After an intense 12-month training programme, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) officially welcomed the Class of 2023 from the Southern African Academy during a lively graduation ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia.
Romeo Urikeraka and Tekla Nakale are Namibia’s successful graduates, equipped with skills to flourish in the African entertainment industry.
MTF is a shared value training programme launched by MultiChoice to develop the next generation of African storytellers. Since its inception, it has continued to train the next wave of African filmmakers in response to the increasing need for more quality local African productions across the continent.
Roger Gertze, Managing Director of MultiChoice Namibia, congratulated the MTF alumni, emphasising their dedication to the programme.
“We wish them success as they further their careers in the Namibian TV and film industry,” said Gertze.
Christopher Puta, MTF Southern Africa Academy Director, expressed excitement about the graduates’ potential impact on the industry and their demonstrated talent throughout the course.
“I thank this year’s MTF graduates for their dedication and commitment to the course,” he said.
Puta added that he looks forward to seeing the work they go on to produce as they further their careers in the industry.
“During the programme, they have shown incredible talent. Now it is time for them to go out and apply that talent for the benefit of the entertainment industry in Southern Africa, and across the continent.”
Urikeraka said being at MTF was an eye-opener. He was among the best of the best in the industry, including people like Neil McCarthy who taught them the beauty of scriptwriting.
While in Zambia, he also contributed towards several productions, including the Zambian series Mpali.
“I was in a position where I managed a crew of 50 people and you realise that everyone is dependent on you. It was challenging but exciting,” he said.
Noticing a gap in the Namibian film and television industry, he mentioned that his intention is to contribute towards it while sharing his newly acquired skills with those he will work with.
Tekla Nakale, on the other hand, felt like she evolved compared to when she first started at MTF.
“I knew where my strength was, and we started with what I was good at - scriptwriting. But eventually I started taking an interest in directing and producing,” she said.
As for her experience, she described being a part of the MTF family as life-changing.
“I learnt that filming is about more than just being creative, it’s a business and requires teamwork. You are dealing with different types of personalities, so you need the right people skills,” she said.
MultiChoice Southern Africa Regional Director Kemi Omotosho said for aspiring filmmakers, the MTF Academy is now acknowledged as a great path to a career in the African entertainment sector.
“For the industry, it now functions as a production line of talent and creativity, producing passionate, motivated young people with a set of skills that our sector needs to produce high-quality African content for African audiences,” he said.
Omotosho said the MTF Southern Africa Academy in Lusaka was playing an important role in directly developing the industry in the region, ensuring it was sustainable, and providing a pipeline of talent for local productions.
MTF alumni have already gone on to work on several successful productions in markets across the continent.
MTF graduates are working as directors, producers, sound designers, camera operators, art directors and editors on major African productions including Mpali, Zuba, My Horror Love Story and various productions on channels such as Zambezi Magic, One Zed, Honey TV, Kwenda Magic and Maningue Magic.
“MTF is a collaborative platform for our sector to develop talent. It is helping to build the future of Southern Africa’s film and TV industry. We thank all our partners, stakeholders and collaborators for coming together to grow local skills and invest in Africa’s future,” he concluded.