CultureInterviews

Osama Tolba: Pharaoh Media Mogul

While most of the younger generation use social me­dia more often than not, mostly chatting, sharing videos, pictures and com­menting. However, it takes a certain type of young­ster to be so dedicated and full of passion to turn it around from a hobby, to an impressive business and career that is making people sit-up and take no­tice; this young gentleman is Osama Tolba.

Egyptian Osama Tolba is a journalist and digital media consultant, work­ing for some of the world’s biggest names. Studying Information Technology at Tanta University leant itself to his early success, within media.

Starting out in the Youth Department at Huffington Post, Osama had a bigger vision, meaning he quick­ly climbed the ladder of success, by switching to the Entertainment Department. This is when he came into his own, where he honed his skills and created a successful portfolio of stars he interviewed, which in­cluded; George Wassouf, Hani Shaker, as well as Elam Jay, Karim Abdel Aziz, to Mohamed Henedy, and many others. With this success at Huffington Post, Osama started editing for Wikipedia, eventually becoming an Arabic editor for them. At such a young age, and with huge success within terms of Arab stars and two of the biggest names in digital media, he is seen as the young­est digital media specialist. Osama saw this as just the beginning, he has a lot of aspirations and goals he wants to meet, and by saying he is passionate and determined is an understatement, he is focused 100% on his game, becoming a real-life testament to the sky is really the limit.

However, if you were to classify Osama as just an editor or jour­nalist, you are wrong; he is a multi-tasking, hard-working profession­al with several lead roles, such as well-known Zoom News, as well as being the Managing Editor at istar­mag.com.

Osama Tolba with Georges Wassouf

Steering away from his editing and journalism positions he holds, he has a long list of accolades, such as, the Managing Director of the Ramadan 2015 program ‘2 3ala 1’ which hosted big names such as Bassem Samra and Mohamed Ragab. As well as winning the Dig­ital Media Producer role for 2016’s Murex D’or which was a huge step for a young Egyptian, or any young gentleman, to step into Lebanon and give it 110% and succeed effortlessly. He has mastered the art of social media presence, not just through his own accolades and verified name, but through the biggest cinema stars of the Arab world. He manages a variety of accounts, each as impressive as the next, accumulating multi-millions of followers in total. Stars such as Donia Samir Ghanem, Karim Abdel Aziz, Mohamed Henedy, Kinda Alloush and Ghada Adel all have the young dig­ital media achiever, Osama Tolba, behind them man­aging their presence and following, creating a bigger buzz as time goes on.

However, his current success story, ‘Screen Mix’ is defi­nitely the cherry on top, when you have learnt how to juggle loss, sadness, mixed with studying, immense op­portunities, as well as global names and dedication. As of today his creation Screen Mix, which is a digital en­tertainment specialised magazine for Cinema and TV has over 4.2 million followers. Osama has changed the Egyptian industry by bringing a fresh approach to the table, and a young vision. See what he has to say about his success, his opinion on the film and media industry and what’s next for his brain­child; Screen Mix.

What is it about the media field you love so much?

I love the cinema aspect to media, the visuals and sto­rytelling.

What would you say was your turning point, the moment that changed everything and made you a known name and successful?

I would say working with stars like the legend Georg­es Wassouf, as well as Elam Jay and Mohamed Henedy. However, with Karim Abdel Aziz I gained more ex­perience in my work, building up more relations with companies and people within the same field, this was definitely my biggest progression within the indus­try.

Out of all the stars you have inter­viewed, which do you deem the best?

I would say the Actor Mohammed Henedy; he is so funny and friend­ly just like how he portrays himself in his movies.

Pharaoh Media Mogul: Osama Tolba

As a media specialist in film and cin­ema, can you tell us one thing that is not common knowledge?

It’s something I shouldn’t say but some producers are only concerned about gain­ing money, instead about the quality, so they go and promote with a segment that is non-relevant to the main movie’s audi­ence.

With Screen Mix having such a successful fol­lowing on social media, how do you plan to use your market for the future?

We are planning now to release many digital video en­tertainment shows, and we will release our first one next month. Followers are becoming more interested with complex content such as videos, and it’s a success for us, this way with a more stable plan of releases we can garner more exposure and followers.

With a more prominent insight into the global media industry, what news can you tell us about lucrative movie deals, cinema and stars, regionally and globally?

Now the future of Cinema is so hazy and becoming more unstable, we think and more likely than not, pay per view platforms such as Netflix will overtake the market com­pletely.

Being the Arabic editor at Huffington Post, what is the most successful piece of journalism you have written?

I would say the article I wrote about people who try to gain money from social media verification badges, and how celebrities deal with it. This article helped by giving a significant insight into such a grey area, actually a lot of celebrities used it as an authentic piece of journalism to understand the situation, and not be fooled by ‘spe­cialists’.