By Mish Molakeng
Mohau Kwebu had many challenges growing up, including having a mother with a mental disability and an absent father, but he was determined to realise his dream of becoming a visual arts storyteller.
Raised by his grandmother in the small town of Villiers in the Free State, he was focused on ensuring a bright future for himself.
After completing Grade 12, Mohau heard about the free learning opportunities offered by National Electronic Media of South Africa (Nemisa). He applied for a 12-month video editing course.
“As they say: ‘the rest is history’,” said Kwebu, who sees himself as a community builder.
“After I was accepted and given an opportunity to study for free by NEMISA, my life changed for the better. I went on to win short film awards as a student at the institution,” said Kwebu, who now works behind the scenes at the newly-established 24-hour news channel Newsroom Afrika.
Nemisa, a training entity of the Department of Communications, has positioned itself to be at the forefront of providing digital training opportunities to young people. Nemisa is dedicated to teaching in each of the five major multimedia disciplines namely Television, Radio, Animation, Broadcast Engineering and Multimedia Design.
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Communications, said the government was making a concerted effort to ensure that the youth are employable and equipped with the digital skills needed for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“As the Department of Communications we always encourage the entities in our portfolios to leverage on partnerships with the private sector in order for them to deliver on their respective mandates.
“It is for this reason that we are seeing NEMISA partnering with Vaal University to start a training initiative to provide unemployed young people with cellphone technician skills. This cellphone repair training will go a long way in ensuring that young people become self-sustainable entrepreneurs,” she said.
Sinethemba Gwenxane, from the Western Cape, is also one of many young people who have benefited from the NEMISA training programme. He now has an animation qualification.
“I am now able to stand on an equal footing with my peers from other institution like AFDA and Wits University who are also offering courses in animation. The quality of the lecturers is what makes us industry-ready upon completing our course. The institution attracts big names from the industry who come to teach the practical aspects. I think that is what helps us to stand out in the work environment as NEMISA students,” said Gwenxane.
NEMISA has expanded its footprint by building training capacity in all provinces. In the last financial year, the institution has trained more than 1000 learners in the fields of digital media and ICT, with basic requirements being a Matric pass with English and Maths literacy.
“Empowering young people and giving them opportunities is not a narrative that is just heard during Youth Month. We are serious about eradicating unemployment among young people. Every entity in the portfolio of the Department of Communications has a strategy in place for youth empowerment,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams. – SAnews.gov.za