Makhaza students were abuzz last week with excitment and creativity when they got the chance to create a music video for the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards. (VOTE TODAY!) This program is designed to provide youth in underserved communities with the critical skills they need to become active and engaged members of their communities and the world at large. By engaging these young people in exciting and meaningful new ways it provides a platform for them to communicate their concerns, aspirations, and vision using modern communications skills in telling stories that make a real impact.
Shelley Smith, a UCT masters student who facilitated the project for us and has this to say:
“It has truly been such a joy and inspiration to work with the group of IkamvaYouth participants involved in the Adobe Youth Aspire Awards project. I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to get to know such intelligent, creative, innovative, and passionate people; From them I have learned so much and am inspired to do so much more. The participants were given the task of creating a multimedia project which addressed critical issues and provided solutions for positive change. They chose to produce a music video combining mixed beats, acting, rap, poetry and song all student-created, filmed, and edited. The participants were given a very short amount of time to develop and execute the project and they did so with positively soaring colours.
What was beautiful to witness was the profound importance of the project to the participants and the pride they took in their work, not just because it was a fun music video, but because of the message they were communicating to their peers and to the world through a medium that showcased their individual talents and gifts. Their video addressed the crucial importance of education and how, no matter what obstacles one faces or peer pressure one encounters, he or she must keep working hard, believe in himself, never give up on his dreams; As the video states, this is the way to ‘drive poverty away.’ The video highlight Ikamva Youth as a vessel that strengthens them both academically and emotionally and is a necessity for them if they are to succeed in achieving their goals.
My role in the project was to guide the participants in the whole process and keep a structure in place; structure for the actual music video as well as timing structure of the steps needed to create, shoot, and edit the project to meet Adobe’s deadline. Given my background in broadcast journalism, I also ran a videography and editing workshop with the three IkamvaYouth members who served as the ‘camera crew’ and the main editor. I was blown away at how quickly the ‘media team’ picked up on the tips and skills I had to share with them and how eager they were to learn and get into the meat of the work – Made my job as teacher very easy! 🙂
Aside from the brilliant talent the members brought to the table, their teamwork, respect for one another, and communal effort to make the video the best it could be was truly amazing. I’ve so loved the time spent with each of them; many laughs, many jokes, many memories to be treasured. I cannot wait to see where these all-stars go and hope to continue working with Ikamva in the months to come. Great job everyone! 🙂 “
Big up Shelley, We love you!