MultiChoice keeps dreams alive for African creatives

MultiChoice Talent Factory graduate Rutendo Mahofa

If the current growth of television and film production across Africa is a measure to go by, Africa’s entertainment sector is booming.

This picture is one that is being seen in many countries across the continent, including Zimbabwe, where there is a steady increase in film output and locally-created television content. Backing that up is a steady increase in the number of creative professionals within the entertainment business across the country and the benefits to related economic areas and the national economy as a whole are also being increasingly felt.

There is a key factor driving the success of African entertainment and this is keenly felt within the creative community of Zimbabwe: the passion for story-telling and entertaining of the African people.

The unique energy of the continent, its cultures and the talent of its people makes the African entertainment industry a world impactor, a fact emphasised by the growing global presence of African stars like Zimbabwe’s Danai Gurira or other names from the continent like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Trevor Noah, Lupita Nyong’o and John Kani.

In Zimbabwe, this growth in the entertainment sector is now heavily evident, driven by producers, screenwriters, camera people and production staff, as well as technicians, agents and installers, who maintain the digital infrastructure that connects audiences to their favourite content.

These include people like MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) graduate Rutendo Mahofa, who was among the first group of MTF students when the initiative was launched in 2018. Since leaving the MTF academy, she has seen her career go from strength to strength.

She spent a month in Rwanda working on the production of Kigali 21, a full-length feature film, and also worked in Zambia on the production of the popular shows Ehe! It’s A Match!, Mom Vs Wife, and Hoot, Cook, Go! for the Honey Africa network.

Back home in Zimbabwe, she was part of the team that produced the HIV-awareness show Yes, I Have HIV, also for Honey. She was also assistant director on the short film Miss Understood.

“It was enriching to work on these projects, especially with Yes, I Have HIV’s crew of talented young Zimbabwean professionals,” Mahofa said.

“I am truly appreciative of being part of projects that have reach and positive impact.”

Rutendo feels that, several years on from her MTF course and graduation, her time in the MTF Academy was of huge, incomparable value.

“The MultiChoice network has kept my dreams alive,” she said. “MultiChoice has helped me forge real connections within the film industry that have propelled my journey.”

In no small way, growth of the Zimbabwean television industry has been thanks to MultiChoice’s ongoing industry training and investment in local productions, in which professional and talented cast and production crews can inject their charisma and personality into the shows they create.

On one of the popular shows, Our Perfect Wedding Zimbabwe, presenter Adiona Maboreke has been able to translate the dynamic stage presence from her singing career into a compelling presenting role. The show gave Adiona a chance to spread her wings, after she first rose to fame as a finalist on Idols, but she says she is most grateful for the chance to tell African stories.

The impact of Zimbabwe’s passionate people reverberates right across the entertainment sector, well beyond the content-production sphere.

Marshall Mutandwa is another creative person who lives his passion for Zimbabwe’s burgeoning TV space.

He is founder and managing director of Autosat in Harare, a DStv accredited agent and installer. He describes himself as “a young, techno-savvy individual who believes in excellence, commitment, teamwork and innovation”.

Marshall started Autosat in 2011 and now has a team of trained staff offering cabling infrastructure solutions and DStv inventory and accessory sales from three Harare branches. He enjoys being able to provide solutions that satisfy his clients.

DStv Zimbabwe’s head of customer operations, Siyabulela Jemsana, feels that telling Zimbabwean stories provides great entertainment, as well as economic opportunities.

“By upskilling people, harnessing their talent and developing innovative solutions to continue delivering great viewing experiences, we believe we can provide a better way of life through entertainment,” Jemsana said. 

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