Despite a challenging year, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy Class of 2020 has graduated. The year 2020 was tough due to COVID-19, but the 60 students from the Lusaka, Nairobi and Lagos academy hubs were resilient enough to adapt and transition from physical to virtual learning.
“The MultiChoice Talent Factory is very close to my heart. It speaks to who we are as Africans, natural-born storytellers,” Yolisa Phahle, CEO of General Entertainment and Connected Services at MultiChoice Group. “Today 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.”
The students’ academic course was extended from 12 to 18 months due to the pandemic. This additional time translated to the students today walking away with not one but two qualifications, making them even more sought-after as they re-enter their respective local film and TV sectors as highly qualified industry professionals.
Alongside their MTF qualification, the students also walk away with an equally illustrious qualification from the prestigious New York Film Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA).
Africa’s creative industries are custodians of the continent’s cultural heritage, and as Africa’s most-loved storyteller, MultiChoice has always put to use its desire to develop and invest in African talent through initiatives such as MTF. And like the previous cohort, the skills gained by the Class of 2020 once again shone through during their course.
The students completed an intensive three-week online NYFA course on the production of micro-documentaries, PSAs and music videos and also worked with the United Nations on the global #PledgeToPause campaign, exposing the young creatives to global networks. In addition, MTF graduates are now part of the MTF alumni network and connected to industry professionals from across the continent through the MTF Portal, www.multichoicetalentfactory.com
The continued success of the MTF initiative since it started in 2018 is also rooted in its strong partnerships with NYFA, the Henley Business School Africa, Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria, Kenyatta University in Kenya and the University of Zambia in Zambia. MTF also has partnerships with internationally acclaimed organisations Dolby, Jasco Broadcast Solutions and Nihilent.
MTF’s partners have further contributed to the initiative by offering awards to this year’s graduates. The awards and lucky recipients are:
NYFA 8-week scholarship, which goes to the top performing graduate per region. This year’s recipients are; Abisola Aboaba (Nigeria), Daisy Masembe (Uganda) and Maira Tauacale (Mozambique).
8-week scriptwriting internship on an animation series from global consulting and solutions integration company Nihilent Technologies. The winners are; 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 an amazing opportunity to work at 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. Well done to Joshua Tsotso (Nigeria), Hanigun Kwenya (Kenya) and Masuzyo Mwale (Zambia).
“This is a proud moment for everyone involved in ensuring that the students became graduates. 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,” Phahle said. “All this would not have been possible without the collaboration and commitment of our fantastic partners.”