Public Relations expert, event publicist, and entertainment critic Senanu Damilola Wemakor widely known as Dhamie has called for a conscious effort to promote Africa to make it a destination for international music tours.
The seasoned journalist made this call during a panel discussion on why Africa has been snubbed as regards tours by foreign musicians on Deutsche Welle (DW) TV’s 77 Percent show with Isaac Kaledzi.
This comment comes after Beyonce announced Africa was exempted from her world tour to promote her latest album. Performances for the tour so far are only scheduled across Europe and North America, meanwhile, Africa was initially included. Most Africans did not take it lightly as they felt all celebrities like Beyonce’, Jay Z, and others ignore Africa anytime they are embarking on a world tour.
Dhamie has admonished that collaborations Beyonce had with various African artiste gave her most of the recognition she has in Africa.
He also blamed Africa’s poor security system as well as media portrayal of African countries to the foreign world as possible factors for the exemption.
“Other factors like security are something we should look at, the kind of news they consume where they are. Africa has been positioned in a certain way in their eyes and in their media. For instance, if you start hearing news about fights in Nigeria, it is not the whole Nigeria but just a particular part it is not portrayed in that sense. So, you wouldn’t expect Beyonce’ to say she wants to go and do a show in Nigeria because she is looking at security. If you look at central Africa, even West Africa the Coups and all of that,” he stated.
He urged that other African countries should follow what Ghana is doing to get the recognition we need in foreign countries.
“Ghana is a brand that other African countries are jealous of now. I think the year of return initiatives, beyond the return has positioned Ghana and Africa in a good light. I think that other African countries should take up initiatives, and the PR needs to be strong. Whether you like it or not you can still do PR for your country, you can promote your country out there. You can run ads on foreign channels, promote the culture, and promote the food and the people. Let these westerners especially the musicians see that Africa is conducive and they can have their tours,” he advised.
He continued, “Like I’m saying Ghana is the destination now. So other African countries can also emulate this and sell their countries better. And of course, we can have a Beyonce concert, we can have a Cardi B tour, we can have a John Legend tour, and all of that. In the same way, Africans go there to tour they can also come to Africa. I don’t think it is really a big deal it is about us proving a point that we can host you. Do we have the venues? Is it a stadium show, we can host you, do you want indoor, we can host you, what do you need, we have it. so far as we are able to meet those criteria, I think we are good to go.”
Dhamie went on to add that Beyonce taking Africa out of her tour was quite disheartening “ It is quite disappointing because it is something that the world and of course Africa is looking forward to.”
“She did the “LION KING” album, it was huge and she had a lot of African artiste on it. Songs that she did with African artiste got her the Grammys. She had a song with Wizkid that got her a grammy, she had a song with Shatta Wale that got her about 50 Million views on YouTube. So, if you have that much influence and you have brought yourself to collaborating with Africa, why take Africa from your tour.”