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Entertainment of Saturday, 25 December 2021


Stories from Africa can change the world – Linus Idahosa

Linus Idahosa Linus Idahosa

The Chairman of Del-York Group and the President/Founder of Del-York Creative Academy, Linus Idahosa, has said that though Nigerian entertainment is making waves across the world, stories that can change the world have to come from a ‘different place’.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the 2021 cohort of the academy, Idahosa told Saturday Beats, “What is the story we want to tell as Nigerians? That is the big question. We are all products of society. Our entertainment industry is blossoming but what stories are they telling? We have great stories to tell from here. The stories that would change the world have to come from a different place— a place that is not driven by the inadequacies or shortcomings of our government; but from the need to create lasting change.

“We want them (students) to go and be examples of what’s possible. We want them to use their stories to shape the lives of those around them. For them to be able to do that, they must first be able to understand their audiences. The industry is quite large and we want our students to plug into different parts of it.”

Idahosa also noted that the end game of the DCA was to carve a niche for themselves in specific parts of the entertainment industry. He said, “Our goal is to carve a niche in certain key areas of the creative industry. Our long-term goal is to set up a national creative institute for filmmakers, not just from Africa, but the rest of the world. That is why our method is more practical than theoretical.”

On the best form of support he thinks the government can render to the creative industry, the filmmaker and entrepreneur said, “The industry grew organically; without the support of the government or the private sector. For anyone to benefit from the opportunities in the industry, they ought to know its challenges and be able to create lasting solution to them.

“It is an expensive venture to train people. The creative training process requires ‘hardcore learning’. Students need access to cameras, lights and other filmmaking equipment. I think the government should support the industry by subsidising the training given by platforms like ours.”

Idahosa also stated that he had got several calls to replicate the initiative in different parts of the country. He added, “We have been getting calls from different parts of the country to replicate this but considering how expensive it is, we are looking at identifying the states with the most numbers of registration. We would then start by having short-term programmes in those places.”

On the eligibility criteria for the programme, Idahosa said, “Anyone who is a creative— between the ages of 18 and 45— and has the ability to convert materials into creative life forms, we are ready to engage such persons in our training programmes. We’ve had students from different African countries including Congo, Zambia, Cameroon and Tanzania. We have also seen a lot of interest from francophone countries on the continent.”