by Thinus Ferreira
The class of 2020's film students from across Africa who attended the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) - the second class to finish the course since the MTF started - graduated on Tuesday after their academic and practical year was extended by a further 6 months because of difficulties due to the global Covid-19 pandemic that also impacted the African continent.
While MultiChoice South Africa runs a MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) hub for its film academy in South Africa, MultiChoice Africa runs three similar hubs across Africa in West, Southern and East Africa in Lagos, Nigeria; Lusaka, Zambia; as well as in Nairobi in Kenya.
"2020 was undoubtedly tough due to Covid-19, but the ability for all the 60 students from the Lusaka, Nairobi and Lagos academy hubs to quickly adapt and transition from physical to virtual learning speaks to the world-class nature of the academy’s course," says Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO of general entertainment and connected Services.
"The MultiChoice Talent Factory is very close to my heart. It speaks to who we are as Africans - natural-born storytellers."
"We are here to celebrate the second cohort who were dealt a heavy blow by the Covid-19 pandemic but the challenge seems to have brought on even greater opportunities," says Yolisa Phahle.
"This is a proud moment for everyone involved in ensuring that the students became graduates," says Yolisa Phahle.
"It’s also been fulfilling to see just how in-tune this next generation of African storytellers are with the importance of being multi-skilled and intuitive creatives. All this would not have been possible without the collaboration and commitment of our fantastic partners."
While the students' academic course was extended from 12 month to 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the interruptions and changes it forced, the additional time meant that the students are getting not one but two qualifications.
As they enter their respective local film and TV sectors across Africa as qualified industry professionals, alongside their MultiChoice Talent Factory qualification, the students also received a qualification from the New York Film Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA).
The students completed an intensive 3-week online NYFA course on the production of micro-documentaries, public service announcements (PSAs), as well as music videos, and also worked with the United Nations on the global #PledgeToPause campaign.
The MultiChoice Talent Factory continues to work partner with the NYFA, the Henley Business School Africa, the Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria, the Kenyatta University in Kenya, as well as the University of Zambia in Zambia.
The MultiChoice Talent Factory also works with international organisations and companies like Dolby, Jasco Broadcast Solutions and Nihilent.
The top performing students from each of the regions also received an 8-week NYFA scholarship. In the class of 2020 these scholarships have been awarded to Abisola Aboaba (Nigeria), Daisy Masembe (Uganda) and Maira Tauacale (Mozambique).
An 8-week scriptwriting internship on an animation series from global consulting and solutions integration company Nihilent Technologies have been awarded to Julie Ako (Nigeria), Kefa Igilo (Tanzania) and Hilma Sheehama (Namibia).
Jasco Broadcast Solutions will provide one AVID media composer licence to the most promising film video editor per region.
The recipients are Gbenga Gomes (Nigeria), Isiko Abubaker (Uganda) and Abel Ngoma (Zambia). The AVID Pro Tools license for the most-promising sound engineer per region was awarded to Igho Arusi Avuirovarie (Nigeria), Maurice Muendo (Kenya) and Reijhaart Wolhuter (Namibia).
MultiChoice's platforms will be giving students the opportunity to work on M-Net local productions.
Each winner will take part in a 4-week internship on M-Net productions equipping them with the skills they need to tell authentic and original African stories and these students are Joshua Tsotso (Nigeria), Hanigun Kwenya (Kenya) and Masuzyo Mwale (Zambia).