By: Abdulai Braima
September 5th, 2021.
The Africa Young Voices (AYV) Media Empire has officially opened the new international media centre building in Central London, further bringing Sierra Leone to the world and the world to Sierra Leone and Africa.
In an elegant ceremony held at number 18 SOHO SQUARE, in the heart of London’s highly prized business district, AYV International has stamped a major pointer in its determined climb to the big league of international media broadcasting.
Cutting the ribbon to mark the launching of the well-attended occasion on behalf of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, the government and people of Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, HE Dr. Morie Komba Manyeh expressed joy and pride at the landmark project. The High Commissioner encouraged the AYV team members to continue to work together to challenge themselves in achieving bigger and better goals.
The expansive three-storey office nestled in a quiet corner off London’s famed Oxford Street would be housing production, broadcasting and modern media training facilities for the AYV International media centre. The proximity to the BBC headquarters is an added advantage considering the many collaborative links now existing between the two respected media houses.
The neatly organised occasion was graced by a cross section of very important dignitaries in the London media world including prominent representatives from the Afro-Caribbean community.
Also present were Dr. Adonis Abboud, a Sierra Leonean-based businessman and philanthropist. Dr. Abboud is a senior executive of ‘Transitional Limited DSTV’ with extensive international connections. He is also an honorary Paramount Chief of Upper Bambara Chiefdom in the Kailahun district; Ms Nana Ofori-Atta Oguntola, the Managing Director ‘World Media Initiatives Community Interest Company’ is a renowned filmmaker and an established author; Dr Roselle Thompson, another accomplished author, media director and International education leader; Mr Collins Archie-Pearce, Sierra Leonean-British Film Producer, Director and Actor who has featured in over 50 Nollywood and other African films.
The Founder and CEO of AYV, Ambassador Anthony Navo Jr, who was described by almost all the speakers as inspiring, was in attendance with his elegant wife, Mrs Haja Navo who heads AYV International in the United Kingdom. Ambassador Navo narrated the history of the AYV from its humble beginnings to the current status of launch, becoming one of only few countries in West Africa with a broadcasting presence on DSTV television channel, a channel which is watched by subscribers all over the world including in almost all African countries. He ended his speech by promising that there was more in store for AYV viewers. “For us, the sky is not the limit”, declared the dynamic young Ambassador to the approving applause of his audience.
Mr Messeh Leone, Director of AYV International who is recognised internationally for his incredible work with the Commonwealth Global in London, served as Master of Ceremony for the occasion. Mr Leone emphasised the point that the AYV has internationalised a proudly Sierra Leonean media brand and is now in the business of further “bringing Sierra Leone to the world and the world to Sierra Leone and Africa”. He thanked everyone for their presence and particularly appealed to the African diaspora to make the best use of the platform provided by AYV international on 18 SOHO SQUARE, off Oxford Street in the heart of London’s business district.
Mr Leone added that “AYV’s reputation and credibility of its brand in Sierra Leone and across the world are based upon its fundamental values of media independence, editorial integrity and impartiality”. He went on to underline the point that “these treasured values are at the heart of AYV’s work both nationally and internationally”, urging audiences around the world to “trust the AYV to provide a level playing field for people and institutions from all backgrounds and to treat every person and subject with fairness”.
In further taking Africa with Sierra Leone to the world, AYV is literally taking itself to the media skies!