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UMG Expands Its African Team With Key Hires And Promotions

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CelebrityAccess) — Universal Music Group bolstered the leadership team in the company’s operations in Africa with the addition of several new senior executives.

Universal announced the hire of Elouise Kelly, who was appointed as COO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa; Chinedu Okeke, who was named MD, Universal Music Nigeria; and the promotion of Sipho Dlamini, who was named CEO Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sipho Dlamini, who joined UMG in 2016, will oversee all of UMG’s operations in the region. He is a member of UMG’s Task Force for Meaningful Change (TFMC) and was named to Billboard’s International Music Power list in 2019, the first African-based executive to make their list.

Dlamini will be based in Johannesburg and will assume his new duties immediately, UMG said.

There has never been a more exciting time for African music around the world, as it continues to influence and inspire culture and creativity, whilst reaching a wider audience globally each day through streaming. I am delighted to welcome both Elouise and Chin to the UMG family, their unique skills and experiences will only help to further establish UMG as a bedrock within the African music community, that will continue to put the interests and opportunities for artists first and help elevate African talent to new levels of success at home and abroad,” Dlamini said.

Elouise Kelly joins UMG from advertising and media agency Ogilvy, where she held the position of Managing Director, South Africa. Prior to working at Ogilvy, Kelly held senior positions at SABC, Top TV, Viacom International Media Networks and M-Net.

She will also be based in Johannesburg and will report directly to Mr. Dlamini.

Okeke joins UMG after spending a decade as an independent music entrepreneur and the founder of Eclipse Brand Agency, working with major clients, artists and commercial partners. He is also the founder and Executive Producer of Nigeria’s legendary Gidi Culture Festival, and a founding Trustee of Echo Music & Arts Foundation, and previously held positions at The Wicklow Group, Canvest Group & AP Moeller Maersk.

Okeke will be based in Lagos, Nigeria and will report to Dlamini.

“I am thrilled to announce these strategic appointments, as we look to further develop our domestic infrastructure and label rosters within Africa. Most integral to achieving our long-term ambitions, is to build a strong leadership team on the ground, with deep foundations in each country to help grow a dynamic ecosystem for all to benefit in the future,” said Adam Granite, Executive Vice President of Market Development.

“Over the past few years, Sipho has shown great leadership, commitment and vision for music in Africa, helping UMG to introduce new talent to audiences around the world and identify opportunities to lead the industry in licensing and supporting new platforms to reach African music fans. Elouise and Chin both bring welcome new skills, proven entrepreneurship and important leadership experience that will only serve to bolster UMG’s position as the market-leader across Africa,” Granite added.

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