In 2005, actor Will Smith expressed an interest in helping to reshape
Rapper-turned-actor Ludacris also visited Africa for his musical video shoot and expressed amazement at the beauty of the people and the countryside of
The opportunities for rebranding that is presented here by these two African-American celebrities is significant. These are young, highly visible and successful recording artist and actors with a fan base that stretches across all parts of the world. Presently, no effort has been made to tap into opportunities that are presented by western celebrities who have expressed concerns about the negative portrayal of the continent; yet Africa bemoans the role of celebrities in endorsing negative brands of Africa. To undertake the task of rebuilding or rebranding Africa, like it or not,
Blogger Kofi notes on Annansi Chronicles that evidence of the power of celebrity can be seen in the media coverage of the recent TED Global conference in
To make an inroad into rebranding Africa, it is essential to employ some of the tactics and popular cultural tools through which information is assessed globally. The celebrity culture is at the top of that list. The challenge today is that Western celebrities on `save
Current efforts to re-brand Africa focus on communicating the possibilities and business innovations taking place in Africa, while ignoring the branding activities of international aid and charity marketing. To re-brand Africa to a mass audience requires a repackaging of Africa, and demands public information and advocacy strategies for engaging with the current channels of aid and charity branding of Africa because two-versions and perceptions of a brand cannot live together; one brand has to dominate.`A brand is valuable for one reason and one reason only. It dominates a category.’ Because of this, most new brands don’t stand a chance. New branding efforts of/on Africa including national initiaitves will not stand a chance unless the old brand is challenged.
Information and research to challenge current negative branding of Africa exists but they are not available in popular and assessable forms and formats. They are not promoted within and through existing formalized institutions or structures that can systematically disseminate challenge negative branding of Africa and promote alternatives to targeted parties and consumers in