'The Kilimanjaro Film Institute puts a lot of emphasis on being enterprising'

October 2008 -

After completing his training as part of the Nairobits ICT Training Project in Kenya, Mark Kamau was involved in various initiatives as a consultant. "Recently, with a few partners, I established the Kilimanjaro Film Institute in Tanzania. We just successfully completed our first year with a pilot phase." Kamau was one of the speakers at Surprising Africa, part of Picnic, the international congress for creative Internet entrepreneurs that was held in Amsterdam at the end of September 2008.


Mark Kamau on the Kilimanjaro

Kamau really had the audience laughing when he related a story about one of his students. This student set up an initiative for tourists who climb Kilimanjaro; for 20 dollars he creates a dvd depicting their climb. "This underscores the creativity that you see in Tanzania. In our training we place a lot of emphasis on being enterprising. During our first year, in seven months we trained sixteen young people in different disciplines, such as organisation and planning, mounting, and operating a camera."

Because Nairobits was originally a Dutch project, the film school maintains many contacts with Dutch institutions. Kanau: "For example, we get our equipment from the Amsterdam United Broadcasting Facilities. Employees come during their holidays to give trainings for us." Graduates must work hard to capitalize on their training. "It seems to be working out pretty well. The market for television and films is growing. Many people start working on creating documentaries or are involved in the production of soap operas. We have many contacts with local television stations. The lack of good script writers is a bigger problem. So we now have contact with ID TV for developing scenarios. We are extremely curious regarding how this will work out."