Empowering African Music and Culture on the Global Stage

From Africa to the world: Experience how we're uniting voices and bridging cultures through music.

Founded in April 2019, Arts Connect Africa (ACA) is a vibrant pan-African initiative dedicated to the enrichment and global promotion of African music and culture. With a robust network spanning over 30 cultural stakeholders across 15 countries, ACA embodies the spirit of collaboration and innovation. Our mission is to harness the collective power of our community to overcome the challenges faced by the cultural arts industry, thereby creating a thriving ecosystem for African arts and culture.

marko-dukic-BMjNYQX7HiQ-unsplash

Our Mission: A Global Stage for African Talent

At the heart of ACA is a commitment to foster knowledge exchange, enhance capacity building, and create significant opportunities for our members. We are passionately invested in elevating African culture and music, ensuring it resonates globally. Our work is about more than just connecting individuals; it’s about weaving a tapestry of African talent that shines on the world stage, showcasing the diversity, richness, and vibrancy of our cultural heritage.

ACA is driven by the belief that music and culture are powerful tools for bringing people together, transcending borders and differences. We aim to be the bridge that connects African music professionals to global opportunities, facilitating a sustainable and inclusive growth path for the continent’s music industry.

Our Vision: Uniting Through Music

We envision a world where African music and culture are integral to the global arts landscape, celebrated and appreciated by all. ACA’s initiatives are designed not just to spotlight African talent but to provide a platform where artists and cultural practitioners can thrive, innovate, and collaborate.

Our approach is holistic, encompassing the development of resources, networks, and platforms that cater to the evolving needs of the African music scene. From digital platforms that facilitate seamless networking and collaboration to events that showcase the continent’s musical diversity, ACA is at the forefront of creating a unified and vibrant African music industry.

Join the Heartbeat of African Music

Connect with music industry professionals and enthusiasts in our vibrant community.

Our Team

At Arts Connect Africa, our strength lies in our diversity. Our team is a vibrant mosaic of cultural stakeholders, each bringing deep expertise and a unique perspective from the global music landscape. United by a shared passion for African music and culture, we are dedicated to fostering connections, celebrating heritage, and nurturing talent across the continent and beyond. Together, we strive to elevate African music to the global stage, ensuring it resonates with audiences worldwide.

USA

Katherine McVicker

Zimbabwe

Walter Wanyanya

Nigeria

Kayode Adebayo

South Africa

Brad Holmes

Uganda

Faisal Kiwewa

Namibia

Gordon Jay Mushore

Sylvester Sede

Sylvester Sede

Ignacio Priego Jimeno

South Africa / Colombia

Salym Fayad

Zimbabwe

Plot Mhako

Angola

James Titelman

Zii Wacho

South Africa

Dan Chiorboli

South Africa

Atlas Duma

Senegal

Dudu Sarr

South Africa

Josh Georgiou

Paulo Chibanga

Julia Novel

South Africa

Sphe Mbhele

Mexico

Pablo Solis

USA

Katherine McVicker

Founder and director of Music Works International, and co-founder of CCA. An experienced public speaker and booking agent, in her 30 year career specializing in jazz and world music, she has helped to develop the international careers of a wide range of artists, including Norah Jones, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. She has developed promoter networks in Europe and Scandinavia and is currently working on developing similar networks in South America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Zimbabwe

Walter Wanyanya

Co-Founder
Co-founder and director of Arts Connect Africa, Walter Wanyanya is a creative and technology entrepreneur based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Founder of various tech and music production firms, Walter is an accomplished artist manager and worked closely with the late Dr Oliver Mtukudzi until his untimely passing in January 2019.   Walter is also the founder and Artistic Director of the Stanbic Bank Jacaranda Music Festival , Jabulani Jazz Festival and The Flame Lily Rock Music Festival  which take place in Harare, Zimbabwe. 

