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MultiChoice Talent Factory: Unlocking The Potential Of Africa’s Film Industry

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MTF Ghana Students

There is extraordinarily little doubt, even among the most demanding assessors, that the African film industry has grown. However, while its contributions to the economies of individual countries were eye-catching enough to warrant recognition of its potential, the growth anticipated has not exactly materialized, as it generates about $5 billion per annum as against a projected $20 billion. Major hindrances to its growth according to experts, are wide gaps in skill and education which speak to the possible inability of professionals to match the pace of technological advancement found in developed societies.

Noticing these gaps, MultiChoice, Africa’s leading video entertainment company, established the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF). Launched in May 2018 as part of MultiChoice’s ground-breaking Corporate Shared Value (CSV) initiative, the MTF was created to equip the next generation of television and film creators across Africa with the acumen to not only produce high-quality content but also with the business education to support their craft.

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The initiative which is spread across Africa with Nigeria representing West Africa; Kenya, representing East Africa; and Zambia representing Southern Africa, is divided into three components: MTF AcademyMTF Masterclasses and the MTF Portal. Each component is intentionally created to impact different segments of the industry, from aspiring filmmakers to professionals, to ensure the even development of filmmakers in the African film industry. From the onset, MultiChoice’s vision for the MTF has always been to deliver world-class film training to filmmakers. This vision fueled the collaborations with reputable institutions such as the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), New York Film Academy (NYFA) Dolby, Henley Business School (HBS), Canon, and Jasco Broadcast Solutions, to enable students to gain a combination of both theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills.

The academy is designed for an intense 1-year training in the business and art of filmmaking and takes on 60 aspiring filmmakers (20 from each academy) each year at no cost to the students. Rather, MultiChoice pays each student a monthly stipend, provides accommodation for them as well as networking opportunities both during and after their training. At the MTF West Africa Academy in Lagos, 20 aspiring filmmakers from Ghana and Nigeria are selected from an entry pool of over 3,000 applicants through a rigorous interview process by a jury, comprising film and television experts. The academy has graduated tthree cohorts since inception and is currently on the third set of students who will graduate by September.

The second component of the MTF programme, the MTF Masterclass, aims at upskilling industry professionals and emerging creatives alike by offering exclusive access to practical, expert-led industry workshops across the continent. Since 2019, several MasterClasses have been organized in areas such as DirectingCinematographySound Engineering and Scriptwriting among others, in different states and regions across Africa, impacting over 2000 professionals across the continent.

The MTF Portal, which is the third component, is a pan-African digital marketplace for filmmakers designed to bring film talent and opportunities together on one place and to make collaborations among African filmmakers easy. Today, over 40,000 people are registered as users of the portal, gaining access to networking and potential commissioning opportunities, free online masterclasses and regular updates on happenings in the industry.

Now in its fourth year, it is critical to ask, has the MTF been successful at what it set out to do which is bridging the knowledge gap in the film industry through quality training on the art and business of filmmaking? There are reasons to believe that it has. A survey conducted by MultiChoice to ascertain how the MTF academies are impacting the industry revealed that 92% of the inaugural class of 2019 are economically active. Some of the graduates get the opportunity to work on live sets of local TV productions and now create original content that airs on local M-Net channels across the MultiChoice platforms – DStv, GOtv and Showmax.

Furthermore, two movies produced by the inaugural MTF Academy West Africa class – Life of Bim and DreamChaser, were nominated for the “Best MultiChoice Talent Factory” award at the 2020 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA). Gilbert Bassey, a 26-year-old Nigerian, who finished as the best graduating student for the Class of 2019 and won a scholarship to the renowned NYFA, has gone on to shoot films Ananze and The Zipman.

Also, Ghanaian filmmaker and TV producer Godfred Dela Duvi’s film Aku Kε Akuetteh, won first place at the European Film Festival 2021 in the Student Film Category. Dela a product of the MTF programme. Is currently a producer for one of Ghana’s most-loved shows Showbiz 360 on TV3.  There are many other examples of MTF graduates utilizing the knowledge gained from the academy to positively impact the creative industry.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck while the Class of 2020 were in session and to ensure the safety of the students, MultiChoice temporarily closed the academies across Africa. This pandemic though sad, provided an opportunity for the students to practice what they had been taught as 20 of them each shot and edited three-minute films with their mobile phones. The short films, dubbed “Isolation Diaries”, portrayed their fears, hopes and the realities of living in COVID times and is hosted on the MTF portal – www.multichoicetalentfactory.com. This would mark the beginning of their contribution to shaping Africa’s narrative as in conjunction with their colleagues from East and Southern Africa, they went on to produce seven public service announcements (PSAs) for the United Nations’ Pause Campaign. The PSAs were targeted at combating the COVID-19 misinformation that was rife in Africa and utilized the power of humour and local slangs to effectively pass on the message. The PSAs are still airing to date.

