After recently graduating four alumni’s from the MultiChoice Talent Factory, MultiChoice has joined forces with key industry players within the local creative industry to enhance the film industry in Botswana. The renowned Colours Drama producer Samuel Ngwenya will be working hand in hand with MultiChoice for the good of the film industry.
The initiative was launched by MultiChoice Africa with the intention to ignite Africa’s creative industries by nurturing and grooming aspiring and established filmmakers alike through unique learning experiences, the MultiChoice Talent Factory’s anticipated success has always relied heavily on collaboration.
The MTF is MultiChoice’s Creating Shared Value initiative. The platform focuses on three pillars; an Academy which exposes young aspiring filmmakers to both theoretical and practical teachings in cinematography from experts around the globe, Masterclasses for more seasoned filmmakers and an online Portal which encourages collaboration across the continent to grow African content.
Though the MultiChoice Talent Factory’s Academy rests in three central regions across Africa, what solidified the initiative in-country were the long-term partnerships and relationships it gave birth to with local experts in the industry.
“As a business rooted in Botswana, we are adamant about ensuring that we make use of the expertise, the ingenuity, and most importantly the excellence of our people here at home in everything that we do at MultiChoice Botswana. This is in line with our motto, #ReMoteng, which represents our commitment to being fully embedded in this beautiful country we have called home for almost 30 years,’’ says Thembi Legwaila, MultiChoice Botswana’s Corporate Affairs Manager.
“We knew that for us to get the most out of the project and for it to truly reflect the talent and creativity we have in-country, we had to bring in the industry’s best to guide us on this journey.”
To date, MultiChoice Botswana has sent four young Batswana to Lusaka, Zambia where the MultiChoice Talent Factory’s Southern Region Academy is based. All four students have successfully graduated and returned to Botswana to start their own production companies and create opportunities for not only themselves but for others in the filmmaking industry as well.
Legwaila credits local film veteran, Ngwenya as one of the stakeholders who has been a critical driving force in MTF’s successful local execution. He is known for his massive contribution to the local film industry as well as his contribution to its continuous growth.
Ngwenya credits the production and broadcast of the 26-episode series, Colours TV as the career highlight which set him off on a remarkable journey of storytelling.
“It was the most challenging time of my life career-wise, but also extremely rewarding because what we created was beautiful. After the production of Colours TV which aired on BTV and would later be picked up by Moja Love (DStv 157), many doors started opening. I was roped in by KFC to produce a stream of TV commercial and soon after my relationship with MultiChoice Botswana began.”
“When we commenced our recruitment and selection process in 2019 for the MTF Class of 2021 cohort, we knew we needed a local industry expert on the panel of judges to legitimize this process,’’ Legwaila commented. ‘’Samuel fit the bill, as someone with an extensive career in filmmaking here in Botswana. He has had such a wide range of experience in the world of film and he’s been an incomparable asset in our MTF journey.”
Less than a year later, MultiChoice Botswana and Ngwenya would team up once more when the passionate filmmaker was selected to mentor Lorato Orapeleng and Masego Mohwasa, the then MTF Class of 2021 Batswana students as they filmed their graduate production, Cradle which debuted on Showmax.
Speaking on the growth of the students from the time he sat across a boardroom table interviewing them for the Academy intake up until the time they worked together on Cradle, Ngwenya had this to say: “I was mostly impressed by the selection of genre of film they chose to make. A film without dialogue is actually very difficult to pull off,” he said.
“This therefore means that both understood that Audio is the most important element of a picture. It’s clear that the students absorbed all that they could at the Academy. The MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy is exactly what the creative industry in Botswana needs in a Corporate Social Initiative. I am sure I speak for many Batswana when I say we are forever grateful for it.’’
MultiChoice Botswana looks forward to working together with Ngwenya as well as with other local filmmakers, and its MTF Academy alumnae to ensure that more local stories are told and shared on not only on the DStv platform, but any platform that allows our nation more visibility.