Nigeria

Kayode Adebayo

Olukayode Adebayo is a seasoned Culture and Creative Industry in the Creative & Culture Industries, Media, Events, Technology, and Consultancy and is the Convener of the African Music and Cultural Expo (Amfest Expo), orchestrating bespoke culture professionals gatherings across the African Continent and beyond, fostering enterprise development, and facilitating invaluable networking opportunities for culture industry practitioners.

Kayode is the Founder/CEO of Ckrowd.com, A Music Business Education & Digital Profiling Platform for Music Industry Professionals. The platform facilitates training, verifications & endorsements for African Music Professionals, facilitating international music industry earning opportunities and career development.

South Africa

Brad Holmes

Brad Holmes is an experienced, versatile and accomplished producer, promoter and venue owner. With the advent of democracy in South Africa, he played an integral role in developing and sustaining the domestic and African music industry primarily through the founding of the Bassline Jazz Club in 1994. More recently, in his role as Managing Director of Bassline Live, he has formed Bassline Artist Management whose current clients include Vusi Mahlasela and Nakhane.

Bassline Jazz Club rose to prominence as the ultimate live music venue to experience South Africa’s finest Jazz and Afro-beat, branching out by featuring poetry readings, comedy and impromptu jam sessions.   As the Music Industry changed so the Bassline evolved, pivoting its business model into a mobile Live Music offering, producing and promoting live concerts and festivals.

Uganda

Faisal Kiwewa

F

Faisal Kiwewa is the founder and Artistic Director of Bayimba Foundation.   During the past years, Bayimba has trained, supported and created numerous platforms to celebrate the arts in Uganda.

Faisal has organised a range of festivals and events, including the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts, the regional forum DOADOA | East African Performing Arts Market, the Kampala International Theatre Festival and the Amakula International Film Festival.

Faisal sits on several boards and is associated with various organisation globally including the International Independent Cultural Council (UK/Greece), Jeunesses Musicales International – JMI (board member), Africa Music Forum (Cape Verde), country representative for Visa for Music (Morocco), Member of iGODA network (Reunion Island/Sub Saharan Africa), Member of Arterial Network (South Africa), Member of Arts Connect Africa (US/Africa) and Steering Committee Member for CultureCOP UK/Egypt among others.

He acquired his International Cultural management knowledge base from the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at Kennedy Center (US), Management School of Fundraising (UK) and the CREARE – Erasmus Centre for Research and Cultural Economics (NL).

Namibia

Gordon Jay Mushore

Gordon Jay is a passionate Creative Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Mindscape Events Namibia, a well-established Corporate Communications, Creative and Event Management company, able to boast a vast array of services under one roof.    Mindscape Events Namibia produces world class and immersive event experiences through integrated synergies between creatives, culture, consumers & brands. Notable projects include the African Music & Arts Festival – An Annual Event Celebrating Africa’s Diversity, Heritage & Culture, the Namibia Creative Summit & Iconic Music Fest, Rock’N’Roll Namibia and Burna Boy Love Damini Tour (2022).

Sylvester Sede

Sylvester Sede is a media expert with over a decade of experience in creative innovation, media productions, advertising and media content development. A former radio and television broadcaster and producer trained by the Alpha Institute of Broadcast and Communications, BBC Media Action, Talking Drum Studios in Sierra Leone, Radio Netherlands Training Center, Hilversum, Netherlands, International Business Management Institute, Berlin, Germany and the British Arts Council.
Sylvester Sede is the MD/CEO of Silverflame Media, Nigeria and he is a member of media professional bodies including the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). He is an idea merchant and has led several initiatives including Project Open Mic, Bayelsa’s Got the Talent, Sports and Arts Festival for Disabled People, the Bayelsa Food and Art Festival and many more.”

Ignacio Priego Jimeno

Ignacio Priego is a music development specialist with creative, economic and social focuses. In 2001 he founded Loop Circus, working internationally for over a decade as music promoter, event producer and DJ in forums such as Venice and Havana Biennales or SXSW. Creator of the touring programme Music Mobility Fund (Concerts SA, SAMRO), he has in-depth knowledge of the African live music sector, having supported 200 tours in over 20 different countries. He is the co-director of POST POST music agency and record label with BLK JKS drummer Tshepang Ramoba. He is Program Manager at NewMusicSA, Managing Director for the ISCM World New Music Days 2023 and Curator of Oluzayo Festival (Germany & South Africa).

