(The Cable) – Del-York International’s Creative Training Programme in Lusaka, Zambia, has launched a partnership with the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) towards setting the Zambian creative industry on the threshold of an incredible period of growth.
The partnership was endorsed by key stakeholders, such as Dr Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia; Richard Mwanza, Director-general of ZNBC, Jean Kapata, Minister of Tourism; Vincent Mwale, Minister of Youth and Sport; Mulenga Kapwepwe, Chairperson of the Zambian National Arts Council (NAC); Sifamu Inu Umoru Momoh, High Commissioner of Nigeria to Zambia; and Sebastian Kopulande, president of the Zambian international trade and investment corporation.
Linus Idahosa, founder of Del-York International, a media and broadcast consultancy and foremost capacity building company for the creative industry in Africa, said the endorsement symbolises an acknowledgement of the initiative’s capacity to serve not only as an economic engine but also a driver of positive change in the form of cultural and societal development in Zambia.
“The Nigerian creative industry is testament to the enormous potential the Zambian industry could have for job creation, cultural exports and revenue growth,” he said. “About 10 years ago in India, the information technology industry created a new era of export and revenue growth by the construction of ‘Brand India’.
The key factors behind India’s technological revolution were the training institutes that produced graduates with skills and competencies in IT, which equipped them to significantly contribute to the advancement of the IT industry. “If Zambia is to fulfill its destiny as a film and media power house in Africa, it also needs a world-class institution that will produce graduates who understand the business of film and can compete equally with their counterparts across the globe.”
He thanked Edgar Lungu, President of Zambia, for supporting the growth of the country’s creative industry, evidenced by the overwhelming support of cabinet ministers to the Del-York Initiative. Mwanza stated that without indigenous content, migration to a digital platform would be futile. He therefore urged local producers to exploit the opportunity ZNBC has specifically set out for them and committed to the Del-York partnership by agreeing to sponsor 50 of its staff to the Del-York training program.
Dr Kaunda thanked Idahosa for bringing such an initiative to Zambia and urged him to do everything in searching out the best creative talents in all the provinces in Zambia. Kaunda, who received Idahosa and his Del-York Zambia team at his residence, pledged his full support to the initiative.
And Vincent Mwale stressed the role of the creative industry as a panacea for job creation among young Zambians, while Kapata said that tourist attraction sites in Zambia, such as the Victoria falls in Livingstone, could potentially make Zambia a prime destination for international film productions. Momoh urged everyone to support Del-York’s endeavour to stimulate the creative capital of Zambia.
In five years, Del-York has successfully trained over 1,200 aspiring and professional filmmakers and media practitioners and flown 70 lecturers from New York and Los Angeles to Nigeria.
This September, Del-York Creative Academy will be selecting 250 of the most creative talents in film and media in Zambia for one of the most intensive one-month hands-on training programmes anywhere in the world. It will fly in 25 lecturers from Hollywood and Nigeria into Zambia to train select Zambians in the courses in producing, directing, acting, screenwriting, 3-D animation, broadcast journalism, set designs, costume design and make-up, music video productions, graphics and special effects, sound engineering, editing and the business of distribution.
The ultimate reward however is that the graduates from this year’s programme will be commissioned to produce a historic feature film on the birth of Zambia in a co-production treaty with a major Hollywood studio, while 12 of the best graduating students willl be sponsored to study full-year programmes at the New York Film Academy in New York.