Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

For Africa’s creative industry to be representative of the clients and consumers it serves, diversity is non-negotiable, says Nunu Ntshingila, regional director at Facebook Africa. More than that, young digital talent must be supported in the industry through mentorship and knowledge sharing.

Ntshingila points out that there is a host of diverse talent to found in Africa and the Middle East. She says it is encouraging to note the success of women in the industry and the commitment of what she calls the “old hands”, as well as the new talent in terms of connecting with each other at events such as the Open Chair sessions. “I am optimistic about where women are and where we can get to,” she says. “However, I also believe that one can always do more.”

The big take-out:

Facebook’s Nunu Ntshingila is adamant about finding and supporting diverse talent in the creative industry and delivering initiatives that help create a pipeline of young talent, reflective of society.

Facebook’s programmes and participation at Loeries Creative Week this year echoed Ntshingila’s sentiments. The brand sponsored the student category of the Loeries Awards once again this year, and ensured that the workshops it hosted during creative week were focused on upskilling young creatives in the areas of digital marketing and advertising.

Ntshingila says the creative industry should represent society as a whole, in terms of both product development and communications. Women, she says, are not passive in the decision-making process. In fact, they are involved in 70%-80% of household decisions and therefore their presence is vital in the creative process – both physically and cognitively.

Mentorship is crucial in terms of supporting diversity in the industry, says Ntshingila, adding that it is important to have role models to look up to, people who have been grown through the ranks and may have experienced similar challenges and issues to those faced by today’s young talent. She adds that in a dynamic environment mentors and mentees have a lot to learn from each other.

In much the same way, she maintains that building a pipeline of diverse talent is also key, as young people with potential who are supported and nurtured breathe new life into a business. Sponsorships, such as the student award at the Loeries, are a step in the right direction, ensuring that companies and tertiary institutions work together to create this pipeline. 

Facebook’s “Made on Mobile” was another highlight of the creative week for Ntshingila. The concept aims at furthering the entrepreneurial skill and spirit so vital to the economy on the continent.  Facebook hosted a hands-on workshop for SMEs in KwaMashu township, showcasing the power of mobile and how small business owners can create their own campaigns to promote their businesses using mobile handsets. “It’s a fascinating discussion that we have with SMEs – empowering entrepreneurs to use technology and grow their business ventures,” she concluded.

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