NEW PROFESSIONS

Creative youths get chance to live dreams through gaming, animation careers

For a long time, Kenyan youth with an interest in creating animations have lacked a school to nurture their talents

In Summary

• Admi, a creative media and tech training institution, has teamed up with Rubika, a leading creative technology institution, to offer gaming and animation courses

• More and more brands are using animations to leave a lasting impression among their clients

Admi MD Laila Macharia (L) and attendees during the launch of the gaming course in Nairobi on October 27
Admi MD Laila Macharia (L) and attendees during the launch of the gaming course in Nairobi on October 27
Image: COURTESY

Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe in you.

This was a phrase used by Mufasa, a major character in Disney's 1994 animated feature film, 'The Lion King'.

Lion King has been described as one of the most successful animations of all time, both because of the creative computer animation used as well as its inspiring life themes.

 

So profound was the animation that a remake was done this year, albeit using photo-realism to depict real animals. The remake has gone on to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time.

'The Lion King' has a special place in Kenyans’ hearts because of the animation’s setting, which was to replicate Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha. The animators of The Lion King travelled to Kenya to get a feel of the park.

For a long time, Kenyan youth with an interest in creating animations have not had the opportunity to exercise their talents because of the lack of a school to nurture their talents. Courses available have mostly been abroad and are usually costly.

This high cost, coupled with misconceptions about work opportunities in the creative industry, have made many youth abandon their dreams and settle for more ‘conventional’ areas of study.

However, as Mufasa said, belief in oneself forces everyone else around to fall in place and believe in you, whether it’s sooner or later.

Kenyans are slowly opening their minds to a world of opportunities that exists in the creative field, including in animation, design and gaming.

The gaming industry, for example, is estimated to be worth Sh3 billion in Kenya alone, says Wilfred Kiumi, the founding director at the Africa Digital Media Institute (Admi).

 
 

Admi is a creative media and technology training institution. It has teamed up with Rubika, the world’s leading creative technology institution, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Heva Fund, and Gulli Africa to offer gaming and animation courses.

AFD has provided a $800,000 (Sh80 million) grant to make the programme affordable.

 “We need to see more African cultural products in the global marketplace, and Rubika has the experience and track record of training graduates to produce world-class content. With this partnership, we hope to produce more African-inspired characters and content of the highest quality,” Kiumi said.

Rubika will offer two programmes at Admi from January 2020: 2D Animation and Video Game Design and Development.

Rubika CEO, Stéphane Andre, said young passionate students will be equipped with the skills they need to succeed in the animation and the video game industry.

“They will be able to apply these skills towards building the development of African animation and video gaming productions,” he said.

Kenyans have produced compelling content in several areas, including advertising. Some of the most popular content has been produced by Fatboy Animations, which is known for its series of advertisements for Faiba telecommunications, with the star character being ‘Mbugua’.

More and more brands are using animations to leave a lasting impression among their clients.

Advertisements and digital content are just a few of the areas youth can tap into with an education in animation and gaming.