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African governments asked to empower young creatives

by Editorial Team
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By Hussein Kiganda

Creatives at the ongoing Kampala Geopolitics Conference at Makerere University have asked governments in Africa to support the young generation in the arts and creative industry.

Talking to the attendees, Morris Mugisha, a filmmaker whose movie Tembele is representing Uganda at the 95th Oscars in the US, said more support for arts studies will change the wrong mentality that African parents and youth have about arts and film.

“African governments need to champion the drive for mindset change right from the support given to the arts studies and the change of mentality that arts and film aren’t a worthy career for the youth,” he said.

Nicole Magabo of Bad Mama Jama Films noted that the support should come in form of refresher courses and master classes that could sharpen the minds of filmmakers and enlighten them on several other policies.

 “We need to empower the young generation with the power and support they need to enable them, first of all, to decide and then grow in the arts industry through refresher courses, favouring regulatory policies among other interventions,” she said.

Rasheeda Nalumoso, a creative producer, suggested that there should be more continental integrations in the arts industry and that Africans need to take away the red tape and stereotype in the arts industry by choosing to believe that an artiste can actually start a project in arts and thrive at it.

She added that if we are not taking up our global spot in the arts and creative industry, we should try out sports.

“Africa’s claim on the global arts industry is less than 1%. Africa can focus on the sports industry and claim a bigger percentage of the global art industry. We are quite gifted as East Africans especially, in sports,” said Nalumoso.

Mugisha zeroed it down to Uganda, and to him, globalisation has opened the doors for learning, creativity, and funding opportunities for the young filmmakers in Uganda.

Morris Mugisha speaking at the Kampala Geopolitics Conference at Makerere University. Courtesy photo

He sees Uganda as a calabash of stories, and globalisation will help Ugandans tell these stories.

However, Mugisha expressed disappointment in Uganda’s failure to attract international partnerships despite the abundance of creativity and talent. He attributes this to the stagnant film industry in Uganda.

Magabo thinks the Ugandan film industry is developing despite having no necessary infrastructure to compete internationally. To her, a step towards the Oscars is a signal that Uganda’s film industry is moving in the right direction.

“Uganda does not have the necessary infrastructure to compete on the global scene. However, the fact that one film like Tembele has made it to the international scene is a stepping stone for Uganda’s film industry,” Magabo said.

On October 30, Uganda bagged 2 awards at Africa’s biggest film awards – The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) and has bagged many other from the USA. Africa as a continent has submitted several films at the upcoming 95th Oscars and there is hope that the continent could scoop several awards.

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