WINDHOEK, AUG 28 – Having battled through two months of shortlisting, and edging out the better part of some 3 000 entries from 13 countries in Africa, Esther Tasha, Utjiwa Beukes, Ashivudhi Toivo Nghidipohamba and Sally Ndapandula Jason will represent Namibia at the Zambia-based MTF Academy from 1 October.
In total, 60 candidates have been chosen to be the first students of the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy, 20 of those from Southern Africa.
Billed as the future of Africa’s Film & Television Industry, the candidates underwent a rigorous interview and adjudication process by a group of film and television industry experts and regional Academy Directors.
They were selected based on their industry-related qualifications and skills, as well as their passion to narrate Africa’s unique stories. MultiChoice Africa will sponsor the students’ tuition, accommodation and stipend for the duration of their training in each regional hub.
Here is what they had to say:
Sally Ndapandula Jason
“I am passionate about creating a platform that tells the African story in all its forms,” said emerging and ambitious Sally Ndapandula Jason. Born in Luderitz, Namibia, 26-year-old Sally is a radio and digital presenter, social media coordinator and freelance master of ceremonies. “My dream is to be the creator of talk shows for Namibian and African audiences that celebrates, informs and entertains the people and resources the continent has to offer.” According to Sally, “I am hoping to gain as much experiences and skills at the MultiChoice Talent Factory, which I can bring back to Namibia and create local-inspired stories on all media platforms.” She has pledged to invest in the betterment of her country, and said, “I am passionate about Namibia being one of the most sought after countries in the entertainment industry and I am equipping and motivating myself every day with that very goal.”
Ashivudhi Toivo Nghidipohamba
Born in Oshakati, Namibia, Ashivudhi is a 24-year-old director at a multimedia and communication agency and has a bachelors degree in multimedia animation and visual effects. Passionate about film-making, graphic design and figure drawing, Ashivudhi dreams of one day becoming a VFX creative director. “If I could create a TV show one day, it would be a science fiction drama,” said Ashivudhi. “Sci-fi genre has a wide range that can be explored. Plus the integration of CGI to an African story could really create a great TV show.” Excited to be part of the MultiChoice Talent Factory, Ashivudhi is hoping to gain skills in a number of ways at the academy, and highlights the key areas as “production set experience, becoming an excellent director and expanding my visual effects skills.” One always looking to help strengthen the industry, he added, “Skill transfer is a central tenet of bridging the gap within the African film and TV industry. Besides funding, the know-how is essential in storytelling. I believe if I can one day share these skills with other young creative individuals, it will have a positive impact on the industry’s growth.”
Esther Tasha Utjiwa Beukes
“At the MultiChoice Talent Factory, I’m hoping to gain the skills necessary to create quality content. More specifically learn how to package my product well enough to sell,” highlighted freelance filmmaker Esther Tasha Utjiwa Beukes from Windhoek, Namibia, who has a certificate in television and film production. With a dream of becoming a world-renowned director, if Esther could create a TV show it would be “an African Food Travel Documentary showcasing African Culture and sharing our diversity.” The multi-talented Beukes, who is also a hockey player, says she has a “fresh approach to problem solving and I’m bursting with new ideas on how to tell our stories.” Highlighting the film industry as a source of nurturing narratives, Esther said, “I look forward to a time where the creative industries will play a major role in driving Africa’s economy and in the future employing many more young creatives.”
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.
MultiChoice Africa identified an opportunity in this fast-changing environment – one that will have a lasting impact on the industry as a whole. The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) is a multi-tiered training programme designed by MultiChoice Africa to focus on positively impacting the technical and professional value chain in the film and television industry across the continent.
“As a business born and bred in Africa we have a long-term commitment to making a socio-economic difference in the countries in which we operate. As such, this initiative, will help to play a positive role in growing Africa’s creative industries into vibrant, economic powerhouses. This training 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,” read a statement issued by Levana Cloete: MultiChoice Corporate Affairs Manager.
“Working hand-in-hand with local creative organisations, regulatory and government partners across the continent, we use our people, facilities and network to provide young emerging filmmakers with a tailored 12-month apprenticeship, equipping them with the skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications to help launch a successful career within the creative industry. Through the MTF, MultiChoice Africa’s legacy will emphasise our commitment to enriching lives by developing the art of inspired local storytelling and story making, while simultaneously growing local content on our DStv and GOtv platforms and ultimately continue showcasing Africa’s rich cultural heritage and diversity.” – email@example.com