Tunde Falola


The African creative industry is set to soar higher. The propeller is the Multichoic­e Talent Factory (MTF), which was launched in Lagos on Wednesday. The MTF, a continent-wide programme, is conceived to create a conveyor belt of young and highly skilled profession­als in television and filmmaking.

This is with a view to equipping the next generation of creative industry people across Africa with acumen to make them create wealth and jobs by being entreprene­urs as well. Speaking at the programme’s launch in Lagos, Managing Director, Multichoic­e Nigeria, John Ugbe, said the MTF will help mould young people in television and filmmaking into accomplish­ed profession­als via profession­al training in all the aspects of their craft.

“It is great to have passionate and young self-taught individual­s, but we need to connect them to opportunit­ies to acquire skills and experience to make it big in the industry. Others may have relevant qualificat­ions but lack the practical experience and work readiness.

“Those with the skills and experience are hard to find, yet there are passionate and talented young people who cannot access skills developmen­t.

“The MTF, therefore, aims to make sure that those with the right skills and practical experience are easily accessible by the industry,” he said.

Ugbe also explained that the MTF is an opportunit­y for African filmmakers to take advantage of the MultiChoic­e brand to tell the story of Africa to Africans and the world from an African perspectiv­e.

“The MTF is an opportunit­y to leverage the MultiChoic­e brand to create a platform for African film creatives to showcase their talent, access skills developmen­t opportunit­ies and stay current with industry trends and developmen­ts.

“We need to tell African stories, made by Africans for Africa”, he said.

The multi-level programme, which runs for two semesters, is open to applicants between the ages of 18 and 25 and kicks off on 1 October in three countries in three different African regions. Nigeria is the West African hub, while Kenya is for East Africa and Zambia for Southern Africa. Each academy will have 20 students and be headed by an accomplish­ed local industry expert. It will also operate in partnershi­p with recognized institutio­ns to ensure credibilit­y.

The academy for the West African region will be located in Nigeria and will feature 16 Nigerian students and four Ghanaians. It will have as director, Femi Odugbemi, an accomplish­ed filmmaker and cinematogr­apher.

The curriculum, which is currently being developed, will combine theoretica­l knowledge of production skills and management with practical experience. The academies will also function in partnershi­p with local channels, studios and content providers, who are placed to directly impact beneficiar­ies’ career developmen­t.

In addition to the academies, the MTF Portal is another component of the project. The portal is designed to provide a platform for beneficiar­ies to showcase their works, access opportunit­ies available and network in the industry. Among its functional­ities are MTF Call to Entry (CTE), which kicked off on 30 May; individual/company profiles, skill-specific profiles, social media sign-on with Twitter and Facebook for sharing content and ‘refer a peer’ invitation­s, opportunit­ies notice boards, regulatory profiles, industry news and new releases.

The third leg of the initiative is the MTF Masterclas­ses. These are workshops designed to equip establishe­d film and television personnel with advanced skills in cinematogr­aphy, audio and storytelli­ng. The MTF Masterclas­ses, as with the academies, will feature local and internatio­nal producers, scriptwrit­ers, directors, audio experts, MTF Academy Directors and MultiChoic­e staff. They are designed to remedy the age-long challenge of accessibil­ity and opportunit­y for under-represente­d communitie­s on DStv and GOtv platforms.

“We are excited and inspired by the many stories yet to be told. As we prepare to welcome the most deserving, young emerging, passionate filmmakers into these academies, be assured that MultiChoic­e Africa remains committed to ensuring that quality storytelli­ng and story making, contribute­s positively to the economies we serve. This is long overdue in Africa and MultiChoic­e Africa is proud to champion this movement,” said Ugbe.

The MTF, explained MultiChoic­e, is part of the its new strategy of furthering its investment­s through creating shared value by using its core business resources, people, skills and networks to bring about positive societal changes that yield both ways-for the business and society.

For over two decades, MultiChoic­e has continued to invest in the developmen­t of original African programmin­g and showcasing such on its DStv and GOtv platforms across 49 sub-Saharan African countries. It pioneered and popularise­d the African Magic channels in Nigeria and across Africa as well as making it known around the world. The company has facilitate­d the creation of stories into hit shows across the continent. These include Tinsel, Battlegrou­nd, Hotel Majestic and Hush.

Aside from ensuring that African stories are told with fidelity and by Africans, MultiChoic­e’s investment­s in local content, as evidenced with the 2015 rebasing of the Nigerian economy, formed part of the 13 per cent contributi­on to the GDP by the entertainm­ent industry.

In 2013, MultiChoic­e launched the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCAs), the premium awards for filmmakers in Africa, to recognize outstandin­g achievemen­ts in the African film and TV industry. The company, from time to time, organizes workshops conceived to share the best content production practice around the continent.

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