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MultiChoice Talent Factory: Rise of new African storytellers

In recent times, there have been conversations around the creation of indigenous content with a focus on telling authentic African stories.

In the same vein, young and intending filmmakers have yearned for platforms to engage for capacity building and continental collaborations in their quest for the creation of authentic indigenous content. These conversations have been ongoing for some time and various film agencies and bodies have contributed in different quotas.

In 2018, MultiChoice Africa joined other stakeholders in creating an enabling platform for young creatives and intending filmmakers by launching the MultiChoice Talent Factory, MTF, a shared-value initiative that provides a platform for the creative industries to develop their talent and engage with one another through their shared passions.

The MTF, an initiative with a multi-tiered approach, namely; the MTF Portal, the MTF Academy and MTF Industry Masterclasses, is equally an education programme that develops emerging TV and film talent in Africa, through an accredited 12-month immersion programme including theory and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling. 

While the MTF Portal is an interactive on-line portal profiling and connecting Africa’s film industry, bringing talent and opportunities together on one platform, in one place, the MTF Academy is the first academy of its kind offering fully funded training in three regions and 13 countries across Africa. Accredited regional MTF Academies are based in Kenya (for East Africa), Nigeria (for West Africa) and Zambia (for Southern Africa) in partnership with respected local academic institutions. And the MTF Masterclasses are “Best in Class” workshops which are open to industry professionals and facilitated by industry experts. 

With a keen interest to train, equip, and empower, young storytellers to tell more of our local stories, the MTF has, in five years, disrupted the status quo with the emergence of young, brilliant and talented creatives, who are collaborating with the veteran creatives, inculcating their teachings and adding new tricks that have helped them carry the torch of telling authentic and indigenous African stories.

MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy Director, Atinuke Babatunde opined that the initiative is encouraging young talents to embrace their unique African perspective to storytelling, as our diverse and rich cultures provide a viewpoint that is different from the rest of the world.

On the importance of MTF in shaping creators of authentic African stories in local languages, Executive Head of Content & West Africa Channels, MultiChoice Nigeria, Dr Busola Tejumola explained that it was essential to have these discussions about creating more indigenous content.

“In Nigeria alone, we have over 250 tribes and ways of living, and stories for days. We can tell 250,000 stories in a year, and you won’t repeat any of them. There is just uniqueness and diversity in our stories. As a brand, we are believers that no one can tell our stories like we can. We’ve told these stories for years through our Africa Magic channels.”

Since the launch of MTF, the MTF Academy has honed the skills of many emerging filmmakers across 13 countries on the continent, with many of its graduates already economically active in the television and film industry.

The best-graduating students of the MTF Academy West Africa are rewarded with further training and global exposure. The best-graduating student of the 2022 alumni, Adedamola Akapo, received an all-expense paid two-month scholarship to the New York Film Academy, NYFA, while Abisola Aboaba, the top-performing graduate of 2020 alumni won the NYFA 8-week scholarship in the United States of America.

Alumni of MTF West Africa have been showcasing their abilities following their graduation. They include Allen Onyige and Adeniyi Joseph-Omobulejo, the Series Producers for an acclaimed African Magic original, ‘Irora Iya.’ The series is currently running on an Africa Magic channel. MTF alumni also bagged nominations at the recently concluded 9th Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, AMVCAs. 

The MTF Academy is set to receive new intakes as it calls for applications into the class of 2024. Entries can be sent in on the MultiChoice Talent Factory website by prospective students till the 14th of July 2023.

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