companies to have ambassadors. I see a company that won’t struggle to undertake any corporate social responsibility. Any positive act from their artistes has a trickle-down effect on them. And their entertainment budget is also sorted, if you do understand. Whoever says investing in the arts and entertainment industry anywhere in the world isn’t worth it? You may not just know how!