She is the winner of the Trophées des Français de l’Etranger organized by lepetitjournal.com in the category “Former students of French high schools”. Meet.
The founder of VoxAfrica, Rolande Kammogne, is one of the young African leaders whose voice speaks.Declining an opportunity on Wall Street to “accept an internship at Killer Films: an independent film production company” that bears a name: vocation. At the head of VoxAfrica and Executive Producer of “The Voice Francophone Africa”, this young woman gives Africa the means to think, think and thus write his own story. In a globalized world where yet many untruths relating to the continent persist;through his initiatives, Rolande Kammogne “has given himself the mission of presenting this plural and real image of the continent” making television, a media of entertainment, edification and construction of the ego and superego of Africa. What else?
Can you introduce yourself ?
My name is Rolande Kammogne, I am the founder of VoxAfrica, Executive Producer of “The Francophone Africa Voice” of pan-African television VoxAfrica. I am 35 years old I am of Cameroonian origin.
For many girls you are a model role. Does that put extra pressure on your shoulders or on the contrary does it galvanize you?
I have no pressure because precisely, the most important thing is to be useful because when locked in a canvas, it becomes difficult to maintain it. So everyday, we simply try to do what we love and be useful to society.
You did part of your schooling in a French school in Africa. In this sense, what did the French school bring you?
The French school is a school that gave me the opportunity to be in an international environment from my home town. I had the opportunity to attend children of different nationalities: France, Spain, Italy, and Africa. This cultural diversity is the basis of what I have become today.
Can you tell us about your school and professional curriculum?
I studied at Columbia University in the United States where I graduated in 2004 with an engineering degree in mathematics, statistics and management systems. I wrote that year a thesis for a course of “contemporary civilization” on the need for the creation of a media that would connect all the black diasporas of the world. This thesis was published in the journal of the University.
Subsequently, I had to dismiss a job offer on Wall Street to accept an internship at Killer Films: an independent film production company.
In 2006, I joined a team of analysts to prepare the business plan for the creation of a pan-African television and in September 2007, I agreed to settle in London to realize the VoxAfrica project.
What is the philosophy and vision of this TV? His ambition?
10 years ago, the image of Africa that the media presented was frozen. It was therefore necessary to present an authentic image of Africa. VoxAfrica’s mission is to present this plural and real image of the continent. Our ambition remains the same for 10 years, that of becoming the African reference in terms of news and entertainment.
Under your leadership, today and figures, can we say that it is a success story?
Yes, VoxAfrica is a success story. We started it by covering CAN 2008 in Ghana. It was our first signal and we were on the internet. Today we are on 4 continents with 3 different signals:
- French speaking Africa,
- French speaking diaspora
- English-speaking Africa and the English-speaking diaspora.
Elected in England 3 successive years Best African Television Channel in the United Kingdom, we are gaining ground and I think that in Francophone Africa, we are part of the important chains whose opinion matters. I realize that the challenge is huge but we are on the right path and we are working towards our goals.
At the very beginning, did you accept this position – Director of VoxAfrica – as a challenge? Have you had moments of doubt, apprehension?
At the time, it was less a personal challenge but rather a mission. That of offering not only a platform of expression to Africans but especially a voice for Africa. There are certainly moments of doubt but we keep our eyes fixed on our objectives because we believe deeply in the future of the continent.
Who are the people who thought and put VoxAfrica in place?
VoxAfrica was born through the channel of several Africans from different countries who wanted to give Africa a voice and some of these people are shareholders.
What does television mean to you? A medium of education or entertainment?
For me, television is both a medium of education and entertainment.
African populations are major consumers of television programs. Do you think that with appropriate programs, it is possible to restore meaning, revive values, self-awareness, self-pride, to populations that for the most part tend to copy the West and the US in almost all areas including in their worst drifts?
I do not know if Africans copy the US and the West in almost every field. The colonization has a cultural and natural influence certainly, but at the moment, we are at a century of the globalization and, it is essential that the African media exist to tell the everyday life of the Africans with African glances, to give heroes and models Africans to the youth of the world.
How did you get the rights of the Voice?
It was at the Cannes festival. We made contact with the rights owner and there were some people who had approached them beforehand and even while we were talking. The difference was made because we tried to make the owner understand our message because “The Voice” is a global phenomenon but the idea is that each country can take ownership and give the soul that is his this show. We made them very concrete proposals and they understood that we really wanted to “africanise” the show, to do it with African sauce. I also specify that we are the only region to obtain rights for 17 countries. In general, rights are assigned for one country only.
Does the African media market have its own specificities? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
I speak for French-speaking Africa. So for me, the advantage is that there is potential and the disadvantage is that it is fully structuring.
Is it easy to find sources of funding for large-scale programs? Then, most importantly, have a follow-up in the partnerships created?
The really difficult fight is the financing of such a production because, as you know, it is very expensive.Even today we are pioneers because I believe sponsors, advertisers are not yet used to spending a lot of money on TV shows and I understand; with the economic situation it is not easy for a region like ours to embark on an adventure like The Voice. But, we remain confident in the potential of the continent.
Do you think that African governments have taken full measure of the importance of culture in their societies? How can this galvanize an entire population and bring it up, noble and true growth?
I think African governments are doing the best they can, even though in general we expect a lot more from them.
African societies remain deeply macho. To be a woman, nice enough, did not it cause you any problems with and the men and the other women?
Laughter. The Weinstein problem is not a unique problem in Hollywood because some people abuse their power, but now, everyday, we avoid being in potentially compromising situations and we focus on the essential even if it is not not always obvious.
Not to mention the problems with people older than you, on this continent where the skill is often correlated with white hair, even if the “digital native” and those of the generation before come heckle this multi-secular hierarchy.
Yes, it is a challenge like the others because we have to fight to raise what is capable of African youth and represent it at best.
Innovations in the second edition of The Voice?
This season, we tried to do things differently, especially at the production level. Indeed, the coaches will not return for talents that have not been chosen. We wanted to test this this year. Moreover, we have been much “criticized” for having taken a lot of stars and a few less amateurs. Thus, this year, we decided to focus on human stories, profiles that I would say “innocuous” people who do not necessarily used the scene.
If the first year, we have revealed to Africa its potential stars, this year, we will make stars and we can see, as and when, what these young talents who arrive by not having never made a scene, become at the end of the season.
We will increase our presence in all the different African countries we cover, through the production of specific programs on the ground.
What can we wish you?
Perseverance in my actions.
What do you want?
(Laughter). The peace
What is the most important lesson that life has taught you?
Life is a gift that is renewed every day so you have to enjoy it.
Rolande’s Contact Settings
Old school singer: Ray Charles
Old school singer: Nana Mouskouri
Singer: Talla André Marie
Genre of Music: Jazz and Classical
Favorite time of life (yesterday, today or tomorrow): When I’m with my family.