USING the tag “Enqore”, Nqobizitha Mlilo is the senior creative director and head animator at NafunaTV.
Today, along many knowledgeable Zimbabweans, he is twiddling his thumbs in anticipation of his making it into the top five of a serious Google project.
The ongoing Google project is called “Africa Connected” and the reason for being shortlisted is the work Mlilo has been doing via NafunaTV, a young and vibrant, multi-award winning digital media agency that he founded in 2012 upon his return from a United States sojourn.
Bright-eyed and driven Mlilo — a protégé and former student of famed US-based Zimbabwean artiste and founder of Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (Ziva) Saki Mafundikwa, is one of a generation of young, gifted and black artists from Zimbabwe making waves in the cultural industries locally and internationally.
US giant IT company Google has begun to notice and shortlisted the young Zimbabweans for their Africa Connected initiative which is aimed at identifying and rewarding young creative African thinkers and entrepreneurs who utilise their Google services to make a difference in the lives of global youth.
Enqore made his first foray into the showbiz arena circa 2002 upon the release of Zimbabwe’s first animated music video for Bulawayo-based artist/promoter Babongile. The City of Kings soon proved not big enough for his ambitions leading the young man to Harare in his quest for knowledge enrolling at Ziva in the design school’s early days.
Soon, Enqore began to direct and edit music videos for Zimbabwe’s elite musicians such as Vashakabvu for Winky D and Tehn Diamond’s Happy which is on regular rotation on Channel O since last year. The development is a testament to the young creator’s skills and pan-African vision.
“It’s good when Zimbabwe gets represented on the international scene instead of seeing the Nigerians artists dominating.”
Moving to Harare
The young Bulawayo-born and bred artiste, innovator, animator, brand consultant and lecturer all rolled in one took a practical decision moving to Harare.
“Moving to Harare was not for political reason or hatred for my city, the only design college at the time that offered what I wanted to do was in Harare at Ziva where I spent five years,” he explained. “My mentor Saki always pushes the African agenda and that’s maybe why I am like this as well,” Mlilo says of his lecturer and alumnus founder who is a US educated artist and academic.
Spreading his wings
Enqore’s work has taken him out of the country with stints in Namibia, South Africa, California and Rwanda’s African Digital Media Academy (A.D.M.A) where he has taken on animation, visual effects and lecturing contracts.
“I was at Saki’s founder of Zimbabwe’s design and new media college Ziva) and this guy from Pixelcorps from the US would visit to lecture. I met up with him at the college and started making video training for his websites. Through that work I went to California for some time to work with the company on its projects. Later on, the Rwandan college was founded after the guy from Pixelcorps met up with the Rwandan president and mooted the idea of starting the college. That’s how I started lecturing at the college, but I do it online!” Mlilo said about his current lecturing position.
Rallying the vote
It is imperative for Zimbabweans to vote for the young innovator. The top five based on the votes tally will each get $25 000 and a Google mentor.
This is a big opportunity for Zimbabwe as the Google mentor will most likely be one of that company’s high-tech or techno geeks who will guide our young man on a serious learning curve.
The benefit will accrue to the rest of our country. Zimbabweans are urged to vote at Africaconnected.com platform in their droves.
I would imagine the response will be overwhelming and perhaps more than what was experienced during stints by Zimbabweans at Big Brother Africa in past years.