Address by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Buti Manamela, to the M-Net Magic in Motion Academy Graduation,M-Net, Randburg, 27 March 2019
Programme Director Miss Dineo Moeketsi
CEO – General Entertainment, Ms Yolisa Phahle
Director of The Magic In Motion Academy, Mr Bobby Heany
Group Executive - Corporate Affairs, Mr Joe Heshu
Mentors and representatives of the various production companies that house the Academy interns
Parents of the graduating class
Magic In Motion Academy Class of 2018
Ladies and gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to be part of this very special occasion. This is an occasion that signifies an exciting new journey for 13 young people who had the fortune and privilege of being selected as the M-Net Magic In Motion Class of 2018. Over the past five years this programme has continued to be a gateway into the film and television industry for a significant number of students and I have been honoured to be invited to the graduation ceremony each year.
While the intake may seem small in number, the impact that this programme has on young entrants into the industry is evident in the fact that many of the graduates have found space for themselves to actively participate in the industry. The Magic In Motion Academy Graduates appear on the credits of our favourite dramas, films, soapies and telenovelas, signalling that what Mr Bobby Heany is doing in the programme is indeed preparing each group for what the industry needs.
A few years back when I was here, I lamented the fact that such a valuable skills programme is only accessible to such a limited number of young people.
In an ideal setting, this is a programme that must be replicated in more spaces. We have seen the outcomes of this programme and the consistency in quality since 2014. It is simply too great to be left at its current size.
Perhaps this is a challenge that should not be left with Multichoice and M-Net alone. It needs closer attention and exploration of possible partnerships with some of our institutions of higher learning and Sector Education and Training Authorities.
The film and television industry is a big contributor to job creation and the majority of these jobs are held by the youth. These are not ordinary jobs. You are tasked with driving the nation’s social cohesion agenda through the stories you tell. In your hands lie our sense of national identity and values. As you exit this academy to join the professionals that you have seen from afar and maybe even aspired to be like, I want to challenge you to look your South African heritage in your quest to make it big.
Take advantage of opportunities that exist for young people in the industry to lead their own projects. Don’t strive for employment only but look at options that make it possible for you to produce your own films, write your own scripts and pitch your own drama series. In this way maybe we would find the keys to opening up the industry.
You are not too young to drive that. To the industry leaders and production companies present here, I challenge you to give these young people a chance.
They have not only been trained in their respective institutions prior to joining this academy, but they have proven themselves as interns for the past twelve months. They cannot be graduating today to
continue being in perpetual internships. We must change this culture in the industry. These young people are not looking for handouts. They come into the industry trained and ready to apply their skills. Give them a hand up.
To MultiChoice, thank you for seeing the gap and doing something about it.
I want to challenge you once more to explore ways to grow this much needed programme. To Bobby and your team, your contribution to skills development in the film and television sector is no small effort. Congratulations on the academy’s continued success.
To the Magic In Motion Academy Class of 2018, enjoy your graduation. Go out there, make names for yourselves and make us proud.
I thank you.