Daniel Kojo Soboh celebrates positive male role models the next generation can look up to with a dazzling men’s event he wants to take to the rest of Africa.
Move over, Lagos and Johannesburg, Accra too has a burgeoning media and entertainment sector. A 2016 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) predicts the sector in Ghana could be worth more than $1 billion in 2019.
Proving this are events such as the Exclusive Men of The Year (EMY) Africa Awards, which last year brought together 1,000 people including some of Ghana’s top CEOs, founders and achievers. Held on Father’s Day the last two years, it spotlights businessmen who are also role models at home, a campaign Daniel Kojo Soboh, Executive Director of EMY Africa, is hoping will transform the role of men in societies across Africa.
“We did a lot of research and realized there were homes that had no positive male role models young children could look up to. We know that the father’s role is very key, so it’s very important we project some of these men who are doing so great with their family, their work and their business,” says Soboh.
The event is dedicated to celebrating men in Ghana and Soboh is looking to expand his footprint in other African countries as well.
Those awarded include previous FORBES AFRICA covers, Papa Kwesi Nduom and Joseph Siaw Agyepong, for their impact as leading business magnates and inspirational role models.
“We select people from across various industries, people whose work is impacting society positively. We wanted to present them to young people who learn about them and who can read their stories and be inspired…,” says Soboh.
His own experiences growing up in a mining area in the Western Region of Ghana with a father he looked up to helped shape his outlook.
“My father encouraged us to be anything we wanted to be so long as it was 100% legal,” he reminisces as we sit down in his office in downtown Dzorwulu, Accra.
Soboh’s dream was to become a pilot. He opted for computer science at university instead until he stumbled into the entertainment sector.
“Two years into my course, I wanted to quit because I realized it was not something I wanted to pursue. I fell in love with entertainment… I organized a lot of events so everything pointed to the fact that I was an entertainment person. I loved putting stuff together and putting smiles on people’s faces and I also loved organizing and giving people a good time.”
Soboh joined Imajin Advertising, an events company in Ghana, where he was part of organizing some of Ghana’s most successful events such as the Legends and Legacy Ball, The Stand Up GH concert, and The Ghana Stands In Worship concert. The time was right.
According to the PWC report, Ghana’s entertainment and media sector generated revenues of $685 million in 2016, representing a year-on-year- growth above 25% from its $214 million mark in 2012.
Soboh decided he wanted a chunk of this lucrative market.
“I started my own agency called Carbon AD to partake in opportunities in this growing sector. I partnered with Exclusive Men’s Magazine as a managing partner and together we created the EMY Africa Awards… The event has grown very quickly and become a household name…”
Ghana’s entertainment industry has seen significant changes over the past decade, and it has become imperative for companies like Soboh’s to continue to innovate. This relies on sponsorships, and that has not been an easy task for Soboh.
“We strive to raise the bar in terms of events in Ghana… I mean other people are doing it in Nigeria and Kenya, where they are producing state-of-the-art events and these things come at a cost,” says the man promoting exclusive men in Africa. Are they listening?