Ms Madikizela-Mandela joins previously announced 'influencers', Senegalese-American R&B and Hip Hop artist Akon, Hip-Hop pioneer and entrepreneur, Russell Simmons, South Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek, His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, and Togolese international soccer star and Manchester City striker, Emmanuel Adebayor.
MTV Base Meets Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with MTN was recorded on Monday 16 July at her home in Soweto, with MTV Base VJ Sizwe Dhlomo and a panel of young people from across the continent. The episode featuring Ms Madikizela-Mandela will premiere to 50 countries across Africa on Wednesday 5 September 2012.
The news of Ms Madikizela-Mandela's involvement comes as MTV Base prepares to screen the first episode of the new series of MTV Base Meets…with MTN on 1 August 2012 on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322). The special "Best of" episode pinpoints the best highlights from Season 1, which featured leading figures from the realms of entertainment, politics, fashion and sport, including Nobel Prize laureate and President of Liberia, Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, Grammy-winning R&B artist Alicia Keys, controversial South African politician Julius Malema and legendary musician and activist Hugh Masekela.In each episode of MTV Base Meets…with MTN, ambitious young Africans from all walks of life pose hard questions to high-profile "thought leaders" about issues close to their hearts – in an intimate and informal environment, with no questions off-limits. Topics on the agenda include entrepreneurship, education, youth culture, politics, sport, racism, gender issues and the African Renaissance. To date, youth panellists asking the questions have included students, journalists, bloggers, models, comedians, actors, musicians, humanitarian campaigners and poets.
As part of the initiative, MTV Base and MTN are running a pan-African competition offering viewers the chance to appear in the final episode of MTV Base Meets…with MTN. Eight young people will win an all-expenses paid trip to meet with Akon in the USA in September 2012.
Speaking on behalf of MTV Base, Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, commented, "In today's competitive business and economic environment, it is vitally important to provide strong role models, heroes and mentors to help young people achieve their goals. MTV Base Meets…with MTN aims to inspire and motivate young Africans to understand that they are key drivers in ensuring a brighter future for our continent."
Commented Jennifer Roberti, Executive for Group Marketing, MTN, "MTN got involved with this initiative last year at a time when there was a real need to bring youth and leaders together in open dialogue and debate. We still believe in the transformative power of giving young people on the continent this kind of forum. As the leaders of tomorrow, it's not always about finding agreement. Sometimes questioning and challenging can be just as educational and inspiring. As MTN, we believe that when we connect people and ideas, we are creating platforms for better understanding and a common ground."