The 14th annual Harvard African Business Conference will take place this weekend March 2-4. Chineze Anyaene and Zelalem Woldermariam will be speaking in a panel about the entertainment industries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Born and raised in Abuja, Nigeria, Chineze Anyaene earned a MFA in Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy, where she became the first student in the history of the program to shoot a feature film as her thesis while in school. Her thesis film, Ije – The Journey, starring Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade, has won many awards is currently the highest grossing film in Nigeria. She is CEO of Xandria Productions.
Zelalem Woldermariam is managing director and producer of Zeleman Production. Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he wrote, directed, and produced a full-length feature film The 11th Hour in 2006, which later played at both local and international film festivals. His short Lezrae (For Today) was an official selection at FESPACO, the prestigious biennial film festival in Burkina Faso, and he recently was one of five winners of the Focus Features Africa First program, in which Focus will produce his next short film. He has also directed and produced dozens of TV commercials, music videos, and documentary films for his production company, Zeleman Production.
Entrepreneur Jason Njoku will be speaking in the conference’s social media panel. Having studied chemistry at the University of Manchester in the UK, Jason Njoku is founder and CEO of iROKO Partners, a company which focuses on solving the global distribution issues for Nigerian cinema. His first brand – NollywoodLove – is the largest distributor of Nigerian Cinema online, having licensed over 1,600 Nollywood movies from over 270 production houses. His YouTube brands reached 129 million video views in the first year of operation, including 2.4 million unique visitors each month. He has since launched IROKOtv.com, which is the first premium Nigerian-owned video website.