MamaK'sTeam4

Netflix pledges US$1 million for African students

The new Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund will bring new talent to the streamer, which wants to support African stories that resonate with global audiences.
January 20, 2022

Netflix has committed US$1 million to support Sub-Saharan African film and TV students.

The Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund, part of Netflix’s Creative Equity Fund, will cover tuition costs, accommodation, study materials and living expenses at Sub-Saharan TV and film school programs for the 2022/2023 academic year.

The scholarship is open to student from eligible countries, including Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Netflix has tapped fund manager Tshikululu Social Investments to administer the scholarship, and applications will be accepted until February 4. The streamer is also lining up additional partners for other regions.

Netflix is investing in African talent so that it can eventually tap into these unique voices and perspectives to build up its catalogue of local stories that also appeal to global audiences, according to a statement from Ben Amadasun, the company’s director of content in Africa.

Netflix has been building its own slate of African kids content since 2019, when it partnered with Triggerfish Animation Studios on Mama K’s Team 4 (pictured), the streamer’s first African animated original.

Globally, Netflix has increased its focus on talent development efforts in recent months, and recently launched an animation mentorship program for underrepresented communities in the US. It also set up the US$100-million creative equity fund to improve representation among its casts and crews, and to explore how to make content more authentic to different communities.

With 54 countries, Africa is a huge and diverse and continent, and kidcos have been paying more attention to the region that has been home to a kids population boom in recent years. Nelvana teamed up with Africa-focused distributor Blue Socks Media to roll its IPs out across the continent; Akili Network launched Kenya’s first free-to-air kids channel in 2020; and in a effort to give the region’s growing industry a boost, Baboon Animation Africa and the African Animation Network recently formed a joint venture to move more than 25 projects from local creators into development.

About The Author
News editor for Kidscreen. Ryan covers tech, talent and general kids entertainment news, with a passion for kids rap content and video games. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at rtuchow@brunico.com

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