Creatives better skills 

Some  of  the students take lessons at the Swangz Creative Academy. PHOTOS | ISAAC SSEJJOMBWE

What you need to know:

  • Getting creative is one thing and maximising creative potential is another. Swangz Creative Academy is skilling the youth in creative  arts to better their trade and move with the times.

Ten students graduated from the audio class and live broadcast production on July 29, from Swangz Creative Academy, Kampala. The graduands who were the few selected from the many that applied for the school’s first June intake were issued with certificates of completion certified by the Director of Industrial Training under the Ministry of Education.

With the academy model being 80 per cent practical, they gave the students an opportunity to work on top real market assignments including the recently concluded MTN Momo Waka campaign, Guinness Bright house event at Motiv and the Live broadcast students were part of the recently held Azawi concert. 

During the course of five weeks, students learnt an array of skills including music production and video editing. They also had a mentorship session from artiste and music producer Benon Mugumbya and Swangz Avenue CEO Julius Kyazze.

Such experiences helped them  network with respected creatives in the lifestyle and entertainment industry. 

Rethinking 

Augustin Okalebo enrolled for the Swangz Avenue Creative Academy for audio and film production in March last year and left in July the same year. It was a short sponsored course in studio set-up and in four months, he managed to enrich his knowledge about studio setup, equipment and audio production. 

“I gained knowledge, exposure and made new friends. For example, I grew up admiring Benon Mugumbya and all his works so it was  great to meet and learn from him. I also met and studied with big icons in the entertainment industry such as Anel Tunes, Julius Kyazze, and Steve Keys,” says Okalebo.

He has been able to reset and redesign his audio studio the right way; for example sound proofing it, acoustic treatment and equipment setup.

Okalebo says Swangz was the right place after following its progress over the years in conducting its business and had wanted to someday do what they do. “When I saw an article about the call for training, I applied. Although, it was two days before the deadline, I am glad I was also chosen. This was a dream come true.”

Collaboration

George Mukaaga Neezzy was among the people who enrolled for a one-month free programme from May10 to June 11, 2021.

He did the podcast/studio apprenticeship and was equipped with knowledge and trained on how to build and set up a studio with all top essentials in sound. He managed to collaborate with some brains that run KWADZMade, Meaty Meaty, Jefflines, Prometheus and Jahreigns Voyage as the motherboard.

Some of the graduates of the academy. 

“We bought some equipment and got more engaged in creating content and right now we have a project called “Jamming Space” where we shoot a video once every month and it features five artistes performing individually.   Then, later a freestyle session done on live instruments,” says Neezzy.

Neezzy further states that through this programme, he was enlightened more about good quality sounds and how the music business evolves around it and how good sound is vital in the creation and giving life to the arts.

While at the academy, he says they were always encouraged to start with whatever they have and they set up a production studio in Kibuli- Wabigalo.

“Just like Bob Marley said, “Where there’s a will there’s away” Swangz stood the test of time and proved that everything is possible! With their professionalism, giving back, and discipline from the receptionist to the bosses it’s really hard not to trust Swangz,” he says.

With the knowledge he acquired, Neezzy is also looking at venturing into film collaborating with Swangz or Loukman Ali, Usma Mukwaya or Mathew Nabwiso.

Why the academy

Julius Kyazze, the CEO and head of business at Swangz Avenue, says they started the academy to create jobs for the youth in the creative arts industry in Uganda.

“The sector is heavily unskilled yet the demand for quality audio and visual production is at an all-time high. We believe this skilling initiative will make a significant leap at improving the quality of production but most importantly create jobs,” says Julius Kyazze,

Benon Mugumbya, one of the directors, adds that passing on knowledge to others has always been his dream and that the dream needed to be realised.

“I was lucky that Aydee at Ngoni taught me. Many young people don’t have their Aydee’s to show them how. Being Aydee to many talented young people has always been a dream. Thus, the Swangz Creative Academy is where we shall equip creatives with the necessary skills to earn off their craft,” he says.

The creative academy lab is open and that it is a place where they experiment to create the future.

Computer literacy is required for courses that use computer programmes such as digital video editing, audio production and script writing.

The students started registration in June 2021 with a focus on; a three-week audio production course  and, a four-week course  on international best practices and the principles of producing, line producing, and production management for broadcast.

The next intake has started today.

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