Saturday, September 21, 2013

When Life Bends

When Life Bends

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Love for Africa

I have been lecturing in Nigeria in the last two weeks of advanced editing. The last time I was here was in 2006 and then I was discouraged by the scourge of corruption in the country. This time around I have a new sense of hope and love for this continent I call home. I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most amazing people whose hospitality know no bounds. At times I felt embarrassed by the amount of attention and kindness I received from my hosts, Media Village Nigeria. So in the last few weeks I have been living in a city called Jos in Plateau State. For those who follow current affairs would be aware of some of the troubles this state has been experiencing. Religious tension and terrorist suicide bombings have made Jos one of the most dangerous places to inhabit. One Nigerian (well meaning might I add) even made a comment on how brave he thought I was to have come to Jos given the amount of security problems. To which I quickly corrected him by truthful asserting that bravery had nothing to do with it. I was genuinely nervous and aware of the dangers that everyone was exposed to. I told him that I believe one is as safe as where God wants you to be. This time around that place happened to be in Jos and this despite news headlines saying to the contrary.

Advanced Editing Class
As I write this letter a suicide bomber attacked a church this past Sunday at a local church. People live in fear of unexpected bomb explosions which are engineered by a 'faceless' terrorist group known as Boko Haram. Boko Haram is a jihadist terrorist organisation that has caused terror amongst the people of Nigeria. They continue to terrorise the country with countless suicide bomb attacks. The government seems to be preoccupied with politics as usual and is failing to curb a culture of corruption within its ranks exacerbating the expanding influence of Boko Haram. This of course is simplifying a very complex issue that would include delving into politics. With that said, politics do affect people and this time around with fatal consequences to the already struggling populace.

One would also expect the churches to be rising up to the occasion in offering hope and pragmatic solutions in combating some of the social challenges people are facing. However, churches in general, seem to be  'business' ventures that give people false promises of prosperity. Promises of a better life are splattered all over the cities on billboards advertising one church meeting or crusade after another that guarantees people a better life. They only prerequisite to attaining this 'great life' as they claim would be for parishioners to part ways with their hard earned cash in 'sowing to the church'. Yet the reality on the ground is that people continue to be victims of dubious pastors with no interests in furthering what their faith propagates, to make disciples of all nations.

Despite this state of hopelessness there are people who continue to have faith in a seemingly state of hopelessness. One of those hopes comes in the form of Media Village Nigeria, which is a media training institution run by Alex and Anne Abok. With a message focused on telling stories that uplift communities, Media Village is setting a standard of excellence in making it their goal to Africans with varying media skills. They are also partnering with different organisations in being part of the change people would want to see in this great continent of ours. They are also involved in educating communities about the effects of human trafficking and recently media Village was in a city called Benin where they were educating people of the effects of human trafficking. They have also produced a feature film called 'Europe in My Heart' which was shot in Nigeria and Denmark. They are using this film not just as an entertaining tool but to also educate and create awareness amongst Africans on how human trafficking continues to destroy societies in Africa

Part of the Advanced Editing Class
Thanks to the Media Village Nigeria I have incredible hope for Africa. Two months ago I was in Rwanda and I was left with the same sense of renewal and hope for our continent.  I was honoured to have lectured two broadcasting companies and the students of Media Village on advanced editing. I saw in them a hunger for learning and in a short space of time amazing growth. It was truly a privilege to work with this media institute especially being given the opportunity to partner with yet another ministry that is proudly Africa.

A bit of fun after class

My hope is that the students can go forth and start using the arts in telling their stories and at the same time address issues that are affecting their communities. I truly believe that we can inspire some form of change and inspire action in individuals and societies in making Africa great.

Keep it Tight