By Harold Kapindu
Behind every great artist’s success there is a great manager. Gwamba and Nesnes are arguably the most successful young artists in Malawi at the moment thanks to the brains behind their management, Edward Kankhomba.
Popularly known as Wado, Kankhomba is a Blantyre based successful young businessman. He runs Prime Time Media (PTM), a company that commercializes youth businesses in creative arts. Originally, Prime Time Media started in 2006 as 10plusten Links, and rebranded into a media production unit. It is registered with the Registrar of Companies under license number 160351 in February 2013 as a sole proprietorship.
Currently, it is located at Ginnery Corner, Kidney Crescent, UTI Building in Blantyre. PTM has signed three Youthful artists: Duncan Zgambo (Gwamba), Kelvin Khuzumba (Nesnes), Happy Mguza (King Chambiecco) and the Soul Raiders Band.
In November 2013, Nesnes was featured on “Bola Kusache” a song by labelmate, Gwamba. It became Malawi’s biggest song of 2013 amassing more than 10,000 downloads within a short stint.
A former Story workshop and Power FM 101 radio employee, Kankhomba says his company’s vision is to become a diverse media production company in Malawi and sub-Saharan region.
“In 10 years to come we would like to have Prime Time Media as a very successful business in the creative arts that would be a part of a very vibrant African entertainment industry that supports creative arts and offer quality media products,” he said.
Kankhomba added that through this business, PTM would like to see many young talented artists earning a living through arts.
“It is very frustrating to see talented artists not getting paid for their hard work. We have a poor structure of marketing our art. As PTM we are working hard to change the system of managing and marketing art in Malawi,” he said.
He boasted that all PTM artists are protected to avoid being abused and being involved in dubious deals.
“Most Malawian artists are ignorant on how the music industry operates so they are usually manipulated by the corporate world. PTM artists are registered by Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) and we follow a well documented system when booking them for shows,” he added.
Two of PTM artists, Gwamba and Nesnes both successfully launched their respective albums namely Kudutsa Pakhoma and Nthawi Yakwana at Lilongwe Golf Club on 21 September 2014 and at Robins Park in Blantyre on 18th October 2014.
With U Got Dance Moves and Miss Warm Heart of Africa being some of the major events that PTM has hosted, Kankhomba says the management of this firm has people with considerable experience in media production as one of its strengths.
“Being the founder and Managing Director, I started this business in 2006 on a part-time basis as an entertainment promoter and have since scaled up the operations of the business as I am now working fulltime,” he narrated.
However, the PTM boss bemoaned lack of resources to expand the company across Africa, saying this has also attributed to having a small list on the company’s roster.
“We are moving slowly but we are hopeful that we shall reach the Promised Land. Everything successful starts with humble beginnings. We have a strong working relationship with local print and electronic media and we are working hard to break boarders,” he said.
On the company’s succession plan, Kankhomba says It is the intention of Prime Time to grow into a formidable force should favourable conditions prevail.
“As it grows, it will diversify and register as a limited company moving from sole proprietorship at that stage shares. Appropriate recruitments of agents will be made, a Board of Directors will be appointed with the current Managing Director becoming the Chairman of the limited company,” he explained.
Kankhomba is not a stranger in youth awareness and empowerment programmes. He has advocacy an advocacy background on his belt.
“I am part of the Ambassador’s youth council where we advise the ambassadors on what youth areas to focus on and support. I once served young people in two boards: National Youth Council of Malawi and National Aids Commission. This gave me an opportunity to interact with youth groups on the ground that I consulted and report to before and after board meetings,” explained Kankhomba.
Kankhomba also formed Stars Aware Initiative, a grouping of local celebrities. Stars Aware held workshops with local celebrities grooming them on how to use their influence to reach out to their fans and celebrities hold free concerts that encourage their fans to go for HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC).