NEWLY-APPOINTED director of Africa at Sony Music UK, Taponeswa Mavunga says she is proud of Zimbabwean artistes who market the country’s talent through collaborations with other African artistes.

BY Freeman Makopa

Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, Mavunga said there was need to continue supporting artistes, as there is a lot of talent in the country, which has seen local artistes working with those from Nigeria and South Africa.

“I am proud of so many Zimbabwean artistes who have accomplished incredible things to represent the country. Jah Prayzah collaborating with some of Africa’s biggest stars Davido and Yemi Alade from Nigeria, Mafikozolo from South Africa and Tanzania’s Diamond too is no small thing,” she said.

“Mutare’s ShaSha winning a BET award for Best International Newcomer is no small thing, so I’m excited to see what the future has in store. There is so much talent in our country, we just need to continue to support each other, collaborate with each other and be committed to building an industry.”

Mavunga, who will report directly to Jason Iley, chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK and Ireland said she was excited to be appointed to the position at a time the global cultural landscape was changing.

“At this moment, when the global cultural landscape is changing so rapidly, I’m excited to play my part in the black cultural renaissance. My passion for Africa and African music is unwavering and I look forward to impactful collaborations and partnerships. I’m grateful to Jason for the vision that led to the creation of this role. I also thank Ferdy and all of Columbia for five extraordinary years and I’m delighted to continue my work with them and the wider Sony family in this next chapter,” she said.

Mavunga will be responsible for amplifying UK-signed artistes across Africa, as well as supporting artistes within Africa to develop relationships, identify opportunities and increase visibility in the UK. She will work closely with Mark Collen (EVP of UK International), the Sony Music UK labels and Sony Music Africa on artiste strategy and will be the UK gateway for identifying local talent and opportunities within the region.

She joined Sony Music as head of publicity for Columbia UK in 2015, where she oversaw Press strategy across the label’s roster and spearheaded campaigns for artistes including Childish Gambino, Koffee, Wizkid, Davido and Rosalia.

Mavunga was head of talent and music for Viacom Africa working on MTV Base, BET Africa and Nickelodeon channels. She also worked on the 2015 edition of the Mamas (MTV Africa Music Awards) hosted in Durban. Prior to that, she was at Atlantic Records for more than 15 years and worked on artiste campaigns including Ed Sheeran, JAY Z, Rudimental and Sean Paul.
In a Press statement, chairman and CEO, Sony Music UK and Ireland, Jason Iley, expressed satisfaction over Mavunga’s appointment, adding that she had vast experience working with African artistes.

“Tapi is a passionate, forward-thinking executive who has a clear vision for the future. She has an incredible relationship with artistes and there is no one more suited to represent Sony Music UK in Africa’s accelerating market. Tapi’s first-hand experience of working in African music and entertainment and her enthusiasm to connect artistes locally and globally is unmatched.”

Managing director, Sony Music Entertainment Africa Sean Watson said Mavunga understood why bridges between the markets are key to growing the business.

“Tapi has long been one of the most passionate champions in the UK of our African artistes, so to have her working more closely and formally with the African team at Sony Music is fantastic! Tapi understands why bridges between our markets are key to growing the business, whether promoting African artistes outside of the continent or helping global artistes find new growth opportunities in Africa,” he said.

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