Cape Media Ltd launches talent academy

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Cape Media Limited, the company that owns the fastest-growing media brands in Kenya (TV47 and Radio47), has launched a talent academy.

The ‘Cape Media Talent Academy’ was launched after Cape Media Ltd and Mount Kenya University (MKU) signed an MoU on Thursday, June 20 at the institution’s Mwai Kibaki Convention Centre in Thika, Kiambu County.

Cape Media Ltd CEO Mwenda Njoka (seated left) and Mount Kenya University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi signing the Cape Media Talent Academy MoU at Mwai Kibaki Convention Centre on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

Speaking during the launch, Cape Media Ltd Chief Executive Officer Mr Mwenda Njoka said the primary objective of the academy is to tap into young students who have incredible talents that have not being harnessed yet.

“The idea is to give young, talented students an opportunity to utilise their talent in all spheres of creative industry even as they go about their academics,” Mr Njoka said. “Who knows, there are people who are lawyers, doctors but are thriving in different fields. That is what we are trying to encourage.”

To underscore the need for the talent academy, Mr Mwenda gave examples of Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie (KJ) — who started out as a comedian — and Sande Bush (Dr Ofweneke) who quit law school to pursue a career in comedy. These individuals, he said, are successful because of their talents.

“We would like to encourage you (MKU students) to pursue your dreams even if it is not in the field you are currently undertaking in school.”

He further revealed that the academy will be utilised to nurture students to produce local content for purposes of enriching TV47 and Radio47 local programming.

“There is a law that dictates that media houses have to air a certain percentage of local content… what we are starting today is a journey towards making Kenya the next Nollywood.”

In the MoU, MKU will provide the academy with creative content developed by students. This will allow the talented students to be engaged by the academy in various and different ways, hence leading to job creation.

On his part, MKU Vice Chancellor Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi lauded the initiative as a game changer when it comes to talented Kenyan youth and job creation.

Citing data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, which paints a grim picture of the unemployment situation in the country, Prof. Jaganyi said that the academy was an innovative strategy that will cater for youth skill development in the creative art industry.

“In 2023, a record of 23,000 people, most of them among the youth, applied for some 293 vacant positions advertised by the public service board in Bomet County. This illustrates the huge number of persons seeking employment in Kenya,” he noted. “This scenario calls for an innovative strategy in job creation within the continent of Africa and in other developing countries across the world.”

Prof. Jaganyi added: “In a world where creative art industry is a popular engagement — and given the increasing interests across the world of persons who daily turn to the entertainment industry for leisure — it means the Cape Media Talent Academy becomes a very very important intervention in youth skill development and job creation.”

In the MoU, MKU will provide the academy with creative content developed by students. This will allow the talented students to be engaged by the academy in various and different ways, hence leading to job creation.

Moreover, the student artists who are going to participate in the content creating will get certificates which will give them an edge within the job market.

“As a university we are happy to engage in this collaboration, we urge as many of our students to take advantage of this opportunity as we also congratulate Cape Media Ltd for this innovative undertaking. MKU takes pride in being associated with this newly-launched talent identification and nurturing academy,” Prof. Jaganyi said.

Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO CPA Pascal Opiyo congratulated Cape Media Ltd and MKU for initiating a talent academy that seeks to harness, cultivate, nurture, showcase and monetising talent of young people through diverse training.

MKU students at the Mwai Kibaki Convention Centre during the launch of the Cape Media Talent Academy on June 20, 2024.

“It is gratifying to know that this programme targets students in universities that will benefit with professional hands on training as well as employment opportunities among other incentives,” he said in a speech read by his representative in the event, Chief Manager, Corporate Services and Administration at KFCB Nelly Muluka.

CPA Opiyo also applauded the thought behind the initiative, exuding confidence that it is key to addressing the mismatch of skills that has been a hinderance for young people pursuing careers in creative industry.

“I comment Cape Media for supporting the creative industry by broadcasting locally produced audio-visual content and providing a platform for Kenyans to share the unique and authentic stories and experience on various platforms (TV47, Radio47 and digital platforms).”

He further noted that the academy’s objectives aligns with the government’s 5th pillar of the Bottom-Up Economic Agenda and the Talanta Hela Initiative.

“KFCB sincerely applauds Cape Media for complying with the provisions of the Film and Stage Plays Act , this is because they have consistently submitted all their content for examination and classification….”

Muluka encouraged the students to push themselves to the limit in terms of realising their talents.

“A live dog is better than a dead lion. It is never late…Even if you have not started utilising your talent, you can out your talent and academics together.”

FULL VIDEO: The launch of Cape Media Talent Academy

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