Universal Music Group has taken a step to expand its Sub Saharan Africa leadership team, announcing Sipho Dlamini and Elouise Kelly as CEO and COO of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, respectively. Also, naming Chinedu Okeke as Managing Director of Universal Music Nigeria. Adam Granite, UMG’s EVP, Market Development made the announcement, saying “I am thrilled to announce these strategic appointments, as we look to further develop our domestic infrastructure and label rosters within Africa. Most integral to achieving our long-term ambitions, is to build a strong leadership team on the ground, with deep foundations in each country to help grow a dynamic ecosystem for all to benefit in the future.
“Over the past few years, Sipho has shown great leadership, commitment and vision for music in Africa, helping UMG to introduce new talent to audiences around the world and identify opportunities to lead the industry in licensing and supporting new platforms to reach African music fans. Elouise and Chin both bring welcome new skills, proven entrepreneurship and important leadership experience that will only serve to bolster UMG’s position as the market-leader across Africa.”
Dlamini who was Managing Director will continue to oversee affairs of UMG within English-speaking Africa. After joining UMG in 2016, he played a major role in the growth of the organization, helping the increased visibility of African music globally.
He will be working with Adam Granite to identify great opportunities for talented artists to be signed to UMG.
Commenting on the announcement, Dlamini said “There has never been a more exciting time for African music around the world, as it continues to influence and inspire culture and creativity, whilst reaching a wider audience globally each day through streaming.
“I am delighted to welcome both Elouise and Chin to the UMG family, their unique skills and experiences will only help to further establish UMG as a bedrock within the African music community, that will continue to put the interests and opportunities for artists first and help elevate African talent to new levels of success at home and abroad.”
Kelly who joined from global advertising and media firm, Ogilvy will be based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and will report to Dlamini.
She is an award-winning branding, marketing, communication, and commercial business strategist with skills that will take UMG to greater heights.
Kelly in her career has worked in SABC, Top TV, Viacom International Media Networks, and M-Net.
Okeke, who is the Founder of the Gidi Culture Festival, Eclipse Live among others will head UMG operations in Nigeria