As a brand born in Africa, MTF Africa Month is a big deal as it is dedicated to celebrating Africans and people of African descent all over the world. To commemorate the month, the Class of 2020 from the East, West and Southern Africa produced 16 short films celebrating the history and cultures of Africa. The series aptly titled Colours of Africa focused on connecting generations through storytelling and aired on DStv, GOtv and Showmax. In an impact report carried out to assess how the Alumni of the MTF have fared over the years, it showed the following:

  • Alumni collaborations that led to the set-up of 12 production companies
  • Produced over 250 content including series, movies, short films, documentaries, music videos and commercials among others. Examples are Elenini, a 120-episode Yoruba drama series which aired on Africa Magic, documentaries like Sunset at Makoko produced by Allen Onyige and King of Highlife by Metong Minwon among others
  • Pan-African collaboration with filmmakers through the MTF portal
  • Upskilling of over 2000 film professionals across Africa through the MTF MasterClass

Through the MultiChoice Talent Factory, Africa’s creative industry has been ignited and the ripple effects will be felt for a very long time to come. For more information on the MultiChoice Talent Factory visit www.multichoicetalentfactory.com .

 

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People & Lifestyle

Call for entries: Lifebuoy Opens Applications for handwashing ‘Chief Education Officers’

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Lifebuoy GHD CEO Globle KV002

Unilever’s Lifebuoy, the world’s number one hygiene soap brand, has launched a creative competition that will see two (2) Chief Education Officers aged between 6-12years appointed to raise awareness on the importance of handwashing among school children.

Leveraging the power of peer-to-peer learning, the ‘CEOs’ will be selected from public and private schools in Ghana to help create impact by teaching other children about handwashing and personal hygiene in a series of fun and exciting activities.

The campaign dubbed ‘Lifebuoy H for handwashing CEOs’ is part of Lifebuoy’s activities to mark Global Handwashing Day which occurs every year on the 15th of October.

 Global handwashing day is an international handwashing campaign dedicated to motivating and mobilizing people worldwide to improve their handwashing habits as a strategy for disease prevention.

In 2020, Lifebuoy launched the H for Handwashing campaign to transform the letter H into a symbol for handwashing and to integrate hygiene awareness into the school curriculum. In 2021, Lifebuoy launched its first ever children’s book- an “H for Handwashing” alphabet book – in which children can explore the Alphabet with Azzy the horse. The book is intended to support school curricula all over the world, whenever and wherever children are taught the ABCs.

This year, Lifebuoy is going a step further by passing on the baton to the next generation who will teach their peers about handwashing, as studies have shown that children are more likely to change their behaviour when influenced by their peers.

Lifebuoy is encouraging Children from public and private schools in Ghana between the ages of 6-12years to take up this unique and exciting challenge.

Parents, Guardians and Teachers are also urged to encourage their children and pupils to participate in the competition by following these guidelines:

  • Share a 30- 45 seconds video of your child reciting their campaign manifesto by explaining what hygiene means to them and how they will promote better hygiene in their schools.
  • All entries must include the #LifebuoyCEOgh #GHD2022 hashtag and be submitted on Facebook and Instagram only via the brand’s pages @LifebuoyGhana.
  • Entries are open until the 10th of October, 2022.

The two selected CEOs will get the chance to become part of Lifebuoy’s award-winning ‘H for Handwashing’ movement and receive a certificate from the Unilever Ghana Leadership Team for their participation and commitment to the cause.  As part of celebrations to mark Global Handwashing Day, they will also visit the Unilever headquarters and factories to teach employees the importance of handwashing

The ‘CEOs’ will commit a minimum of ten hours a year to help spread the message of handwashing with soap to other children, at home and in schools. To enable them perform their roles, they will be trained in the use of Lifebuoy’s decade-old and well-proven  behaviour change material which will equip them to take the message forward.

For more information, follow Lifebuoy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LifebuoyGhana

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Have You Heard About BitiCodes IO?

