By0 FEMI SALAWU
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa today announced the hosts for Lip Sync Battle Africa, the first localised format of the multi-platform, pop-culture phenomenon to air on the continent.
South African entertainment superstar Pearl Thusi and Nigerian music legend D’Banj will host Lip Sync Battle Africa. Pearl Thusi will serve as all around host and “master of ceremonies”, while “Koko Master” and “Oliver Twist” star D’Banj will step up as the “colour commentator”, adding his lively observations to the proceedings.
Lip Sync Battle Africa will premiere in April 2016 on MTV Base (DStv channel 322, GOtv channel 72).
The critically acclaimed and award-nominated Lip Sync Battle, originally created for Spike, features celebrities going head-to-head, lip-syncing the song of their choice, battling for the coolest bragging rights on the planet.
Multi-talented actress, radio DJ, model and television personality Pearl Thusi is a fixture on the South African entertainment scene. The KZN-born beauty currently stars in popular South African soap opera Isidingo in the recurring role of Palesa Motaung, as well as co-hosting Live AMP with DJ Warras and Luthando Shosha.
Musician, wit and virtuoso harmonica player D’Banj, best known for his mastery of the contemporary Afrobeat genre, first catapulted to fame in 2005 following the release of his debut album, No Long Thing, and has subsequently enjoyed success with global hits such as “Oliver Twist”, “Fall in Love” and “Suddenly”. His latest release, “Emergency”, is grabbing headlines and notching up radio airplay around the continent. Among his many accolades and awards, D’Banj has won Best African Act and Artist of the Year at the MTV EMAs and MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) and was named Best International Act (Africa) at the BET Awards.
Pearl Thusi commented, “Lip Sync Battle is such an incredible social, cultural and media sensation, I am so excited to be a part of bringing it to African audiences.”
Added D’Banj, “It’s an honour and a privilege to be hosting Lip Sync Battle Africa. I’m excited, willing and ready to entertain the continent on such a great platform. I am looking forward to seeing how well my fellow celebrities battle each other and entertain the world.”
Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, VIMN Africa, commented, “We are thrilled to translate this global hit franchise to Africa for the first time. With huge personalities such as D’Banj and Pearl Thusi at the helm, Lip Sync Battle Africa cannot fail to emulate the success of the franchise in the United States, and spin-offs in other territories such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Chile.”
Speaking on behalf of MTV Base, Ifeoma Williams, said, “With great chemistry between our hosts and a fantastic line-up of contestants from across the cultural spectrum, Lip Sync Battle Africa is guaranteed to capture the attention and affection of our audience in Africa. Whether you are 15 or 55 years old, you’ll be “lip syncing” in the car, with your friends, or in the shower. We hope and expect that people will take to social media and tag each other to start battling each other with #LSBChallenge.”