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Africa: Power Of Music In Africa
Kampala, December 8, 2006 – Next time you take a taxi and find everybody nodding to themselves with iPods (digital music players) on their laps, do not sneer. Just jump to the next empty seat, get yourself a newspaper, flip through the entertainment section and make a date with your favorite TV soap or entertainment spot.
Latest research by Consumer Insight Africa, shows that 53 per cent of Kenyans spend their free time either listening to music or watching TV.
Before you cringe in anger and curse liberalization of the airwaves for turning Kenyans into music and TV addicts, take heart that this is not a Kenyan-only peculiarity.
Across the border in Uganda and Somaliland, music is a favorite pastime for seven in every 10 people. In other words, at least 70 per cent of the population thinks, sleeps and walks music. Is this the secret for the runaway success of Ugandan musicians when some of their Kenyan counterparts can barely make ends meet?
And when it comes to watching TV, Ugandans and Somalis still lead the pack, with at least 67 per cent and 71 per cent of their respective population watching TV for leisure and entertainment. This is surprising, given the fact that Uganda has only four major TV stations - the state-owned UBC, WBS (the first private broadcasting station), TOP TV (owned by a born-again pastor) and EATV (the regional entertainment livewire), while Kenya has six stations namely: NTV, KTN, KBC, STV, Citizen and Family - excluding the pay satellite stations.
If you switched off TV transmission in Tanzania, 46 per cent of the population would howl at you, 41 per cent in Nigeria, 28 per cent in Ghana and 50 per cent in Mozambique.
You dare not try any such mischief in Somaliland, the regional citadel of electronics, where TV is a treasure to 74 per cent of the population. The same applies to Angola, where listening to music and watching TV are the most popular pastimes, with at least 84 per cent listening to music and 76 per cent watching TV.
According to a research by Consumer Insight on how people in East Africa, Somaliland, Mozambique, Nigeria, Angola and Ghana spend their free time and the social places they usually frequent, entertainment is the most popular pastime. This explains why Somaliland, though being the cradle of the war-torn Somalia, has the highest number of TV and music (71 and 74 per cent respectively) fans in Eastern Africa.
This also shows the power of music. A glance at the statistics show that music would be the most effective vehicle for social change in society. That from Nigeria in West Africa, Somalia in Eastern Africa and Angola in Southern Africa -- music is food for many souls.
But where musicians do not reap in revenue, bars and pubs harvest in full measure. Even after the government banned sale of liquor in sachets to protect the excitable youngsters from degenerating into zombies, bars are still doing brisk business.
From the ever-jammed Nairobi pubs along Kimathi Street, to the evergreen joints along Moi Avenue and the relatively affordable Tom Mboya hang-outs, one thing is definite: You can never go wrong with investment in pubs and bars. If you want higher returns, rush to Angola, where at least 25 per cent of the population take alcoholic drinks in their free time. In Uganda, 20 per cent do, 17 per cent in Kenya and 13 per cent in Mozambique. Restaurant operators with expansionist tendencies better keep off Somalia and Nigeria where consumption of alcohol during free time is negligible.
Africans are a very religious lot. With the exception of Tanzania where only 50 per cent of the population go to church or mosque, in Kenya (67 per cent) and Uganda (86 per cent). In Nigeria, churches and mosques attract 69 per cent of the population and 33 per cent in Angola. In other words, if you are a priest, pastor or sheikh with an eye for investment, you cannot go wrong with religion in Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya. In Uganda, where the First Lady Janet Museveni, is the self-proclaimed strong born-again Christian, 36 per cent of the people attend crusades.
This is closely followed by Mozambique (35 per cent), Nigeria (16 per cent), Tanzania (21 per cent) and Kenya (11 per cent). But it is Angola that is an evangelist's paradise. At least 77 per cent of the people inter
viewed said they attend crusades during their leisure time. This means you are likely to meet a lost friend at a crusade than any other place in the former Portuguese colony.
Only nine per cent of the population interviewed visit game parks and one per cent museums. And the beaches? 25 per cent of Kampala residents spend their time at the beach. But for Kenya, with its rich coastline, only five per cent of Nairobians find time for the beach. In Dar-es-salaam, 29 per cent sunbathe along the sandy coastlines compared to 22 per cent Nigerians.
If you want to introduce beach football for commercial purposes, you are better off trying Kampala and Dar-es-salaam. For Kenyans, it seems, beaches are a preserve of tourists. And if you thought Nigeria is a continental sports superpower because of fanatical domestic support, what with their superb runners, footballers and NBA stars, think again. For all its might, only 21 per cent of Nigerians visit sports grounds for leisure, as opposed to 32 per cent Tanzanians and 37 per cent Ugandans.
While Ugandans are the most outgoing people, they are also the most superfluous of the lot. Shopping malls are big attraction in Uganda, and not just for window-shopping as Kenyans are wont to. While only 25 per cent of Kenyans go shopping during their free time, 39 per cent of Ugandans go to shopping malls, compared to 11 per cent Tanzanians, 18 per cent Nigerians and 29 per cent in Mozambique. But where East Africans lead in consumerism, Ghanaians lead in domestic tourism. At least 83 per cent of the population visit tourist sites for leisure, followed by Angola with 52 per cent, Mozambique with 34 per cent, Uganda and Tanzania 12 per cent and Kenya, with all its parks and beaches, only seven per cent.
Do you want to know why Ugandan towns always smell food? For 41 per cent of Ugandans, cooking is a hobby. 25 per cent of Tanzania and 16 per cent of Kenya take their time to cook. This explains why restaurants and hotels in Kenya are in booming business -- 43 per cent of people, four out of every 10, visit them. Only 18 per cent of Tanzanians and 39 per cent in Uganda eat at restaurants or hotels. But it is Angolans who are having the best of both worlds. While cooking is a hobby for 41 per cent, 48 per cent of the population have their meals at hotels and restaurants.
For lack of pubs, 45 per cent of Somalis spend their time in movie theatres. And for discotheques, 16 per cent of Kenyans, 15 per cent of Tanzanians, and 13 per cent of Ugandans patronize discos, while in Angola, 31 per cent and 23 per cent from Mozambique love dancing. Little wonder that the southerners are dance-hall kings.
Research and article by Consumer Insight Africa.
Source: New Vision