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Do you like cryptocurrencies? If you do, don’t forget to take a look at BitiCodes IO. (more…)

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MTN Urges Customers To Register Their Sim Cards Before The September 30 SIMRegistration Deadline

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Customers registering their SIM cards at Temporary Registration point at Goaso in Ahafo Region

With only three days to the  September 30, 2022 deadline for SIM registration, MTN is urging its customers to have their SIM cards fully registered to avoid being disconnected.

All customers with voice and data SIM in phones and devices are mandated to register with the Ghana card before the deadline. All SIM cards that are not fully registered at the end of 30th September 2022 will be disconnected from using all services on the network.

Customers who are yet to register should start the process by dialing *404# or use the registration web portal https://simregistrationportal.mtn.com.gh to link their SIM to the Ghana card. Customers who have linked their SIM cards to the Ghana card can complete their registration by either visiting the nearest service centre/agent for the biometric capture or download the SIM Registration Self Service app on google play to complete the registration.

Read Also: MTN delegation meets Nana Addo

Commenting on the SIM registration deadline, the General Manager Regional Sales and Distribution, South, MTN Ghana,Abubakar Mohammed said, “we are encouraging our customers to register immediately to avoid long queues at registration centers and subsequent blocking of SIM cards after the deadline.”

“Customers who are not sure of their status can check their registration status by dialing *400#. “B-Cap Yes” means a customer is fully registered”.

To ensure all customers are fully registered before the 30th of September 2022 deadline, all MTN field staff have been deployed to different locations to check registration status and register customers who have not yet registered their SIM cards.

The Ministry of Communications and Digitalization announced the mandatory re-registration of all SIM cards in Ghana last year. The registration exercise which started in October 2021 is scheduled to end on September 30, 2022.

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Ghana ranks 88th in the world by Digital Quality of Life …Ghana has the slowest mobile internet in Africa ?

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Ameyaw Debrah phone

Global digital wellbeing study finds that Ghana has the slowest mobile internet in Africa. (more…)

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AIDEC Consultancies International & Academic City sign MoU to deepen practical AI knowledge

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The teams from AIDEC and ACity in a group photograph

Africa Integrated Development and Communications Consultancies (AIDEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Academic City University College (ACity) to provide practical knowledge in areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

The MoU was executed on behalf of the two organizations represented by Mr. Ambrose Yennah, Executive Chairman of AIDEC and Professor Fred McBagonluri, President, and Provost of ACity.

Executive Chairman for AIDEC Consultancies, Ambrose Yennah, said: “the agreement seeks to provide students with practical hands-on-training in Data Science, Machine Learning, Robotics and other advanced technological training in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas of STEAM needed to efficiently work in the job market.”

He said the MoU is a private sector initiative between the two organizations to compliment government’s effort at digitalization and will enable them to collaborate with other Consortium Partners for the roll out of several Digital Solutions and Services.

“The agreement will include but not limited to the study and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, Robotics, Data Science, Machine Learning, Business Process Outsourcing Services (BPO) with specific focus on the health, and Educational Sectors including Executive Training for the Country Ghana and scaling up to the continent of Africa in the near-term,” he added.

President and Provost of ACity, Professor Fred McBagonluri, said the MoU will help in developing ready job skills by providing access to AI programmes that would help student use technology to pursue research initiatives that is focused on solving the needs of the society.

“The MoU, as part of its objectives, agree to establish, implement and create an enabling environment for students to engage in research and practical consulting assignments as a collaboration between industry and other academic institutions for practical, hands-on training, research, and fieldwork for their mutual good,” he said.

The Consortium Partners, he added, will provide top notch business, educational and technology solutions and services including Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform as a virtual and open educational resource facility to our target customers in the public, private and third sectors.

AIDEC and ACity in collaboration with other Consortium Partners will identify projects ideas and invest in them to generate employment in IT/Digital Solutions and Services and generate income for the Consortium Partners whilst providing an avenue for upgrading the skills and competencies of students with creative and innovative technologies that will expose and prepare them for the job market including Students exchange programs for practical hands-on training, research and fieldwork.

The Consortium Partners agree to work to improve and expand their Institutional capacities in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Data Science, Machine learning including online learning platforms and programs to whip up the interest of students enrolling for higher education for STEAM, SparX leaning Xperience and other competency-based professional training programs for an all-inclusive digital transformation.

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Can you fly with Delta 8 Gummies?

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Considering taking your Delta 8 Gummies on your next trip? But worried if it’s legit or if there are some unknown laws airlines companies have stated somewhere and you have no idea about them. US domestic flights allow flyers to carry delta 8 gummies that are legalized under the Farm Bill. However, this is not the case for overseas flights. Continue reading to know much more. (more…)

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