The Ammies Team
The Ammies team brings together a range of experience in events management, African culture and media and PR.
Manoute Seri - Chief Executive Producer
Manoute Seri is a Professional music promoter originally from Cote d’Ivoire (West Africa), Artistic Director and founder of L’Afrique a Newcastle Festival, an annual African Music Festival in the UK.
A cortege of major stars of African music have performed in the North East of England for the first time in their careers, from Ivorian pop legend Meiway in 2003 to Mory Kanté the Guinean griot behind the worldwide hit ‘Yéké Yéké’ in 2004, followed by Congolese crooner Lokua Kanza, Cameroon’s excentric genius Petit Pays and the legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen in 2005 and on to the 2006 vintage of Benin?s world music star Angélique Kidjo and the godfathers of African reggae, Alpha Blondy, Lucky Dube and Magic System. He has been involved in promoting a number of Cultural initiatives in the North East of England and in London.
Manoute has a Masters in Cultural Management from Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK.
Charles Bambara - Event Director
Charles Bambara has more than 20 years of experience in the field of Journalism, Public Relations and Communication. In the past he has worked in Africa, Europe, and has traveled extensively in North America, Europe and Africa. He was associated at the early stage as member of the Jury of the Panafrican Kora Awards organised annually in South Africa. He was also involved in promotional campaign of the Kora Music Awards during its first four years.
He is regularly invited to different cultural events in Africa like FESPAM in Brazzaville, FESPACO the biggest Films Festival in Africa organised in Burkina Faso, Ngwomo Africa a former Music Awards in Kinshasa, the Kunde Music Awards in Burkina Faso. He was also involved in putting in place and building the music stream of BBC Afrique in 1994, which will become a reference point for many young francophone Africans. He is well introduced in the music industry in France, Belgium and has developed lasting working relation with many record companies in UK and with many musicians across Africa and music producers in France mainly.
Responsible for delivery of event, liaising with partners and outside organisations.
Kentaké Chinyelu-Hope - Ammies Consultant
Kentaké Chinyelu-Hope joined the national Council in October 2005. She is the artistic director of Momi Inc, a development agency for Hip Hop in the UK, having begun her career with the Newham Youth Service, where she was a Youth Arts Development worker in 1994. In 2000 she initiated and developed the London Hip Hop Festival.
She has been a member of the Arts Council, South East Regional Council since November 2003 and Vice Chair of Creative People, a professional development network for arts and crafts, since November 2004. Kentaké received a NESTA cultural leadership award in 2006 and undertook her placement at the Singapore Science Centre. She explored the cultural impact of infocomms of modern society including online communities, virtual reality, gaming and digital storage and media.
Amma Donkor - Ammies Consultant
Amma has been working in the music industry for over 10 years and is currently based at Universal Music Publishing as a Licensing Manager. She is also involved in event management and has assisted on a number of West African music concerts in London. As well as that, she presents a weekly African music show on the Ghanaian online radio station, Rainbow Radio.
Julian Simpson - Communications Manager
Julian Simpson has over 15 years experience of work in the media, PR and the Arts. Following stints at Ouest-France (the best-selling daily newspaper in France); Radio France Internationale and Radio Delta in Bucharest he worked for seven years for the BBC World Service and remains an occasional contributor to its African programming.
Julian was behind the development of Refugee Week Scotland into a major national event and contributed to the success of the annual L'Afrique a Newcastle Festival in the North East of England. In his role as Event Manager he was involved in signing up stars such as Alpha Blondy and Angelique Kidjo as headline acts and started up an African film festival.
Responsible for the design, production and print of all publications, leaflets and advertising and for creating editorial copy and press releases. Responsible for picture research, maintaining website, press passes and creating marketing strategies.
Ilka Schlockermann - Media Relations/ Ammies Consultant
After completing a business degree, Ilka Schlockermann went on to work for various independent labels such as Cooking Vinyl, The Grapevine Label and Luaka Bop and with artists such as Billy Bragg, Ani Difranco, Emmylou Harris and The Wedding Present. She then started specialising in contemporary African music, managing popular UK-based, Nigerian hip-hop group JJC & 419 Squad and later also Lagos- based Reggae artist African China.
Ilka now works as a freelance music publicist, targeting specialist, BME (black minority ethnic) and mainstream media. Her clients range from independent labels, such as Out Here Records and Analog Africa, to artists and events organizers.
Ilka is also the content editor of the BBC's African music site Africa On Your Street.
Furthermore she djs and has played at Big Chill House, Momo's and The Spitz, amongst other venues. Her music selection includes mainly African music, e.g. Coupe Decale, Kwaito, Afrobeat, Zouglou and Soukous, as well as other global beats such as Soca, Zouk, Champeta and Dancehall.
Anne-Marie Dias Borges - Media Relations/ Ammies Consultant
After graduating from SOAS and King’s College universities in London,Anne-Marie firmly positioned himself within the Radio Industry by working for BBC Afrique, the French for Africa Service of the BBC World Service. For 6 years, she produced and presented the news, as well as entertainment programmes to a worldwide audience.
Being from the archipelago of Cape-Verde, Anne-Marie is the synthesis of centuries of historical, cultural and of course, musical miscegenation. African drums, as well as the Portuguese Fado run through her veins...
David Gray - Legal Advisor
Tunji John (TJ) Abifarin - Sponsorship Coordinator
After graduating from University in Nigeria with a BSC in Sociology, his academic career path led to him to the UK to study for a Masters in Public Administration. TJ has also acquired a breadth of experience in the community and youth work sector.
In 2003 and 2004 consecutively he received the regional Community Champions award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community. In 2005, he was given national recognition when he received the Community Champions national award. He served on the board of trustees for a North East BME networking organisation and is a qualified fundraiser.
TJ is currently the CEO of an events and PR company specialising in entertainment, music and sport. He is an active advocate in promoting African music and has a commitment to supporting clients who are on a quest to produce, sing or write good music.
Find out what potential benefits you can get by sponsoring the Ammies.
View the entry criteria for the awards, and also what prizes are available.
Official Premier Partner
the world music expo
WOMEX is “The most important international professional market of world music of every kind. This international fair brings together professionals from the worlds of folk, roots, ethnic and traditional music and also includes concerts, conferences and documentary films. It contributes to networking as an effective means of promoting music and culture of all kinds across frontiers.” UNESCO Alliance for Global Diversity The 07 edition in Sevilla, Spain, was the biggest so far with over 2,800 delegates from 90 countries, more than 500 exhibitors, a full conference and a showcase festival presenting 52 acts. If you’re in the business of world or roots music, whether traditional, modern or electronic, this is the event for you. WOMEX 08: 29 Oct – 2 Nov in Sevilla, Andalusia, Spain.
The AMMIES will throw a new spotlight of life in Africa drawing attention to the richness and depth of its culture and artistic tradition. Redefining and capturing a new spirit for African Music.