South Africa / Colombia

Salym Fayad

Salym Fayad is a cultural promoter, independent reporter and documentary photographer from Bogota, Colombia, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, since 2008. He has worked extensively in Sub-Saharan Africa covering issues related to music and popular culture, migration and human rights. Co-director of MUICA African Film Festival in Colombia and co-founder of Fundación Otro Sur, an independent organisation working on projects of cultural exchange between African and Latin American countries. Salym was recently awarded the Best Short Documentary at the 2024 Lanzarote International Film Festival held in Spain, in May 2024.

Zimbabwe

Plot Mhako

Plot Mhako is a cultural curator and creative director working between Zimbabwe and Germany.  He is the founder and Creative Director of Jibilika Dance Trust, Amplifaya Festival, Moto Moto Festival (in Germany), Kuenda Productions, Mafuwe International Festival of Dance, Skate Zimbabwe project, Zim Hip Hop Summit, Zimdancehall Summit and a board member of the Creative Rights Zimbabwe Trust. He is also a media entrepreneur running earGROUND AFRICA, a leading digital media company working to document creative narratives and amplifying the voices of creatives from Africa. 

Angola

James Titelman

James Jabir Titelman is a producer, promoter and cultural professional from Angola.   He is the founder of Poola MBoombo Productions – a multicultural communications and consulting agency specialising in music events.    Jabir is an experienced Senior Sales Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the music industry, displaying skills in Music Licensing, Management, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, and Digital Marketing.

Zii Wacho

Zii Wacho is a visionary leader with 15+ years of diverse industry experience. As a CEO and entrepreneur, his strategic mindset propels success in change management, strategy, planning, and team building.   A champion of diversity, inclusion, and resilience, Zii fosters high-performing teams in business and creative sectors.

Drawing from his arts and culture background, he inspires innovation as a motivational speaker. With an unwavering commitment to excellence and community impact, Zii is a highly respected figure in leadership and management. Empowering individuals, he shapes inclusive leadership and drives positive change.

South Africa

Dan Chiorboli

Currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, percussionist and producer Dan Chiorboli was born in Ferrara, Italy and grew up in Durban, South Africa. Dan is a Musician and Producer, Event Conceptualiser and Festival Director with extensive experience in the Business Sector.

Dan proudly holds the rights to and represents Peter Gabriel’s internationally acclaimed WOMAD Festival in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

South Africa

Atlas Duma

Atlas Duma is a multi-talented art practitioner. A Playwright, a music producer, drummer and author. He is the founder and the Director in Sagiya Foundation, which comprises various art distribution businesses, such as Sagiya Records, Sagiya Book Publishers and Arts Administrator and Sagiya Theatre Productions.

One of his imperative and prominent Theatre Productions, which he is the founder, author and producer is Dim-Dep Musical (Faces of Environmental Success) theatre production. Duma is the founder and producer of the following festivals: KZN International Jazz Festival, MCCD (Musical Collaboration in Cultural Diversity) Sagiya Celebrates KZN Jazz Legends and other mini festivals. Products under Sagiya Foundation include the following bands: Umkhumbane Jazz Ensemble, Mthobisi Mthalane, Royalson, Vincent Mtetwa and Bongani Nkwanyana, Dim-Dep Musical (Theatre Production), Preparation for University (Book), Bishop SK Mngomezulu & Lighthouse Bible Church (Book) and Kukude Lapho Sivela Khona (Book).

Senegal

Dudu Sarr

Dudu Sarr is a recognized expert in the music sector in Africa. After 25 years spent in London, Dudu Sarr came back to Dakar, where he founded the Dakar Music Expo, an international music fair, which fifth edition was held in February 2024. Dudu Sarr has also been Youssou N’Dour’s international manager for the past 15 years and dedicates his experience to the development of new African talent.

