ALEX OKOSI: REVOLUTIONARY ICON SPEAKS ON CNN

Alex Okosi is the senior vice president and managing director of VIACOM International Media Networks – VIMN – (formerly MTV Networks), Africa. He front lined rapid changes in entertainment in music, youth, kids, comedy and general entertainment brands.

Okosi was on  African Voices, CNN with Nkepile Mabuse.
Here’s a recount of the interview:
When Okosi moved to the United States at the age of 12 to visit his brother who had been schooling there, unknown to him at the time, his return back to Africa wasn’t going to be any sooner. Fully aware of the power and essence of education in a young boy’s life, Alex’s brother, just before he travelled for the holiday whispered in his ears: ‘Don’t come back until you finish your education’. Not totally decided at the time, Alex would remember those reverberating words for the rest of his sojourn overseas.

Inspired by his passion for entertainment and having worked with MTV in the United States and London, he began to push forward intentions of bringing MTV Base to Africa.

For the man who sees opportunities instead of limitations – a driving force that inspired his move back to Africa – marketing African entertainment and style was his goal and this translated into his landmark achievements. Okosi managed to convince superior management that bringing MTV to Nigeria was a good sound. And then MTV successfully came to Nigeria as MTV Base in 2005 and in 2008, the first ever MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) gained entrance into Nigeria and was held in Abuja. Subsequent MAMA events were hosted in Nairobi, Kenya (Oct, 2009) and Lagos, Nigeria (Dec, 2010). Okosi revolutionized African media, inspiring content that Africans relate with, preparing the African market suitable for international standards.

Asides from being responsible for bringing MTV to Africa, Okosi pioneered the integration of a movement: Choose or lose (during the 2011 elections) to incorporate the need for young people to participate in elections. That way he believes, they will be choosing the leader that represents them, their goals and ideals. Okosi’s input towards HIV / AIDS awareness through the MTV Staying Alive Campaign and the drama series centering on relationships amongst Kenyan youths: Shuga: Love, Sex, Money, had undeniable impact, the world over.

As the epitome of success and its rewards, Okosi practically pushed his way to the top. His insistence on making sure young people develop positively – against all odds – and retain their relevance is in-depth because he is dedicated to seeing that he charts the course that will enable them see a future in themselves, with hard work and move in the direction of that future, undeterred. Okosi is that change Africa has longed for, for years and millions of Africans, the world over are grateful to have him in their generation, at this time.

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