World music singer and musician Youssou N'Dour has successfully launched a private TV station in his homeland of Senegal, despite initial resistance from the government.
The Grammy-winning artist's new cultural channel Television Futurs Medias (TFM) began broadcasting Wednesday evening with a debate featuring diplomats, musicians, politicians, industrialists and government officials, as well as a performance and speech from N'Dour.
"I always believed that TFM would broadcast, sooner or later," N'Dour said, according to Agence France-Presse.
The TV station is the latest addition to N'Dour's Dakar-based Futurs Medias.
The private media group also operates a widely popular radio station (Radio Futurs Medias, or RFM) and a large-circulation daily newspaper called L'Observateur, which have often been critical of Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade's government and decision-making in recent years.
N'Dour first announced plans to start a general TV channel in 2008.
However, his licence application was denied, with Wade citing concern over "foreigners" financing the singer and media mogul's prospective TV station and influencing its policies.
In May, N'Dour announced he had reached an agreement with the government and finally secured broadcast rights for the cultural TV station.
As well as being one of the African continent's best known musicians and cultural figures, N'Dour is also an active charity fundraiser, anti-poverty activist and a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations.
The making of his Grammy Award-winning 2005 album Egypt, an album honouring his Islamic faith, and the surprise negative reaction to it by Senegal's Muslim leaders was captured in the documentary Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008.
"I try my best to bring the real image of Africa," he told CBC in Toronto that year.
"[The African] continent is a beautiful continent, a rich continent. [There's a] need to sacrifice your time and everything to tell other people on the other side how this continent is fantastic."