A Passion for African Content

Web & IT | By Nqobizitha Mlilo, Animator | 22 February 2014

Tafadzwa Tarumbwa speaks to Google's Africa Connected finalist Nqobizitha Mlilo (Enqore)

Nqo: I am an animator, visual effects artist, creative/TV producer and a hip hop artist

We want to explore the role that software plays in the creative industry. Some artists believe that once you introduce computers you have taken out the art?
Nqo: The art is still the art, I used to draw in primary school, I sued to do a lot of comics, I used to be active in the art class. By the time I discovered computers, when I was 14, the computer was just a new medium for expression., with the same aesthetic concerns and artistic expressions, but now its just happening on the computer. Its just a tool like any other.

How have you benefitted from having the internet at your disposal?
Nqo: I was asked this same question recently. I was asked this question as part of the Google programme as I made it into the finals of Africa Connected. One thing I was saying was that Google and the internet in general. Google and Youtube have become my university, my own personal university so whenever I am trying to learn something a new, a new piece of software, a new piece of anything its normally a google away, and probably a day away, I download a couple of tutorials and I am well on my way, I don’t have to book an expensive workshop, go to an expensive class. The information is always there not just information on software but information on anything. Sometimes you want to get an idea on an art form thats not specifically illustration, drawing and videos which is what I do sometimes its architecture or workflows, watching other creative people, creative documentaries and so forth. Just to see what else is going on out there as well as interaction I have met some really good people over a long period of time. Its something that I run toward and embrace.

How does it feel to have large companies like Google paying attention to Africa
Nqo: Africa Connected is a project where Google looks for Africa’s top content creators then they tell their stories. Its all about telling stories and how their services have impacted these various people in their various walks of life. It feels like a really big project a lot of people involved and I am sure they received thousands of submissions. It feels awesome to think that Google thinks my story is worth telling. Its very story oriented. Its a huge initiative and Google is one of if not the biggest companies in the world, and for them to look at Africa, because now we have reached a billion people in population its a huge market as well so its a culture that the world has not fully seen and if they have seen they haven’t seen the other facets of it, and the more positive facets of the different African countries and different African cultural systems. I think this project definitely shows the positive sides. It shows young Africans engaging with technology in a really modern and the futuristic way they use it in their context and their environment, making Africa the new frontier in technology.

Any last words
Nqo: Its all about expression, if people keep expressing themselves artistically within the context of our environment, Africa will find its feet, its all about the context, I am all about just genuine African content, I dont like people regurgitating what they think Africa is, it loses the essence of Africa, Its  just very disrespectful. We have got a lot to offer and ignoring the content that what we already have here at home, thats not awesome man.