Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has awarded a Kenyan creator Ksh3 million for content centering around the Nairobi Boda Boda scene.
On Monday, March 14, the company announced six of its finalists under a programme dubbed Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds including Michelle Angawa, a Kenyan film editor XR creator.
Angawa, who will be facilitated with Ksh3.4 million (US$30,000), will be tasked with creating tragicomedy content depicting a day-in-the-life of a Nairobian boda boda rider.
The content is set to explore desire and the complexities of Nairobi life.
According to the statement, the programme is focused on harnessing and investing in the next generation of Extended Reality (XR) creators in Africa.
Apart from the financial support, the creators will also be accorded mentorship and tickets to attend XR events to spur their creativity.
"As part of the ‘Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds’ programme, each creator will be supported with funding of up to $30,000 and also participate in XR-industry events to improve their creativity and drive interest in their projects. They will also access mentorship from Electric South and Imisi3D," read the statement in part.
The other five winners in the programme, which is a collaboration between Meta and Africa No Filter (ANF), were drawn from Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius and Cameroon.
They are expected to incorporate the creative uses of music, multimedia installations, film and sculpture to explore projects around spirituality, heritage, the cosmos, imagination and memory and masculinity into their extended realities projects
Arts and Culture Program Lead at ANF Jessica Hagan noted that the organisation was happy with the abundance of talent on the African continent.
“It’s reassuring to see the amount of incredible XR talent on the African continent. The creativity and innovation we encountered in the selection process has been very exciting.
"It shows that Africa is also on the pulse of global innovation and tech trends that are redefining how stories are told and experienced. XR content creation is costly, but African creators are not falling behind," she stated.
The other winners were Pierre-Christophe Gam from Cameroon who is working on a hybrid art installation that fuses VR, film, photography, and mixed-media sculpture and Xabiso Vili from South Africa whose visual album is a speculative fiction piece that explores reconciliation and healing.
Nirma Madhoo from Mauritius explores African cultures as technologies in her work, Malik Afegbua from Nigeria is focused on curating a virtual heritage experience of the Kofar-Mata dye pit, a cultural and historical site in Kano, Nigeria and Lara Sousa from Mozambique, a director and producer closed the top six list.