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Ascend Talent Management

AS+A extends footprint to West Africa and signs Nse Ikpe Etim, OC Ukeje and Tope Oshin

29 April 2016 06:00


Four new speakers and artists from Nigeria and Ghana join AS+A’s growing roster.

29 April 2016, Nairobi/Lagos/Accra: African Speakers and Artists (AS+A), East Africa’s leading speaker bureau, announces that it is expanding into Nigeria and Ghana, as it builds its portfolio of West African speakers and artists for the international market.

Headquartered in Nairobi, and with an office in London, AS+A already represents senior business leaders, artists and media personalities from across Africa. The newest additions to AS+A’s talent roster are household names in Nigeria and Ghana: award winning Nigerian actress, Nse Ikpe-Etim; award-winning Nigerian director and producer Tope Oshin; multi award winning Nigerian actor, OC Ukeje; and popular television presenter and actress, Joselyn Dumas, from Ghana.

Drawing from a wide range of sectors, from successful musicians, to celebrity TV chefs and tech entrepreneurs, other notable names on its East Africa roster include Erik Hersman, technologist and founder of Ushahidi, iHub and BRCK, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founder and CEO of soleRebels Footwear, Dr. Paula Kahumbu, CEO of Wildlife Direct, Kiran Jethwa, TV celebrity chef, and popular afro-pop music group, Sauti Sol.

Announcing AS+A’s expansion into West Africa, George Issaias, Founder and CEO, commented on the new signings: “We have been building our base from East Africa, where we already represent a host of exceptional, and world class business leaders and artists, but our plan is to sign African talent from all over the continent as we grow, and we believe that the talent within Nigeria can be better represented on the world stage.”

Home to Nollywood, which produces thousands of films each year, distributed across Nigeria, Africa, and to diaspora populations around the world, the power of Nigeria’s creative media industry is recognized beyond the Continent. Nigeria’s film industry is the world’s second-largest by volume, and is worth $590 million.

George Issaias continued: “Nigeria’s speakers and artists bring their own perspective and insights to international audiences. Our job at AS+A is to connect that talent to global brands, and to bring them world-wide exposure through international events and campaigns. We want our African performers, successful entrepreneurs and creative visionaries to get their share of voice and the international recognition they merit.”

About the speakers:

Nse Ikpe-Etim is a multiple award-winning actress with a strong and loyal following in Nigeria, popularly known for her roles in ‘Mr And Mrs’, ‘Phone Swap’, ‘Black November’, and ‘Inale’, ‘Devil in the Detail’, and ‘Fifty’. Her recent works, ‘A Hotel Called Memory’ with Akin Omotoso and South African film ‘Shushh’ with Meg Rickards are due for release in 2016.

Nse is also known for her humanitarian and mentoring efforts. She recently received an award in recognition of her contribution to youth development from the Cyprus International University. Nse’s organization “The Nurtured Ones” focuses on family and youth development.

On her signing with AS+A, Nse commented: “It's truly humbling to know that in times like this I have been given a chance to learn while teaching. I look forward to an exceptional relationship as we grow beyond borders.”

Tope Oshin is the multiple award-winning director and Producer of Africa’s biggest daily soap opera ‘Tinsel’ and has also directed popular African tele-novella ‘Hotel Majestic’. Other credits are multiple award winning shots, ‘The Young Smoker’, ‘Till Death Do Us Part’, ‘New Horizons’, the award-winning feature ‘Journey to Self’ and she is in production of her first documentary ‘Amaka’s Kin’.

Among her producing credits are 26 made-for-TV movies, talk shows and 2015 BFI premiered theatrical feature ‘Fifty’. She has also cast several projects and notable among them are MTV’s drama series ‘Shuga’ 3 and 4.

On joining AS+A Tope said: “I’m looking forward to the amazing possibilities, relationships and achievements together. It’s a symbiosis I'm quite excited about!”

OC Ukeje is a multi, award-winning actor, of stage and screen. He won the 2006 Amstel Malta Box Office reality TV show for actors, the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for the Best Upcoming Actor (2008), and the City People’s Award for Best New Act (2010).

Joining AS+A’s roster of artists, he said: “I'm quite happy to say I'm looking forward to the dynamic opportunities and liaisons to be enjoyed on this platform. Even better would be the mutual benefits that linger. A place called ‘forward’...”

OC starred in ‘Wetin Dey’, the 2007 TV series presented at the International Emmy World Television Festival, and also in films like ‘Confusion Na Wa’ and ‘The Awakening’. His first screen appearance was in ‘White Waters’ (2008) and in 2012 he featured in the film ‘Black November’ along with Mickey Rourke, and Kim Basinger, and in Bola Agbaje’s award winning play, ‘Gone Too Far’, sponsored by the British Film Institute and premiered at the 2013 London International Film Festival.

He also featured in the screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (2013) with Oscar nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Thandie Newton, in the highly-rated TV series Gidi Up and Dowry, and played the lead in the South African film Ayanda and The Mechanic (2015).

About AS+A

Launched in June 2015, AS+A represents some of East Africa’s best known business people and artists. Demand for African voices is growing exponentially. Universal themes have emerged which AS+A addresses from its roster of inspirational speakers and performers. Chief among these are creativity and innovation, future & technology, leadership and diversity environment, conservation and development. The agency summarizes demand for talent into a number of key areas: conference and after dinner speakers; artists and entertainers for events, festivals, ceremonies, concerts and personal appearances, hospitality appearances and award show emceeing and hosting. Alongside the talent, AS+A will also offer clients world-class creation, promotion and execution of proprietary events. For more information, please visit:

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