Kenyans Among 46 Beneficiaries of Netflix’s Creative Equity Scholarship FundOctober 11, 2022
The Kenyan film industry is growing so fast. Recent developments have seen Kenyan films premiering on Showmax and Netflix, with some internationally winning awards.
The likes of Philit production continue to premier their movies around the country while commercializing their works through pay-per-view. The robust growth is undeniable, but it is worth noting that while we are growing, some parts still need work.
Filmmakers in Africa are embracing the African story, and streaming platforms must do so. Thanks to Netflix’s Creative Equity Scholarship Fund (CESF), 46 beneficiaries from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan, will access quality tertiary education in film and TV-focused disciplines. This scholarship is a consequence of the giant streaming platform’s commitment to developing a robust and diverse pipeline of creatives worldwide.
All the beneficiaries are eligible to receive a full scholarship, including tuition, accommodation, a living stipend, and education supplies.
Courses they benefited from are, Certificate in Film Studies, Certificate in Film and Television, Film Production, and Diploma in Film and Television Production.
Kenya Fim School (KFS), United States International University (USIU), Kenyatta University (KU), KCA University, and Africa Digital Media Institute(ADMI) will support the formal qualification and training of aspiring storytellers from East Africa.
In his keynote address, Kenya Film Commission CEO Timothy Owase shared,
It is my strong belief that this initiative is proof that Kenya indeed can measure up to the rest of the world and offer the best.” He added, “It has also demonstrated enormous interest and opportunities for job creation amongst the youth and existing skill and knowledge in the Kenyan industry.”
Shola Sanni is the Director of Public policy SSA- Netflix. While sharing his personal story, he encouraged the awardees to find purpose in their actions. On funding, he affirmed that “At Netflix – it’s not just about the stories; it’s also about the people who make the stories. This is why today is all about celebrating the scholars who will be responsible for telling African stories, whether in front or behind the camera, and putting Africa on the global map through endless stories.
Furthermore, he offered, “The richness in creativity, talent, and diversity has never been in doubt. What is lacking is more opportunities.
This is why our role at Netflix in all this has been to open that door of opportunity just a little bit wider and allow; as a beginning, the 46 young East African beneficiaries of our scholarship to step forward and be challenged to tell great African stories.”
Emmanuel Wanyonyi, a beneficiary from KU, excitedly shared, “ It has renewed our energy to keep on presenting ideas and creating stories as we need them to be heard.
Charles Muasa is a student at USIU. He cited financial constraints as hindering film students from pursuing their dreams: “Netflix coming through for the youth is a great win. We are now getting the knowledge on how to bring stories to life.”
The program experience is currently great; learning, motivating, and inspiring each other. Coming together to create something from our imaginations, experiences, and lessons.”
Mwajuma Bahati of KCA said, “When some of us started out, there were barely any opportunities like these and this scholarship is such a powerful tool to venture in the industry equipped with the right skills, clear direction, and knowledge.”
As the youth, we are seeing the growth and evolution of the industry when it comes to techniques and stories, and Netflix’s investment in the youth is one standout nurturing opportunity.”Said Cynthia Muniu of KFS.
Even as these 46 beneficiaries start on a journey to train on telling the African Story, my sincerest desire is to see the existing filmmakers getting recognition and the support they need. Whatever happens, this is a massive development in the film industry. Let us wait and see what these youngsters will produce in the future.