There was a big buzz on Thursday when top telecommunications company MTN announced that he would be retaining the services of some artistes as brand ambassadors, while disengaging some for the year 2016/2017. The big names that had their contracts suspended include MAVIN’s big boss, Don Jazzy, his First Lady, Tiwa Savage and Omo Baba Olowo, Davido.
While the trio got the axe, the likes of Hafeez Oyetoro (Saka), Nkem Owoh (Osuofia), Chidinma Ekile, Praiz, Iyanya, Falz, Tekno, Skales, Nedu and Adamu Zango will continue smiling to the bank on the bill of the GSM operator.
Though the company declined giving any reason why some were sacked while others were retained, industry watchers and Potpourri in particular believes their decision might have been influenced by scandals some artistes got themselves embroiled in the past months.
For Tiwa Savage, her getting axed may not be unconnected with the crashed marriage and infidelity involving her and ex husband, Tee Billz. Though Tiwa eventually warmed her way into the hearts of her fans by proving to be an angel in that union but it appears MTN didn’t find it amusing.
Davido was never looking like he would be a pricy item this year, not after the brouhaha with his Baby mama, Sofia Momodu, and the resultant face-off with the uncle, Ovation magazine publisher, Dele Momodu. The Dubai child trafficking allegation didn’t help matters either – At least, MTN could have thought so too
On Don Jazzy’s part, his spat with Olamide at the Headies might have been bigger than we thought. Though it was a beef started by Olamide, but Don Jazzy’s conduct after the showdown could have embarassed the Y’ello people.
However, MTN’s General Manager, Consumer Marketing, Richard Iweanoge explained why they are keeping past winners of their Project Fame reality music TV show, which include Inyanya, Chidinma and Praiz, saying “MTN is particularly proud of these musicians because we not only gave them the platform to express their talent through Project FAME, we have consistently supported them over the years by making them our ambassadors. We are proud to have been able to contribute to some of Nigeria’s biggest music acts.”
Beyond the Project Fame alumni, Iweanoge also said that in order to nurture other artistes so that they too could attain greater heights, MTN would still retain the services of some of its newly-signed brand ambassadors like Falz, Skales and Tekno who are the faces of its youth segment proposition – MTN Pulse. He added that there will be a renewed focus on building MTN’s digital platforms.