27 December 2012

Tanzania: Local Artistes Face Challenges to Embracing Multimedia

MULTIMEDIA has a market here because its application plays a bigger role in development issues than is currently thought.

This view was expressed by Amaeli Kihunrwa, the Managing Director of MediaOne Productions, which is based in the Upanga section of Dar es Salaam. On Monday he had made a presentation at the Arts Council (BASATA) in which he said aspects of multimedia has been used in projects that have been affected even in rural schools.

One of these facets is animations, which played an effective role in all of this, where a recorded increase in attendance to classrooms was reported. This increase has been contributed to children having fun with the technique, while learning such subjects as mathematics.

"With the use of animation a monkey can be seen talking about algebra, which the children will remember when they are in the playground or even when they have gone back home. The whole thing might have been presented as a story in a film but it remained mathematics," Kihunrwa explains.

Such observation brought him to conclude there is a need for more creativity from artistes and results in a challenge for them to come up with products that are able to solve problems. Three weeks ago they finished a short animation film about financial education.

It has been tested in various rural villages where even adults, he says, were looking at it and able to get the logic out of its teachings. This is due to its simple way of presenting, which can be achieved by use of animation. This stood as proof for Kihunrwa that multimedia and animation has a lot of potential here, for making money, as it has shown the world over.

What remains is for local artistes and producers to think creatively on how this is going to be obtained. Now this has a cost because it requires more than just creativity. There is need for the systems to make this work, he maintains. These help convert that creativity, whether it's a song in one's mind into something that can be consumed by people. That is where the issue of sustainability comes in.

It is impossible to keep making good music if one is not getting any returns out of the exercise. That is where the marriage between the economics and the creative product should be balanced. "It's not just about creating good products now but doing this and the process being able to continue tomorrow and the day after; sustainably. The best way to do this is to balance-out the profit, which is not necessarily cash, but can even be loyalty of the market," Kihunrwa explained.

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