MultiChoice Inaugurates West Africa Academy


Raheem Akingbolu

The MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy in West Africa has been inaugurated in Lagos. The launch of the academy, expected to provide Africa’s next generation of film and television storytellers with a 12-month training programme, attracted commendation for MultiChoice by the Lagos State Government.

Speaking at the launch of the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy, the Lagos State Commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, commended MultiChoice Nigeria for giving young Nigerians selected from across the country an opportunity to understand the business of film production.

Ayorinde said: “What MultiChoice did deserves huge commendation and these 20 students should consider themselves lucky. They need to acknowledge the fact that stakeholders in the entertainment industry in Nigeria and across the continent expect a lot from them and the students on their part should make good use of this opportunity given to them.”

While expressing his appreciation to MultiChoice for organising this laudable initiative in Nigeria, Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ziblim Iddi, congratulated the 20 students selected for the inaugural edition of the MTFA and charged them to be committed to learning as this is a life changing opportunity.

The Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, said: “The film and television industry is the pioneer of creative industries in Africa and is particularly relevant as a tool for shaping the African narrative. We have been telling authentic and well-produced stories that only Africans themselves can tell. Nevertheless, there is a lot of raw talent that need to be nurtured and polished. The Academy will give such talent the opportunity to hone their skills, thereby increasing the pool of world-class talent within the industry. It’s also about teaching the selected candidates the business of film and television.”

Ugbe further praised the support of critical partners, saying: “We are incredibly fortunate to have the caliber of broadcast partners that we do in M-Net and Africa Magic who believe in this project and have been on this journey with us from the very beginning.”
The 20 candidates from Nigeria and Ghana will begin their 12-month training programme at the academy this month.

They will be provided with the skill set to ignite their passion, connect with industry professionals and tell authentic African stories through a comprehensive curriculum comprising theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling.

West Africa Academy Director, Femi Odugbemi, said: “The talented creatives that will go through the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy will be primed as key players in the growth and sustainability of Africa’s creative film and television industry. As Academy Director, I will be preparing these candidates as future business owners who will in turn, play their own part in building the economy around the industry. It’s time that we not only reap the rewards of high-end quality TV and film products, but we also equally benefit from the investments behind the lens.”

In attendance at the launch were members of the academia and industry creatives, as well as the media, who joined the ribbon cutting ceremony, which was followed a tour of the Lagos-based academy facilities situated in Victoria Island, Lagos