By Benjamin Wickham
WINDHOEK, December 7 — After completing an intensive 12-month training program, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) officially celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2023 from the Southern African Academy during a vibrant ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia. Among the successful graduates are Romeo Urikeraka and Tekla Nakale from Namibia.
MTF, a shared value training program launched by MultiChoice, aims to develop the next generation of African storytellers. Since its inception, it has been dedicated to training the next wave of African filmmakers, responding to the growing demand for high-quality local African productions across the continent.
“MultiChoice Namibia congratulates our MTF alumni for their dedication and commitment to the program,” said MultiChoice Namibia Managing Director Roger Gertze. “We wish them success as they advance their careers in the Namibian TV and film industry.”
MTF Southern Africa Academy Director Christopher Puta expressed gratitude to this year’s graduates, highlighting their dedication and commitment to the course. He looks forward to witnessing the impact of their work as they progress in their careers. He emphasized their incredible talent during the program and encouraged them to apply their skills for the benefit of the entertainment industry in Southern Africa and across the continent.
Romeo shared his experience, stating, “Being at MTF was an eye-opener. I was among the best in the industry, including people like Neil McCarthy who taught us the beauty of scriptwriting.” While in Zambia, Romeo contributed to several productions, including the Zambian series Mpali, where he managed a crew of 50 people.
Recognizing a gap in the Namibian film and television industry, Romeo expressed his intention to contribute and share his newly acquired skills with others in the field.
Tekla reflected on her evolution during her time at MTF, stating, “I knew where my strength was, and we started with what I was good at – scriptwriting. But eventually, I started taking an interest in directing and producing.” Describing her experience as life-changing, Tekla emphasized that filmmaking involves more than just creativity; it’s a business that requires teamwork and effective people skills.
Kemi Omotosho, MultiChoice Southern Africa Regional Director, acknowledged the MTF Academy as a valuable path to a career in the African entertainment sector for aspiring filmmakers. She highlighted the academy’s role in developing the industry in the region, ensuring sustainability, and providing a talent pipeline for local productions.
MTF alumni have already made significant contributions to successful productions across the continent, working in various roles such as directors, producers, sound designers, camera operators, art directors, and editors on major African productions.
“MTF is a collaborative platform for our sector to develop talent,” said Omotosho. “It is helping to build the future of Southern Africa’s film and TV industry. We thank all our partners, stakeholders, and collaborators for coming together to grow local skills and invest in Africa’s future.”