Mpumi Phillips, director of distribution, will lead the company’s Johannesburg, South Africa office; Ikechukwu Onuorah, director, Nigeria in Lagos; and Beth Achitsa, artist & label Relations manager in Nairobi, Kenya.
Collectively, these new executives will provide local distribution expertise, release strategy and regional support to The Orchard’s extensive roster of artist and label clients, while focusing on expanding the reach of African artists to global audiences. Phillips, Achitsa and Onuorah will report to Ben Oldfield, VP, Africa.
Mpumi Phillips has almost 20 years of industry experience, starting her career as a label manager at Ghetto Ruff before spending 10 years at Sheer Publishing.
Ikechukwu Onuorah started his career in London where he gained experience in booking, artist and stage management, festival planning and more. Onuorah previously held positions at Urban Soul Orchestra, Artiste Manager Association Nigeria and the Gidi Culture Festival.
Beth Achitsa has years of festival experience, including her position as the production lead for the East Africa Music Summit and work with the Lola Kenya Screen festival.
“The Orchard’s expansion into this musically rich continent will connect artists to fans all over the globe,” said Ben Oldfield. “Growing our presence with local leadership in these three key markets cements our long-term commitment to artists and labels in Africa, and ensures we have trusted leaders on the ground who truly appreciate, value and understand these varying cultures.”
“I am so excited to have this opportunity to work with South African artists and labels while expanding their global reach through the innovative network that The Orchard has to offer,” said Mpumi Phillips. “The company is renowned for always putting its clients first and my focus will be to build long term relationships and empower entrepreneurs in South Africa through all the work that we do.”
“The Orchard’s key strength is its ability to support clients while pushing them to achieve maximum exposure through global reach, whilst at the same time being flexible in its approach and tailoring services to the unique circumstances of the continent,” said Ikechukwu Onuorah. “Most importantly, the company is strongly committed to contributing to the expansion of West Africa by supporting initiatives that empower and sustain economic growth.”
“The Orchard’s expansion into East Africa means we can be much more hands-on with our artists on the ground,” added Beth Achitsa. “For such a young market where the streaming business is on the rise, it gives me great pleasure to be a part of a global team, serving our labels and partners with local solutions while enabling them to build their businesses globally.”
In addition to these new executives, The Orchard has also grown its artist and label roster across the continent. Busiswa joins The Orchard in South Africa along with artists BlaQ Diamond, Babes Wodumo and Vusi Nova, and labels Ambitiouz Entertainment and Ghetto Ruff.
In West Africa, Lady Donli, Wavy the Creator, Zinoleevsky, Mohbad, Ghanaian Banku producer Juls, Naira Marley and Marlian Music have joined the roster. In East Africa, artists and labels that have joined The Orchard include Tetu Shani, Maurice Kirya, Bushali, Eric Wainaina, Green Ferry and Bongo Records.