Captured on film

Documenting Covid in Namibia

18 August 2020 | Art and Entertainment

With 21 516 760 global confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 766 663 deaths reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by 17 August at 10:48, Namibia is no exception to this pandemic.
With positive cases increasing daily (currently at over 4 000 along with 35 deaths as at 17 August at 16:11), Umwe Africa found the need to document these stories and help curb cases through an educational television series.
Umwe Africa is a social enterprise founded in 2018 by Jörg Walter and Bryan Nakambonde, and focuses on producing African news for youth and solely on social media. Umwe is dedicated to engaging African youth with matters that shape the future by breaking down African headlines, using language and content that appeals to youth on social media.
The founders always wanted to help prepare youth for a prosperous and well-governed Africa. They identified informing youth and critically engaging them in current affairs as the best way to do so. This is because 75% of Africa’s population is younger than 35. Consequently the youth are the voters and leaders of tomorrow.
However, news organisations still mostly produce content that suits adults. “That is why Umwe Africa provides youth-appealing news to develop informed leaders and voters of tomorrow. With the recent pandemic, this focus has been prioritized more than ever,” Nakambonde said.

Airing on DStv
Embarking on this project to air on DStv (channel 319) on 28 August, each episode brings viewers closer to what is being experienced on the African continent.
More than 20 students from 17 countries around the world are involved in this project and Namibia earned its place to share local experiences.
These insightful episodes take a look at how Covid has taken the African continent by storm, lockdown, law enforcement, police brutality, GBV, housing and food security, and the general impact it has had in various communities. In its third episode, this series will take a closer look into the health care system and lastly how this pandemic has taken a toll on the education system.
This 30-minute documentary does not only focus in Namibia but also shares stories from Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda and Kenya. With only a few episodes released to start the real-life awareness, Umwe intends to produce more episodes through the help from sponsors. They therefore call on corporates to come on board and help finance more episodes that can change the perception of many and call on more Namibians and the rest of the world, to become more responsible, through their behaviour.
“We are determined to get 5 million youth to watch these episodes. We believe this is a golden opportunity to work with broadcasters from all over and sponsors who believe in the power of knowledge and youth,” Walter said.
The first episode can be viewed at 15:00 (CAT) on DStv Channel 139 om 28 August, and again at 16:00 on 29 August.
Interested sponsors can contact them at [email protected], www.umweafrica.com or 081 314 6034.

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