To paraphrase the old adage, in the age of ubiquitous video, the person who knows about more than the upload button on YouTube will be king. Or, to put it another way, video is going to be really important for the generation currently passing through South African schools as faster, cheaper bandwidth will make it the de facto way to communicate in the future.
So we’d better start teaching kids how to use it to their advantage. And that’s what twenty-six-year-old Innocentia Masimene from Johannesburg is hoping to do through an education programme that combines her skills in videography with a passionate desire to improve the state of rural education.
Masimene’s education programme, called ShowTime, is aimed at rural school children of all ages. She says that it provides relevant, future-focused, skills-based, film education, introducing the learners to the world of video production and creating a platform for them to learn and grow.
ShowTime is being produced through her videography company, Blue Lenz Pictures, which offers film and photography services for individuals, corporates and different events. The programme will kick-off in a few schools which ShowTime has already identified.
Masimene was one of the startup owners pitching to room filled with media, potential investors and experts in various fields at the MEDO Isuzu Big Pitch at the Sandton Convention Centre yesterday.
MEDO is an organisation that assists South African companies that need to fulfill their BBBEE obligations by providing development programmes, incubation, and access to markets. It also helps startups still in their early stages with the training and mentoring they need to take themselves further and become a success through its Foundation Business Skills programme. Masimene was among the startup owners who recently completed the programme sponsored by car-manufacturers Isuzu.
“We want to empower kids because they come from communities where there are hardly any opportunities for them, they don’t get to experience what we do in the cities,” she explains. “We want to show them that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can also be great.”
To make kids feel comfortable enough to express themselves fully, they will be allowed to use their mother languages when producing content at ShowTime.
Although ShowTime is all about videography, the aim isn’t to just introduce kids to the industry. “They don’t have to go into film, they can become engineers, technicians, developers etc. We just want to spark something in them that will push them into the right direction” Masimene says.
The current focus is on children in South Africa, but Masimene says she want ShowTime to go into the rest of Africa and make it a proudly African initiative. ShowTime also plans on collaborating with a similar programme based on Switzerland that will see the kids travelling to the European country to take part in the Swiss programme.
Right now, ShowTime needs funding for school packs, lunches, facilitator salaries and mostly importantly, expensive filming equipment.
“I hope by October, we will have a sponsor who will help us get up and running”, adds Masimene. To get in touch with Masimene, you can email [email protected]