Nges Njungle, Africa Prize alumnus and CEO of Muzikol, tells us about the success of the first ever Muzikol Music Awards and his app, a music market and social network built to meet the needs of the music community in Cameroon and beyond.
Can you briefly describe your innovation and tell us what inspired you to create it?
Muzikol is a music market and social network application, built to meet the needs of music lovers and stakeholders. We have a goal to create a virtual music community and provide a one stop shop for musical activities on the internet.
On Muzikol you can sign up as a musician, event organiser, promoter, record label, director, producer, music lover and more. Your profile is customised to you with musical services integrated into its social network. You can buy and sell songs, merchandise, tickets, licensing, as well as book artists and distribute music using both international and local payment methods.
As an engineer your main objective is to provide solutions to problems in your community, and my community is music. I founded ABEBOH, a technology startup that looks at problems in the music industry in Cameroon and across Africa. That is how Muzikol was born.
What were the main lessons you have learned through the Africa Prize training and alumni activities?
The Africa Prize has been one of the most valuable tools for my business. The training converted me from just a passionate music lover and engineer into an entrepreneur, and the knowledge, skills, and connections I gained are active in my business today.
Muzikol, our first major project, happened because we had this international support that gave us a spotlight in front of our national community.
Africa Prize alumni opportunities allowed me to take courses in music business and leadership in entrepreneurship, providing me with a greater depth of knowledge into what the music business is all about.
Muzikol and I shall forever be grateful for this life changing opportunity.
Tell us about the MUMA awards in Cameroon
Muzikol Music Awards (MUMA) showcases excellence in the African music industry, rewarding all distinguished music stakeholders. We use artificial intelligence as a core method for determining nominees and winners of MUMA, ensuring that the fans and music stakeholders are the ones who choose the winners.
MUMA is not just for artists but also recognises the talented professionals who work behind the scenes, making music alongside artists and building the brands we consume. MUMA is developed to give our industry hope and reclaim African awards for well-deserving African artists.
MUMA is driven by the entire music industry and our secured engineering platform ensures that. It redefines a new generation of music award through innovative design and implementation.
It is high time Africa set her own standards of what success and reward looks like on our continent. To do this, we need to build our own independent bodies, to tell our stories and document our true values; that is exactly what MUMA does under the watch of Muzikol.
After MUMA2020, Muzikol has successfully secured its space in the industry and built a powerful brand.
What impact has your innovation had so far in your country or abroad?
Since April 2019, Muzikol has financially supported artists through direct album sales, giving hope to talented Cameroonian and African youth that they can make money from their art and eradicate music theft.
MUMA was one of the biggest musical events in Cameroon in 2020, celebrating Cameroonian and African talent. It had three pan-African categories, equally as competitive as the Cameroonian categories, and the event trended on social media in Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria and beyond.
MUMA is now in the top three Cameroonian awards shows for international recognition. Some media platforms referred to MUMA as ‘Cameroon’s Music Awards’. Hearing the speeches of appreciation delivered by winners of MUMA2020, we understood how much impact this award had.
“This is my first major award and the first time I have been named Best Female Artist in Cameroon though I have been putting in this work since 2016. For once, I feel appreciated and recognized. Thanks to the fans for voting and the award organizers for this. ”
Blanche Bailly, winner of Best Female Artist at MUMA2020
What stage are you at now and what are your next steps?
Since MUMA2020, we have successfully established Muzikol not just as one of the biggest and best music technology platforms, but as a center of musical activities and business in Cameroon. We are also working on a music business seminar to discuss solutions to serious issues affecting the music industry, such as restricting the inflow of foreign music to Cameroon.
Our immediate plan is to improve our web and mobile applications, to stand out better in the global music market. We will put more money in the hands of music stakeholders, improving the quality of entertainment in Africa. We are also working on the first edition of MUMA Magazine which will document happenings around the African music industry. We have a vision to drive the Muzikol platform from Cameroon to the global stage.
What one tip for success would you give to your fellow innovators?
Work hard and look at every failure as an opportunity. When the going gets tough, always remember why you started your innovation and keep pushing. What matters is not how fast you get there but how far you go.