CEO, Accelerate, Lagos, Nigeria
Entertainment Jury President
“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader” - Dolly Parton, American Singer/Songwriter.
The above quote best describes the impact of Colette Otusheso, Chief Executive Officer at Accelerate. With over 23 years of leadership in both well-established Nigerian and global organizations, Colette has successfully etched a niche for herself as an accomplished, innovative and multi-dimensional professional.
Colette is a seasoned, results-driven marketing, communications and project management expert with a track record of championing organizational-wide initiatives within cross-functional teams. Colette has successfully led strategic planning, business planning, marketing, advertising and diverse marketing communications campaigns in various organizations including The Department of Trade and Industry UK, IBM, The London Borough of Lambeth, Morgan Chase Bank, MNET Africa and many others.
During her tenure as Marketing and Events Manager at MNET, Colette was instrumental in the successful launch of several Africa Magic channels across Africa as well as the marketing of MNET’s most popular shows including Big Brother Africa, Tinsel, Naija Sings, Face of Africa and other MNET shows.
Colette went on to lead the VIACOM International Media Network Africa Nigeria office as the Country Lead/Head of Marketing, Communications and Operations where she oversaw the execution and marketing of major MTV, MTV Base, Nickelodeon and BET campaigns in Nigeria including the biggest music awards in Africa, the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA’s), The successful launch and execution of award-winning MTV Shuga, a multimedia drama campaign which educates youths on HIV, safe sex and teen pregnancy, and MTV Meets, a show that allows young people to meet world leaders and influencers such as President Jacob Zuma, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Alike Dangote, Richard Branson, Russell Simmons and more are testaments of her dynamic professionalism and leadership. She also played a key role in the success of the MTV Africa All Stars campaign in both Nigeria and South Africa, as well as the MTV VJ Search, The BET Awards, BET Top Actor, The MTV European Music Awards, local Comedy Central activations amongst other Viacom campaigns.
Colette is the CEO of a Lagos-based multimedia content creation start-up, Accelerate (www.acceleratetv.com) founded by Access Bank. Accelerate is a digital youth-focused content entertainment hub that specializes in creating educational, empowering, and entertaining content for the new African millennial to bring Africa to the world. Accelerate has a creative agency arm as well as a youth empowerment training and capacity building arm.
Accelerate was launched in 2016 as a key platform for Access Bank to support the creative industry. The objective is for Accelerate to be one of the leading online content creation platforms in the country supporting young people in achieving their dreams in the creative sector while also ensuring that Accelerate is at the forefront of media and innovation in Nigeria, providing ground-breaking content to the rest of the world.
With a buzzing website, app and burgeoning YouTube channel, Accelerates work philosophy is hinged on its ethos of the 3 Es - to Educate, Empower and Entertain, and does this via its content creation, training, event curation, creative agency and empowerment cultivation activities. Accelerate empowers youth by providing them with the training and skills they need to secure full-time jobs by hosting masterclasses in fashion, music, and film annually. Some of these training and masterclasses have been led by well-known figures in the global creative industry.
Colette has always advocated youth empowerment and through Accelerate she created “The Accelerate Filmmaker project” which is a multifaceted film training program aimed at training young, budding filmmakers aged 25 years and under. The annual campaign was created to empower the youth by providing them with much-needed capacity building, training, and mentorship in the concepts of storytelling, scriptwriting, producing, directing, filmmaking, and the full range of skills required by modern filmmakers to excel as creators in the Nigerian film industry.
Short films from the project have been premiered at the Africa International Film Festival and showcased at numerous local and International Film Festivals around the world including The New York African Film Festival, the Silicon Valley Film Festival in the United States, the African in Motion Film Festival in the UK, Durban Film Festival, South Africa, the Realtime Film Festival, and the Lights Camera Action Film Festival.
The films have also received numerous awards including the 2018 AMVCA for Best Short Film, 2019 Filmhouse and Moet & Chandon Film Gala for Best Short Film, 2020 Filmhouse and Moet & Chandon Film Gala for Best Short Film, and 2020 AMVCA for Best Short Film. The successes of the Accelerate short films encapsulate the core values of the Accelerate Filmmaker Project, which is to educate and empower young filmmakers by providing them with tools to tell their own stories and create potentially award-winning films. Accelerate has gone ahead to receive more awards including a Gold Pitcher award for their thought-provoking documentary series “The Streets of Lagos” amongst others.
In 2015, Colette was named one of the ‘15 Most Powerful Women in Nigerian Entertainment’ and in 2017 was named ‘International Women’s Day’s 10 Most Popular Women in Nigerian Entertainment’. She also received an ‘Award for Innovation in Recognition of New Thinking in Digital Storytelling and Television Programming’ for Accelerate at the Women in Journalism Africa Awards 2017. Colette was also named ‘Top 50 Leading Women in Corporate Nigeria’ in 2019 by Leading Ladies Africa and in the same year, she was recognized as one of the ‘100 High Achievers of African Descent’ around the world in media and culture by the United Nations-backed MIPAD organization. She went on to be named one of the ‘Top 100 Career Women in Nigeria’ in March 2021.
Colette recently led the launch of Accelerate Plus, (https://accelerateplus.vhx.tv/) an SVOD (Streaming Video on Demand) platform that offers exclusive African blockbuster shows, series, short films, and documentaries, as well as original Accelerate produced content that appeals to both young and old African audiences.
Followed by the launch of ‘The Phoenix Project’ (www.phoenixprojectng.com) which is a learning and physical platform training thousands of Nigerian youth across a range of diverse creative fields It aims to provide the training, job opportunities, funding and support for young people interested in working in the creative sector.
Colette’s recent courses include A Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Business from the prestigious Columbia Business School, New York jointly with MIT Management Institute, Production and Filmmaking Course at The New York Film Academy. Colette is passionate about mentoring young professionals, promoting youth empowerment and other CSR activities.