South Africa

Josh Georgiou

Josh Georgiou is an experienced entrepreneur in the music and entertainment industry. His 30-year trailblazing career includes working for Sony Music (South Africa) as International A&R and Marketing Manager in the 90’s, opening a popular and successful music venue – The 88 Lounge in Norwood, and bringing a diverse range of international acts like Jose Gonzalez, Evan Dando, Blackalicious, DJ Krush and Howard Marks to South Africa. He then took over the management of the legendary Hugh Masekela for more than 10 years and continues to be actively involved in Bra Hugh’s legacy programs and projects.   He is currently the manager of Zolani Mahola and the Ndlovu Youth Choir. 

Josh sits on the Board of Directors of the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation and Art Connects Africa.

Paulo Chibanga

Paulo Chibanga is the general director of Khuzula, a Mozambican Culture and Tourism company, and the founder of AZGO Festival.    He was instrumental in the development of the first Cultural and Creative Business Incubator of Portuguese-speaking Africa in Maputo, XHUB, which develops cultural and artistic skills of creatives in Mozambique. 

Chibanga developed and installed Mozambique Digital- MODIGI -the main independent distributor, with the aim to create income for artists through their works. 

In production, Chibanga is a creative and dynamic producer who gives a platform and voice to music and the arts in Mozambique, in the region and beyond, including 340ml, Tumi and the Volume,  The Brother Moves South African urban folk artist Bongeziwe Mabandla, whose debut album Umlilo was nominated for two South African Music Awards.

Through the cooperation and exchange of the AZGO festival with IGODA, a Southern Africa Circuit of which he is a pioneer, Chibanga is bringing the music of artists to new audiences of Mozambique.   He co-founded the OTHAMA Festival, a platform of arts, culture and tourism in Mozambique and is the founder of the Association of Event Promoters ADDEPPE. 

Julia Novel

Júlia Novela started her career in the creative industries as a dancer and actor.   Her skills as a producer followed and she soon demonstrated her selfless and solidified commitment to work ethics, professional conduct and effort in the film and music sectors.  

Julia has been involved in many national and international events with Mozambican artists and continues to work on several productions as a producer and interpreter of Portuguese-French-Portuguese and is a member of the production team of the Zouck Festival. 

She has a degree in Management and Cultural Studies from the Higher Institute of Arts and Culture (ISARC) and is currently the Executive Director of XHUB- Cultural and Creative Business Incubator and General Director of the AZGO Festival.

South Africa

Sphe Mbhele

Founder and project manager of The Music Imbizo, a fast growing international music business conference based in Durban, South Africa.

Mexico

Pablo Solis

Music Agent and Consultant based in Mexico City. He is currently Development Manager for Latin America at Music Works International, and coordinates Cultural Connections Latin America, a network of music business professionals in the region. In 2022 acted as consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank for the writing of two articles with strategies and digital trends for the music and performing arts sector, as well as for carnivals and festivals in Latin America and the Caribbean. Former director of international cultural cooperation at the federal Ministry of Culture and liaison for the international development of Performing Arts at the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico.

Joining the Network

ACA is your partner in the journey toward global recognition and success. We understand the challenges and aspirations of African music professionals and are committed to providing the tools, resources, and opportunities needed to thrive. Together, we can amplify the voice of African music, sharing its beauty and power with the world.

Whether you’re an artist seeking to make your mark, a promoter looking to connect with new talent, or a music enthusiast eager to explore the depths of African musical heritage, ACA is your gateway to a rich and rewarding experience. Join us as we celebrate and elevate African music and culture, creating a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

 

Our Partners

At Arts Connect Africa, we are privileged to collaborate with a diverse group of partners who share our passion for promoting and preserving African music and culture. Our partnerships span across event organizers, international music agencies, cultural foundations, and more, each bringing unique value and expertise to our collective mission.

Scroll to Top