When Sarafina first featured at the South African Market Theatre as a play, no one knew that it was going to become what it is today. African Film and Theatre industry is a rapidly growing employer and is really changing lives on the continent and beyond.
At Tambua Magazine, we felt it worth to inform the youth whose dreams lie in this field that it all starts from somewhere. Your dreams are valid and no one including yourself should kill them. This is because Africa is a home with rich cultural traditions that if wisely combined with modern technology can transform the society.
The African cinema family that involves producers, writers, actors, marketers, directors among others has also empowered and still supports women and people with disabilities. For example, The Wedding Party (2016) which is the most successful Nollywood film was directed by Kemi Adetiba who is female by gender. Despite many cultural hindrances and stereotyping, African women with dreams in the film industry have stood by their dreams and are now earning recognition and international awards for their presentations and productions. Another woman who has despised the stereotypes is Kenya’s Lupita Nyong’o who has featured in the Black Panther.
A number of film festivals are currently held in various African countries to showcase and educate the masses on the growing and profitable industry. Kenya’s Dandora and Kibera slums are leading the way in Nairobi with many youth joining the industry. In Tanzania, Zanzibar runs the Zanzibar Film Festivals while the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda has changed the citizens’ perspective by introducing ‘Hillywood’ Films. Western Sahara International Film Festival is also changing lives in North Africa by entertaining and educating refugees about their human rights, social justice and business opportunities.
Nigeria’s Nollywood is the most recognized film producer both at home and in Africa with over two thousand movies produced annually. It has one of the most celebrated actors and actresses who have won many international accolades so far. Also, don’t forget that if you mention the phrase Afrocinema to a Kenyan, all that comes to his/her mind is Nigerian movies unless you specify.
The youth are currently joining the Movie making industry in Africa and translating the African cultures into employment channels. With the support of modern technology, it is becoming easier, profitable and enjoyable to be part of African Film and Theatre as long as you are focused.
Don’t let your dream and talent die at a young age. Just rise up, network with the people in the industry and wisely expose your abilities. Learn the new skills, humble down and your dream will transform your life. Never say or think that African film belongs to specific people, count your dream as a link and make good use of the God given talent because African Film and Theatre is there for you.