Hope rising for creative industry

…as partnerships, investments soar

In recent times, there have been more actions than words in the efforts at creating jobs for the teeming youths across the country, especially in the creative industry. Considering the huge potential of the industry, many private organisations are daily seeking ways to discover and develop raw talents, which the country is awash with.

The efforts have also caught the interests of some governments with collaborations worth celebrating in recent times.

One of such collaborations is the Lagos State Creative Industries Initiative (LACI), a free skills training for 1500 next generation of filmmakers courtesy of the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts in partnership with EbonyLife Media and Del-York Creative Academy, two creative firms.

At the unveiling of the initiative in February 2021, Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Lagos State, noted that LACI is a critical step towards making Lagos the main hub for Africa’s creative industries, and filmmaking in particular.

Speaking more on the rationale for the initiative, she explained that with a growing pool of practitioners with world-class skills, Nigerian creatives can build companies that provide investment and employment for many young people across the country.

Since then, EbonyLife Creative Academy has offered free practical three-month courses for 480 youths, covering all aspects of filmmaking and media content production.

On its part, Del-York has successfully trained over 1000 youths on online and offline courses in filmmaking, media, arts, technology, and digital marketing.

Some of the beneficiaries are already working in the industry.

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Moreover, since the launch of the talent factory in May 2018, Multichoice Africa has impacted the continent’s creative industry; boosting the numbers in skills, employment and the economy.

The shared value-initiative aimed at creating a pipeline of skilled and talented movie professionals that produce high quality locally relevant contents that resonate with African viewers, has been of huge impact.

At the 2020 edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA), Multichoice Talent Factory (MTF) was among the categories of awards given out to deserving African movie industry stakeholders for their individual and collective contributions to the growth of movie business on the continent.

Apart from ‘Promises’ and ‘Ensulo’ from East Africa, there were ‘Life of Bim’ and ‘DreamChaser’, Savannah Skies and The Painting, movies produced by the inaugural class of MTF West Africa and Southern Africa, these are fresh talents and yet making impact.

More talents discovered and trained by the MTF were also rewarded at the 2022 AMVCA in Lagos.

Yet again, in June 2022, Terra Kulture, a leading educational and recreational organisation, partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to train up to 65,000 creatives across Nigeria.

The five-year training partnership programme, according to Terra Kulture, will form a significant part of the Terra Academy for The Arts (TAFTA) programme, which is aimed at equipping young Nigerians with relevant skills across key sub-sectors in theatre and business.

It will further create an e-learning platform that will provide free education and access to employment opportunities to the most vulnerable youth, with a major focus on women between 16-35 years in Lagos, Ogun, and Kano states, as well as, provide participants with foundational training, support, internships, and employment and financial services linkages.

Looking at the bigger picture, Bolanle Austen-Peters, CEO, Terra Kulture, stated that the intervention would positively impact Nigerian youth and the creative industry now and in the near future.

“Driving impact and creating massive visibility for the Nigerian culture and youth has always been at the core of our existence. We are extremely excited to partner with the Mastercard Foundation to further empower up to 65,000 Nigerian youth spread across the country”, she said.

“The Academy will provide training on key technical production skills for theatre and the Creative industry. Each course will include an entrepreneurial module for students to learn about the industry’s business side. Some of the courses offered include Animation, Scriptwriting, Lighting Management, and Sound Management. We believe this will create employment opportunities for young creatives and make them self-reliant while facilitating national integration among students.”

For Mastercard, the partnership is aligned with its Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Nigeria, which seeks to enable 10 million young Nigerian women and men to access dignified work and the right skills to contribute to Africa’s global competitiveness.

“This partnership will enable us to reach more young people, especially young women in the Creative sector. Together with our partner, we will provide access to training, skills, and mentorship platforms which will further create access to entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for young creatives in Nigeria”, Chidinma Lawanson, Mastercard Foundation’s Country Head for Nigeria, commented.

But many industry stakeholders are excited at the development and want more partnerships and investments as the industry has potential to address unemployment, poor international image, boost GDP and create harmony across the country.

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