Friday, 10 August 2012


Inspirational entrepreneur Russell Simmons is the thought leader
engaging with African youth in the latest revealing episode of MTV
Base Meets…with MTN.

*MTV Base Meets Russell Simmons with MTN* premieres on MTV
Base<>(DStv Channel 322) on Wednesday 8 August
2012 (repeats Thursday 9 August @11.00CAT and 17.00 CATand Sunday 12
August @ 20.30 CAT) and terrestrial stations across the continent,
including STV (Nigeria),
Spectrum TV (Cameroon), Viasat (Ghana), Rwanda TV (Rwanda), Swazi TV
(Swaziland), Muvi TV (Zambia) and NTV and WBS (Uganda).

The co-founder of influential hip hop record label Def Jam, *Russell Simmons
* has been described by Donald Trump as "one of the most extraordinary
entrepreneurs of our time", and has combined a hugely successful business
career with a reputation for "giving back" to communities in the US, Africa
and the Caribbean.

MTV VJ *Vanessa Mdee* and young Africans from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal,
Liberia, Kenya and Tanzania met up with Simmons in New York City earlier
this year to quiz him on his thoughts on success, money, happiness, social
activism, equality and digital media. Another topic discussed during the
relaxed interview, held on the 43rd floor of Simmons' Rush Communications
Inc headquarters, was the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), the international
non-profit organization founded by Simmons and his ex-wife Kimora that
supports education
diamond producing countries. Simmons explained how DEF programmes have
been successful in providing African youth with higher education
opportunities <>,
including leadership development and building entrepreneurial skills.

Ghanaian rapper, fashion designer and dancer *Isaac Boateng* was one of the
young entrepreneurs picked to meet with Simmons together with investment
banker *Ngozi Nwaneri* from Nigeria. They were joined by broadcast
journalist student *Sandra Nyanchoka* from Kenya, *Ayodele Alli* an
aspiring Nigeria musician, Senegalese fashion designer *Sophie Nzinga Sy*,
wannabe music mogul *Johnson Lujwanga *from Tanzania and Liberian singer
and writer *Dominique Taylor.*

First initiated in 2011, *MTV Base Meets…with* *MTN* connects African youth
with the thought leaders, opinion formers, decision makers and role models
who shape their world. Further influencers still to feature in the current
series include: Liberian supermodel *Alek Wek* (15 August), former Nigerian
head of state *Chief Olusegun Obasanjo* (22 August), Togolese international
footballer *Emmanuel Adebayor *(29 August) and South African politician and
activist *Winnie Madikizela-Mandela* (5 September).