Helping youth develop their talent in the film industry

Tuesday September 11 2018


By Salome Gregory @TheCitizenTz

Encouraging youth to pursue their dreams helps create a better generation for tomorrow, as such, there have been different initiatives aimed at helping the young generation master their area of expertise.

An excited group of young Tanzanians is filled with smiles after being chosen for the Multichoice Academy Programme next month. The lot will be joined by other youth from Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia in Kenya for enhanced training in the film and television industry.

Speaking to Success, Johnson Mshana, Head of Corporate Affairs MultiChoice Tanzania says, the programme is designed to focus on positively impacting the technical and professional value chain in the film and television industry across the continent.

From Tanzania, 4 candidates were selected based on their industry related qualifications and skills, as well as their passion to narrate Africa’s unique stories. The students are Sarah Kimario, Wilson Nkya, Jamal Kishuli and Jane Moshi, who will represent Tanzania at the Kenya-based academy.

Mshana further states that the four Tanzanian students chosen tallies to a total of 60 students chosen as emerging filmmakers from Africa to begin 12-month training programmes through the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy.

“Candidates were chosen after a two-month long process of short listing candidates from over 3000 entries from 13 countries in Africa. It was later followed by a rigorous interview and adjudication process by a group of film and television industry experts and regional Academy Directors,” says Mshana.

Jamal Kishuli, 23, graduated last year at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) with a degree in Film & Television Studies. He says he saw the training advert at the University and decided to apply for the opportunity.

He further states that he is among first eight students who took a risk to enrol to the newly introduced degree at Udsm to justify their passion for the film industry. He says before he applied for the opportunity he knew he was qualified for it, however he had no idea how good other applicants were.

“I did my internship at the Media for Development International’s (MFID). I had an opportunity to work closely with two film productions namely Fatuma as the Assistant Director and Bahasha as Location Assistant Director. The two films gave me massive experience which came in handy when applying for this opportunity,” says Kishuli.

He adds that through the two films he managed to learn a lot of things from the crew, which included people from different parts of the world who are well experienced in the film industry.

He expresses his anticipation for more exposure in the film industry from the upcoming training as well as learning new things from other students.

Sara Kimario, 25, a student holding a degree in Computer Engineering & IT from Udsm says that she has no background in filmmaking; however, she has been learning a lot about film through YouTube.

She would like to learn more on scriptwriting. Together with two of her friends, they’ve teamed and started a company that deals with film.

“Our company is only three months old; I run the office while the two colleagues are work on content issues. Through sponsorship we’ve managed to do two films called Scream and Moyo Wangu,” says Kimario.

She says by utilising the upcoming opportunity, she hopes to make changes in telling real stories and giving the film industry a back-to-reality touch as most of films have lost the African touch by embracing western cultures.

She says, though her degree is not connected to film, her passion in the film industry will drive her to excellence and enable her to achieve doing things at a high level.

Wilson Nkya, 23, another candidate selected for the programme is a lifestyle blogger and an African-inspired jewellery designer with his brand name WillyHands. He holds a bachelor degree in Logistics and Transport Management from the National Institute of Transport.

Working with the T-shirt& Jeans initiative in the city, he managed to engage with fellow youth by doing live plays.

T-shirt & Jeans is an urban worship youth meeting with unorthodox and unconventional programs. The initiative aims at winning the hearts of young generation back to God as it inspires passionate pursuit of God and his presence at the same time creating a platform for the recognition of the different unique talents and gifts endowed in our generation.

His live play had four episodes and youths at the initiative played a big role in making it happen. It involved a lot of daily life struggles that affect today’s youth.

“This training programme is a very big platform for me. I expect to use this opportunity to enhance my skills on film and get more connections that will upgrade my work to the next level,” says Nkya.

The MTF Academy students will be provided with skill-sets to develop their talent, connect with industry professionals and tell authentic African stories through a comprehensive curriculum comprising theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling.

The award-winning script writer Njoki Muhoho, who will spearhead the East Africa MTF Academy hub in Kenya was recently quoted saying, during the programme, MTF Academy students will produce television and film content that will be aired on our local M-Net channels across the MultiChoice platform including Africa Magic, Maisha Magic East, Maisha Magic Bongo, Zambezi Magic, M-Net and SuperSport to reach African audiences on the DStv and GOtv platforms.

“We’re exceptionally impressed with the calibre of young Africans chosen to be part of the inaugural MultiChoice Talent Factory. Their applications illustrated their passion for the continent – they talk about making African stories go viral and getting international audiences addicted to high-quality and engaging local content,” says Muhoho.

On his part, Mshana says “as a company that is deeply rooted in Tanzania we understand that many young, aspiring filmmakers have the capacity to learn and strengthen their skill-sets to give back to their communities but may not be financially equipped to do so. The Talent Factory focuses on making sure that those gems are nurtured and their talent developed in order to contribute meaningfully to Africa’s creative industry.”

The African continent is steeped in a rich and diverse history of living passionately through language, art, music and colourful storytelling. As the continent continues to change rapidly, the entertainment industry has become ever more relevant. The training factory is an opportunity in this fast-changing environment, one that will have a lasting impact on the industry as a whole.

“This programme which will be rolled out in partnership with stakeholders across the continent, will provide the creative industries a platform to learn and develop their talent, engage and connect with each other through their shared passions,” adds Mshana.