Despite the many obstacles of the past year, the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy’s Class of 2020 has graduated at last, bringing 60 trained new professionals into the African pool of film-making talent.
Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe, said the international Covid-19 crisis had impacted on the training of the students recruited for the 2019-2020 MTF Academy year, but with a range of innovations and a good deal of positivity, the training had been completed and the students graduated on Tuesday April 6.
A total of 60 students were involved in the MTF Academy initiative in its second year of operation, with 20 students each at academy sites in Lusaka (for students from Southern Africa), Nairobi (East Africa) and Lagos (West Africa).
“The crisis resulted in the need to adapt from physical to virtual learning, and this brought about ongoing and continued exposure of these students to the world-class MTF academy’s 2019-2020 course,” she said.
“The students’ academic course had to be extended from 12 months to 18 months, and the students now have not one but two qualifications, making them even more sought-after as they enter the continental film and TV world as qualified industry professionals.”
Additional to their MTF qualification, the students also obtained a qualification from the prestigious New York Film Academy of Visual and Performing Arts.
“We believe that Africa’s creative industries are custodians of the continent’s cultural heritage and as one of Africa’s most important storytellers, MultiChoice has helped develop and invest in African talent through initiatives such as MTF,” said Ms Dziva.
“Like the previous academy Class of 2019, the Class of 2020 did well throughout their course and give us reason to be pleased and impressed.
The students completed an intensive three-week online NYFA course on the production of micro-documentaries, public service advertisements and music videos and they also worked with the United Nations on the global #PledgeToPause campaign, which exposing the young creatives to global networks.
The MTF graduates are now part of the MTF alumni network and connected to industry professionals from across the continent through the recently-created second pillar of the MTF initiative, the MTF Portal www.multichoicetalentfactory.com.
The success of the MTF initiative since its start in 2018 is also the result of partnerships it has created, including the NYFA, the Henley Business School Africa, Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria, Kenyatta University in Kenya and the University of Zambia in Lusaka. MTF also has partnerships with internationally acclaimed organisations Dolby, Jasco Broadcast Solutions and Nihilent.
MTF’s partners have made an additional contribution to the initiative by offering awards to this year’s graduates.
MultiChoice’s platforms will be giving several students an opportunity to work on M-Net productions, with students taking part in a four-week internship on various M-Net productions, equipping them with action skills.
“We say congratulations to the Class of 2020, reaffirming our belief that the future of Africa’s creative industries is bright,” said Ms Dziva.
Two Zimbabweans were among the students of the Lusaka-based academy for Southern Africa. They are Nelson Madzima and Nkosilesisa Ncube.