MTF Academy celebrates next generation of African storytellers
Now in its 3rd cohort, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) has proven that the African entertainment industry is ripe with gripping stories that are waiting to be told.
This was made clear at the MTF Academy’s annual graduation event, where 57 students across three academies in West, East and Southern Africa demonstrated the calibre of talent that exists in Africa. Through their hard work and dedication, they have developed skills that will help them achieve their filmmaking goals.
In addition to the student receiving qualifications accredited by the academy’s three partner universities – University of Zambia, Kenyatta University in Kenya, and Pan Atlantic University in Nigeria – top graduates from each of the three academies were presented with the incredible opportunity to further their development with internships, sponsored by MTF partner organisations.
“Since its inception, MultiChoice has been deeply committed to its African roots. The company recognises the vast potential that Africa has to offer the world in terms of its creative industries, and this graduation is proof of this bold commitment,” says Kenya Academy Director Victoria Goro.
The top graduates who were awarded an eight-week scholarship at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) are Melkamu Haile from Ethiopia, Lushinjilo Victor Kasanga from Zambia and Adedamola Akapo from Nigeria.
The top graduates awarded a two-week Bollywood internship, co-sponsored by Zee World, are Emmanuel Horla Nuvor from Ghana, Audrey Egesa from Kenya and Yvonne Feresu from Zimbabwe. Additionally, top graduates Oluwatoyosi Fowode from Nigeria, Kenneth Msanjila from Tanzania and Larona Dichaba have been awarded with a two-week internship at a local film and TV production in South Africa.
Alongside the graduates’ family members, government officials, high commissioners, MTF partner organisations and stakeholders also attended the illustrious graduation ceremony in support.
“MultiChoice congratulates the Class of 2022 on their achievements and looks forward to working alongside these talented graduates to bring uniquely African stories to homes and cinemas across the continent,” said MultiChoice Northern Africa Regional Director Kobus Bezuidenhout.
The graduates also received congratulatory messages from various MTF Academy facilitators, as well as notable film and TV professionals, including Nigerian actor Mofe Duncan and veteran actors Onyebuchi Ojieh and Ayo Lijadu, Zambian producers Yoweli Chungu and Lawrence Thompson, Zambian actress Chichi Daisy, among others.
The MTF initiative has enjoyed continued success thanks to its strong partnerships with renowned organisations such as NYFA, Dolby Studios, Canon, Zee World, Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria, Kenyatta University in Kenya, and the University of Zambia.
“The students have completed their feature films ahead of their graduation, and will be screened across various markets, which is a great testament to what happens when you equip young people with the right tools to go after their dreams. The Class of 2022 will not be the only ones to benefit from their skills going forward – the work they do now will directly contribute toward the overall socio-economic development of the continent,” says Nigeria Academy Director Atinuke Babatunde.
The MTF Academy provides a 12-month accredited programme in filmmaking. As part of their curriculum, the students participated in various courses under the tutelage of seasoned industry professionals from all over the continent, including Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani and veteran Kenyan producer Appie Matere. The final requirement of their curriculum was to create and develop feature films, which will be launching on DStv local channels.
“Graduation is a monumental milestone in a person’s life. I strongly believe that you now have a strong foundation of knowledge to build on in areas of critical thinking, and the ability to transfer what you learned in the classroom to real-life situations. Remember that with the success of graduation comes more challenges and life opportunities. I hope that you are adequately prepared to embark on your new adventure,” said Dr. Ngozi Okpara, Acting Dean School of Media and Communication – Pan-Atlantic University.
The graduates will soon enter the working world with deeper and more strategic insight into the film and TV business, and take on the exciting challenge of re-shaping and re-telling African stories.
“We’re greatly inspired by the achievements of the Class of 2022, and are thankful for the various partnerships and stakeholders that made this success possible. To date, the MTF shared-value initiative is responsible for enriching the lives of over 170 African creatives since 2018, and MultiChoice is looking forward to sustaining this opportunity for more creatives in future,” says Multichoice Nigeria CEO John Ugbe.