Media Challenge Initiative celebrates first content catalyst graduates

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Media Challenge Initiative celebrates first content catalyst graduates
Rachel Tendo was overjoyed by the initiative | Courtesy-Moses Serunjogi

The Media Challenge Initiative graduated its first cohort of the Content Catalyst Program on June 11.

The event also celebrated their work which was exhibited by many officials from different walks of life.

The exhibition featured groundbreaking projects from the 15 fellows, ranging from interactive media displays to innovative content strategies, and documentaries.

Attendees were immersed in the creative processes and outcomes of the projects. The exhibition had innovations in health, tourism, art, mental health, and social justice reporting.

Each exhibit told a unique story of passion and hard work, reflecting the fellows’ dedication over the year-long program.

The event was graced by the Ambassador of France to Uganda, Xavier Sticker, who expressed joy at seeing the young individuals reach the end of their training.

“Fifteen young content creators, eight women and seven men, have over the past year benefited from the experience, the training, and the opportunities to work together with MCI," Amb Sticker said.

"Today, we are lucky enough to see and witness the end of the project and the outcome of your work."

Team Lead at Media Challenge Initiative, Abaas Mpindi, said the initiative has transformative impact | Courtesy-Moses Serunjogi

The team lead at Media Challenge Initiative, Abaas Mpindi, emphasised the transformative impact of the fellowship and the relationship with the French Embassy.

"Over the years we realised that the opportunities for young journalists are very limited and so we created more opportunities for young Ugandans," Mpindi  said.

"When we started this program, we were thinking about how many young people call themselves, content creators, and many years when they were still in primary school, they wanted to be in the traditional professions but now they want to be content creators."

Amb  Xavier Sticker expressed joy at seeing the young individuals reach the end of their training | Courtesy-Moses Serunjogi

Mpindi expressed his desire for a world where mobile content creation is not just impactful but can give back financially to the creatives.

One of the projects that stood out was an augmented reality experience that allows users to explore historical landmarks and Uganda’s tourism sites virtually.

This approach to showcase Uganda’s beauty was spearheaded by Emmanuel Rukundo, founder of The Keepers VR Experience, who said the initiative had always been his dream since he intercepted virtual reality.

"During the lockdown, I figured that I would like for people to experience this beauty (Kisoro District) and I had also landed on the technology so I figured why not create virtual tours," Rukundo said.

Virtual Reality allows people to experience things and places they can not physically access due to different barriers.

Rachel Tendo, a social justice activist, filmmaker, and one of the graduates, was happy to share her future endeavours after her recently premiered documentary Born to Run.


The documentary showcased the challenges and triumphs of people living with albinism.

She said as a social justice activist, she is looking forward to working on projects that will raise awareness of people living with disabilities.

Tendo expressed her joy at the knowledge she gained with the Content Catalyst Program.

"This program has taught me that, if I have this thing, how and where should I show it and how can I create impact with it whilst also monetizing it," Tendo said.

Just like any business content creation does come with its setbacks.

"It is quite challenging because I started four years ago and now you see partners like MCI coming on board boasting us to get businesses," Rukundo said.

The Content Catalyst Program is a collaborative effort by the Media Challenge Initiative and the French Embassy in Uganda to skill young content creators from urban Uganda to achieve self-employment and build sustainable businesses within their communities.

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