ZAMBIA, Lusaka – MultiChoice Africa is pleased to announce that the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy in the Southern Region officially opened its doors at a glittering gala on 11 October 2018, held at the Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM), an independent professional media training trust and heritage site in the heart of Lusaka. The Academy Opening celebrated the future of the film and television industry with some of the Southern Region’s most esteemed figures including Honourable Ministers and distinguished dignitaries, talent and promising filmmakers.
Dora Siliya, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Chief Government Spokesperson of the Republic of Zambia, graced the launch as keynote speaker, Siliya acknowledged the partnership between Zambia and MultiChoice as rewarding: “The fact that MultiChoice can take a chance with the young people in the Region calls for a special applause. Under that point, I want to call on the private sector and reiterate that the magic in the film sector in other countries such as Nigeria is a result of the private sector such as banks and others taking a chance on the film industry. We are not going to turn our stories if we are going to wait for financial support from overseas. We can only tell our stories if the private sector in our countries in the Region takes a chance on these young people and most of all the film industry as a whole.”
In his welcoming address, Berry Lwando, Academy Director announced that the 20 candidates will be provided with skillsets to develop their talent, connect with industry professionals and tell authentic African stories through their 12-month training. “The MultiChoice Talent Factory is committed to empowering young filmmakers and enriching the video broadcasting industry, and the academy is our key to doing this and addressing the numerous gaps across the Region. We believe that given an opportunity, an empowered new generation of filmmakers and TV professionals will rise to take their place at the forefront of local creative industries, producing the very best of local African content for our customers”, Lwando said.
The students were officially welcomed into the Academy by Professor Nkandu Luo, Minister of Higher Education of the Republic of Zambia who recognised that the MTF curriculum that will comprise of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling is the first of its kind in Africa. “We must celebrate the fact that Zambia has been chosen as the hub for the Southern Region. I am confident that we the right curriculum that will be tested on the 20 students and it is my belief that this curriculum is not a static document. As we move on with this training programme, we will be able to realign the training, so that Africa will be celebrating a team of professionals who will propel the film and television industry. Today is a culmination of a lot of hard work between professionals from the University of Zambia and our Regulator, the Higher Education Authority and MultiChoice”.
When speaking about the partnership between ZAMCOM and MultiChoice, Matongo Matamwandi, Board Chairman of the ZAMCOM Trust commented: “You will be interested to know that ZAMCOM is not just an academic institution but also a national heritage site. We are adding another milestone to the heritage of ZAMCOM with the Talent Factory. This is a programme that adds value to ZAMCOM in the with the opportunity to provide a training facility to the Academy and hosting and providing accommodation to the students at ZAMCOM Lodge. In terms of sustainable investment, beyond the three years of this project, all the installations that have been set up will become the property of ZAMCOM to enable the staff to run with similar projects in the future”.
In the spirit of igniting Africa’s creative industries, the event was filled with entertainment hosted by MCs, David Mbeha from Namibia (TLC Next Great Presenter 2015) and Mwaka Mugala, lead actress in Zambian telenovela ZUBA. The opening bout featured vibrant acts such as traditional dancing, LED stilt walkers, fire jugglers, a ladder show and everything in-between. Acts were also performed by members of Circus Zambia, a non-profit organisation that equips young people with circus and life skills.
The main show featured a number of top rising artists from countries across the Southern Region who were mentored by esteemed industry expert, Jeff Sitali. Their performances depicted stories through song, acrobatics, hip hop dancing and even a journey through human sound. The talented cast included Katlego Ntirang and Dato Seiko (Botswana), Katiliana Capinoiça from and Bernardino Macosso from Angola, Kufewa Acrobats (Malawi), twins Elton and Elson Dos Santos Macuacua (Mozambique), Aishe Lenge (Namibia), ProBeatz (Zimbabwe) and Chiedza Musipa (Zambia).
Nyiko Shiburi, Regional Director – Southern Region for MultiChoice Africa said that the business believes that a key ingredient of businesses prosperity and sustainability is having the right partners and enabling government and regulatory regimes which stimulates business the broader economy and creates prosperity for all. “Our DStv mission is to ensure that our customers continue to not miss out on the biggest sporting events and experiences alongside powerful local stories, riveting movies and news of the moments that shape our world. For MultiChoice, there is a plethora of instances that show our dedication to local and relatable content. Through our channels, MultiChoice has made extensive investments in the development of original programming in the Southern Region.”
He concluded by stating the importance of protecting the industry when it comes to matters of piracy and working together across the Region and indeed the continent, with policy, law enforcement, media and community partners to address the issue as a collective.