Performance, Participation and Cultural Meaning in MTN Project Fame Music Reality Show: A Multimodal Approach


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships




Performance and participation are important meaning making resources in African music reality shows, but they have not been explored especially as they articulate cultural meaning in these shows. Therefore, this study investigates the issues of performance and participation in MTN Project Fame West Africa as they unravel socio-cultural meaning. It also explores how performance and participation portray the emergence of new culture in African music. A total of thirty episodes were selected from the first six seasons of the show. Five episodes were picked from each of the seasons, out of which ten performances were selected from each season making a total of sixty performances. The study adopts Norris (2004)’s Multimodal Interaction Analysis as framework and borrows insight from Goffman (1981)’s Participation Framework. The study seeks to illustrate that performance and participation in MTN Project Fame West Africa are important tools for articulating socio-cultural meaning and concerns in Africa.