EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a feature on Moonlight Cafe that was published on the Voice Of America website on saturday. There is one error of fact in the publication. Moonlight Cafe was started in the University of Ghana and moved to KNUST, not the other way round. It is however a great piece on the work Moonlight Cafe has been doing for the last three years. Enjoy!
Kobby Koomson co-founded Moonlight Café to reach out to young underground artists and discover new talent in music, poetry and the spoken word. Koomson and his partner, Sydney Sam, believe that creativity must replace financial gains as the main driver of entertainment.
“Our primary focus is to change the face of entertainment in Ghana and Africa in the medium term,” says Koomson, “because entertainment here has become more of a financial thing than for the sake of the art.
Hear how two young businessmen discover a music model
“People go into it because they have talent and they want to make money. It doesn’t come with the desire to do better than what is already there. There is less creativity.
“So we are trying to bring back the feeling of creativity in entertainment.”
Moonlight Café is born at Kwame Nkrumah University
It all began three years ago when two college freshmen, Koomson and Sam decided to turn their love of music and poetry into a public show on their university campus. And with a shoestring budget they pulled out of their own pockets, Moonlight Café was born.
Koomson describes he and his former college roommate, Sam, as lovers of music and poetry. “I used to sing a little when I was in high school and I used to dabble in poetry, too,” Koomson says.
One day they talked about getting start-up capital to do a show. Sam had some money to get them started. They talked about creating a platform for showcasing new talent that would be popular on college campuses.
They registered Moonlight Café with the student club at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and later on other college campuses.
“We do it for the students as part of the student club, so we don’t need to go outside campus to get any permission. If we need we get it from the school authorities,” Koomson says, “we are good to go.”
Quickly they recreated their model on two other Ghana college campuses and with teams of organizers on each campus they spread the word to audiences and potential new performers through social media and on public radio.
Koomson and Sam had ambitions beyond their college campus and Moonlight Café was quick to be reproduced on two other campuses across the country. Through social media and public radio, teams of organizers reach out to far audiences and potential performers.
“We have teams on every campus we operate on, so fundamentally the teams on campuses go around doing publicity for the artists who sign up.” Read the rest of the article and listen to the audio of the interview on VOA