Thato Molamu

New scholarship opportunity for creative unemployed youth

The scholarship offers latent talent in townships the chance to generate an income through employment or by starting their own businesses.


Thato Molamu

Applications are nowopen for unemployed, young aspiring creatives in the television and film sector to apply for a fully paid scholarship in digital content creation, hosted by Leaders in Motion Academy (LIMA) funded by Rand Mutual Assurance (RMA), in partnership with the Compensation Fund, and Department of Employment and Labour.

The multi-million rand initiative has just been announced by LIMA’s managing director Thato Molamu, entrepreneur, actor, and founder of Gateway Media.

The scholarship offer comes at a time when the industry suffers the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the consequential increase in demand for local production. 

While the COVID 19 lockdown regulations have upended the global film industry, halting film and television production and closing cinemas, theatres and other entertainment establishments, there has been a vacuum for locally produced content. Broadcasting houses have started repeating shows as a result of a low content volumes. 

The SETA accredited one-year courses (Higher Certificates in Animation and Visual Effects; Game Design and Production, and Digital Film Production) starts in August 2021 in Gauteng. Applications close on July 15, 2021. Only 31 applicants up to the age of 40 will be selected for this intake.

Molamu said: “The pandemic is accelerating the ongoing transformation in movie production, distribution and consumption. It is allowing us to rethink our skills and reinvent and upgrade ourselves.”

The LIMA project bridges the gap between well off youth in urban areas that can afford to go to film school and township and rural youth that cannot afford the exorbitant fees. The organisation is hoping to extend the program to other provinces and the rest of Africa.

“Students can develop the necessary skills to become film-makers and drive their own future economic progress to enter the market, not only creatively, but also with a business acumen and understanding that drives the industry forward, both financially and culturally,” said Molamu.

Gateway Media and LIMA have conducted Workshops and Masterclasses to assist artists and youth during COVID through the Presidential Stimulus Package (a fund assisting those in the arts) and the National Film and Video Fund.

The academy has previously enrolled 96 students. For example, beneficiaries include creators of Moja Love and some Showmax productions.

Adam Letshele, RMA’s head of Corporate Stakeholder Partnership and Transformation, said the organisation, in partnership with the Compensation Fund, had made a multi-million sponsorship for several reasons, including increasing participation of black people in the industry and also the number of job opportunities it provided. 

“A single production needs many skills, not only from the technical staff but from the support services in order for it to be successful – so the job spin-offs are incredible.”

He said the scholarship offered latent talent in townships to get the chance to generate an income through employment or by starting their own businesses in various aspects of the media industry.

He added students would not only learn in the classrooms but use the latest technology in the media space, have access to real and quality production work, and would be mentored by the best.

LIMA’s head of operations, Angelique Matsimela, said the academy provided the market with students that are fully equipped to contribute and help businesses and the relevant industries grow.  

“The industry needs more creatives as the market is on the rise, not only with increased investments from local and foreign interests but also as a more considered location for international film shoot locations.” 

She said with the world aggressively shifting towards media for all sources of fulfilment, those interested in various forms of media are realising there is a place for them and money to be made.

LIMA receives thousands of enquiries per intake, which speaks to the interest of our young (and older) people.

During the programme, participants will not only receive tuition in accredited film and video production theory and practical instruction on productions but will be given the opportunity to engage with industry professionals.

The incubator at the academy has editing facilities, camera equipment, meeting rooms, idea generation hubs, wi-fi, training rooms, green rooms and more.

The academy also accommodates candidates who are physically challenged. In addition, a monthly stipend will be provided to each student for the duration of the programme.

For more information to apply for the scholarship go to