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EMY celebrates great men as role models to

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EMY celebrates great men as role models to


By Christy Anyanwu

Ghanaian show promoter, Kojo Soboh, has passion for celebrating exceptional African men.

To give expression to his passion and vision, Soboh started the EMY Africa Awards about eight years ago, and the event has grown in leaps and bounds. 

According to Soboh, the award platform is dedicated to celebrating exceptional men for their remarkable achievements and significant contributions to Africa, while also inspiring positive change across the continent and beyond.

In this interview, debonair Kojo Soboh spoke about his passion, the

incredible outcome of his research about men, and reasons he’s bringing the EMY Africa Awards Soiree to Lagos. Here are excerpts:

What is ‘EMY Takes Lagos’ all about?

EMY is an acronym for Exclusive Men of the Year. The essence of this pre- EMY soirée in Lagos is to bring people together and extend its impact to other African countries, starting with Lagos, the center of Excellence. We are driven to inspire excellence and demonstrate to our young men that there is more to life than the negative aspects. We want to bring into the room like-minded young achievers, game changers and innovators who are making groundbreaking strides in various fields. It is deliberately tailored to celebrate and uplift men, especially in the Pan-African spirit. Organizing this pre-EMY soiree on such a grand scale is truly incredible.

The EMY winners’ circle boasts visionary individuals including Akinwumi Adesina (Man of the Year 2022), Tony Elumelu (Man of the Year Africa, 2017), Richard Mofe-Damijo (Continental Icon in Film), Adebola Williams (Young Achiever Africa, 2017), Lanre Olusola (Mentorship Award, 2022), Seyi Tinubu (Young Achiever Africa, 2020), Ayo Animashaun (Media Excellence Awards, 2022), Michael Collins Ajereh aka Don Jazzy (Continental Music Icon Award, 2022), Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (Man of Style  Award, 2021), and Ayo Makun – AY (African Entertainer of the Award, 2020).

This year, two Nigerian actors, Tobi Bakre and Chidi Mokeme have secured nominations in the Actor of the Year category. Other distinguished

Nigerians will also be recognized in various honourary categories. This exclusive pre-EMY soirée promises an enchanting ambiance filled with glitz and glamour to celebrate achievements, forge connections, and inspire the next generation of leaders. This glamorous gathering will be held at the prestigious Mercedes Benz showroom, Victoria Island, Lagos on Sunday, August 13, 2023.

Can you tell us briefly about yourself?  

I’m an entrepreneur. My company organizes this award, and we publish a magazine as well. This is a passion for me because I believe it inspires the young people to better themselves.

Why do you dwell on men only?

Yes, it’s predominantly men’s award. It started as a Father’s Day event and it grew bigger and better. Our goal is to spotlight African man as very responsible so that young boys growing up can see them and emulate them.

When we started this, we did a research about why Father’s Day is not receiving same impact as Mother’s Day. The response we got was that most men are not responsible; most men relinquish their responsibilities, even including some great men, great fathers, and great leaders. So, instead of accepting that statuesque, we decided to challenge it. And challenging it meant that we put together this prestigious event that spotlights great men, great achievers so that the young boy at home who unfortunately might have had bad dad or bad experience with a man, would know that is not what a man is. If you see great examples of men, you will become a better person.

When exactly did you start the awards?

It started in 2016. We are in our 8 th  year. It’s always held in Ghana but this year we would be having the pre-award event in Nigeria, while the main award is scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2023. We’ll bring all the awardees to Ghana to be celebrated and honoured. Fans can now start casting their votes on the awards’ website (www.emyafrica.com) or engage with their favourite actors’ posts on the official Instagram page (@emyafrica).

Eight years down the line, has EMY Awards impacted lives?

It’s been an incredible journey. Over the yeas, we have grown; EMY is now a premium event in Ghana and across Africa. We have honoured some great personalities. It has been so impactful. We sampled views of young boys to arrive at this. In fact, we did an event for this, Inspiring Witness Forum in Accra. Hopefully, we would be doing it in Lagos where we will bring young boys together. We will also bring great people we have honoured to mentor and speak to them. When they interact with these people, it’s going to be a life changing experience for them, because they’ll get to meet these great people one-on-one and interact with them. This will further shape their minds about who the man should be. Practically, we are achieving the results.

There is so much disunity in Africa and among Africans; can this platform help to solve this problem in anyway?

It’s uniting Africa because we are bringing together a lot of great people across Africa. For instance, we have a high level of personalities coming from Accra to attend the forthcoming soiree. If you put such great people in one room, it will give way for business and personal connections and that is  the way of connecting Africa.

What are the lessons you’ve learnt about life as regards this project?

There are so many lessons I have learnt. You need to stay consistent because it is consistency that has brought us here. When we started we had a lot of cold shoulder, people don’t understand why we are doing awards for men.

We kept doing it, we believed. As we stand here, there are people I wouldn’t have an opportunity to meet if not for this platform. So, your vision, your talents will bring you before kings. Believe in yourself; whatever you are doing, believe in it and be consistent, and understand your vision and work

towards it. I understand what I’m doing, I understand my brand positioning; who I should work with and who shouldn’t work with me.

Why is the pre-event ceremony taking place in Nigeria?

So far, I have more Nigerians receiving awards more than any other African country. I have had nine Nigerians that have received EMY Awards. Aside Ghana, Nigeria is a place that has received more awards. So, if I’m doing something outside Ghana, Nigeria will be the best place to start. This is the first of many to come. Next time, we would be doing the pre-award events in Kenya and South Africa.


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