Leave it all to Godfather

Wednesday October 30 2019

ceo

Michael Uche Ogoke, the founder and CEO of Godfather Productions. PHOTO | ANDREW I. KAZIBWE 

ANDREW I KAZIBWE
By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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Its list reads the like the who is who of East African entertainment.

Be it in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya ... and as far afield as South Africa and Nigeria, this music production house has been there, done that and come out with audio and video productions of note.

From Diamond Platinumz and AY (Tanzania) to Ykee Benda, Eddy Kenzo, Bebe Cool (Uganda), not to forget Akothee, Jaguar, and Papa Dennis (Kenya), the music production house has been at the core of music in the region – just as it counts among its productions the likes of Mr Flavour (Nigeria) and Mafikizolo (South Africa).

We are talking about Godfather Productions, which cut its teeth in South Africa, then moved north to Nigeria, emerging with successful music projects, like the 2007 music video of Do Me by Afro R&B and pop puo P-Square.

Come 2012, Godfather struck a higher and longer musical note, spreading all the way to East Africa and landing in Kenya to tap into various musical talents which were raring to go.

Now, Godfather Productions is eyeing the Rwandan music scene to uplift talents through production, management, and promotions.

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“It has been a fruitful experience throughout. One thing that we have realized is how people are willing to do something, but they just need a push, support.

With the region being peaceful, they are willing to cooperate too, which so far has been great,” explains Michael Uche Ogoke, an entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Godfather Productions.

And what a delightful experience it was for Godfather Productions.

Artists here hold unique strong voices to reckon with,” he states, then adds: “Having listened to some of the Rwandan music, then watched videos, we realised a little a little push in terms of quality production, and promotion is what is needed.”

Indeed, Rwanda is not short of talent. Nor is it lacking in opportunies for upcoming artists. However, like a discordant note in an otherwise enthralling set piece, the musicians were not making enough from their craft.

The explanation behind his is baffling but understandable: Most of these artists wait for the few local events, which are unfortunately not commercialized enough to sustain them.

To compound it all, investment in quality production and artistic management has for long been a dream, which Godfather Productions seeks to actualise.

It is not wishful thinking when Godfather talk of quality for when they worked in Nigeria, they also ventured into filmmaking, producing award winning films like Blood Hunt.

And discovered there was much more to tap into as regards production.

“That was when music television channels like MTV Base barely had African videos being played.

This prompted us into further concentration on prouction,” Ogoke explains.

Back to Rwanda, the production house has set itself a target of six months during which it will work on not just quality but also elevating Rwandan music.

Not even challenges like funding and a general timidity in the industry will deter them. What is to be done?

“Artists and record owners need to first invest in themselves before they can attract more opportunities,” Ogoke adds.

As for funding challenges, Ogoke is rather philosophical. “We don’t allow that to affect our process. We always find a way out of it,” he quips.

In short, Godfather Productions is up to the task.

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