Accepted Paper:

A media entrepreneur and his fans in Mali  


Ute Röschenthaler (JGU Mainz)

Paper short abstract:

At the example of a popular radio presenter in Bamako, the capital of Mali, this paper explores entrepreneurship in the organization of cultural events and the creation of media products. It analyses the story of this media entrepreneur, his aspirations and approach that has attracted a large female audience.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores entrepreneurship in the organization of cultural events and the creation of media products in Bamako, the capital of Mali. It focuses on one personality that has been particularly successful in this domain and analyses his story, aspirations and entrepreneurial approach. Mande Massa (his artist name) began in the 2000s to work with independent radio stations and gained popularity with a broadcast on family issues that he called Baroni and which is a form of radio theatre in episodes and enacts daily problems and issues that arise in a polygamous family. Mande Massa's audience is predominantly female, and he highlights their worries publicly in the media. His success convinced him to found his own media production company which enabled him to create his own media products independently. His popularity even increased, when he began to organize annual concerts and produced cloth decorated with the images of his radio theatre team, which his fans buy and wear at the concert. I argue that for understanding the success of Mande Massa several conditions were important: a social and political environment which encourages individuals to become entrepreneurs, the skill to develop a vision for the needs and desires of a large group of people (in this case young women) and the ability to conform to social expectations in such a way that his entrepreneurial activity is accepted and appreciated to enhance society and culture.

Panel P112
Cultural entrepreneurs in Africa: endeavors, constraints and pathways of success (EASA Africanist Network)