Netflix, the world’s leading streaming entertainment service has announced 52 beneficiaries of its Creative Equity Scholarship Fund (CESF) for West and Central Africa, and 27 Nigerians were listed.
The announcement was made at a recent stakeholder event that engaged regulators and partners on Nigerian storytelling as soft power and hard currency, the inclusion of women in the creative economy, the need for strengthening Nigeria’s creative pipeline, and Nollywood’s contribution to global perception.
CESF will provide financial support to its beneficiaries including access to quality tertiary education in film and TV-focused disciplines.
Shola Sanni, director of public policy, SSA, Netflix said the organisation’s is on the cusp of taking Nigeria to the global stage, saying that Netflix’s goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem to assist talents.
“This is why we remain committed to the continent and Nigeria. We care for the growth of talents and are passionate about the future of the industry and want to enable Nigerian creators to access the global market,” Sanni said in a statement.
“This is why today is all about celebrating the scholars who will be responsible for telling African stories, whether in front or behind the camera, it’s about putting Africa on the global map.”
The scholarship fund for Sub-Saharan students is part of Netflix’s global creative equity fund launched in 2021 which is a dedicated effort to help build new opportunities for underrepresented communities within entertainment.
Through the fund, Netflix supports external organisations committed to creating equitable opportunities in the TV and film industries, as well as bespoke Netflix programs that help us to identify, train and provide job placement for up-and-coming talent globally.
Ben Amadasun, director of content for Africa, Netflix, shared a heartfelt congratulatory message to the beneficiary, leveraging his personal story and lifelong dedication to storytelling, and how this paired with his passion for film, cinema, and African art.
“Netflix, the home of African Film, has continued to showcase their equal commitment to the development of the film and creative industry.”
He encouraged the awardees to always focus on their reasons for getting into filmmaking and TV.
“You must ask yourself, what is your purpose? What will it be? Why do you want to be a part of this journey? How will you make an impact on your career? Once you discover your purpose, let it be your guiding light on your journey as you move forward,” he said.
“Be curious, courageous, and dream big because from small beginnings come great ones,” he added.
Netflix’s CESF celebrated the inaugural cohort of 52 beneficiaries from four East African countries – the Benin Republic, Gabon, Ghana, and Nigeria.
Three beneficiaries from Nigeria are from the PAN-Atlantic University and 24 are from the National Film Institute, Jos. Ghana, Benin, and Gabon have eight, 15, and two beneficiaries respectively.
All the beneficiaries are eligible to receive a full scholarship which includes – tuition, accommodation, a living stipend, and education supplies.
The program is currently being administered by Dalberg in partnership with the five institutions of higher learning in the region that will support the formal qualification and training of aspiring creatives from the region.