#CreatepreneurAfrica Neil Schell, A story of visually connecting continents

 

Director and producer, Neil Schell,originally from North America and spanning a film and television career for three decades, arrived on Africa's entertainment scene and made a world of visual impact, beyond continents when he teamed up with renowned Kenyan actress Scolly Cheruto. 

As managing director of Cheruscopic Productions, the team has reached phenomenal heights. Currently, they are in development of an animation  African superhero series called MAXUS, Mogaka na Chema, a Kiswahili comedy, as well as OASIS, a co-production with Canada and South Africa supported by the Canadian Media fund and the National film and Video Foundation in South Africa

Neil  Schell has featured in renowned international shows like ‘ The Watchmen’, ‘A Team’ and Fringe. Bridging the continental gap between North America and Africa,  as a mentor and business partner at a leading production house in Kenya,Cheruscopic Production.Combined talents  brought together creative wonders like 39 episodes of a Kiswahili comedy called LokoLoko and thirteen episodes of an English drama, Twisted, as well as 26 Episodes of an English drama called Monica amongst many others.

He is passionate about sharing skills in ongoing actors and apprentice workshops with continous workshops between tight schedules.

A recent social media post by Neil Schell that caught the attention of the #CreatePreneurAfrica research group was an Actors Core Group 2019 course for actors to produce their own projects an take charge of their roles.

It reflected the boom stage of the film and television industry and the constant need for quality content.  It was a call out for actors aspiring to produce their own works and launching a career without ever looking back.

The #CreatePreneurAfrica team reached out regarding a feature film project in development, #SHUJAA, Kiroho Mtoto….#LANGUAGEREVOLUTION regarding a ‘warrior’ lead role envisioned to be played by none other than Lupyana Kihaka, a Tanzanian actor.

#CreateprenuerAfrica – Proudly Tanzanian Actor – Kihaka GND

Neil Schell came on board and agreed to support the project. Cheruscopic Productions were brought on board to join the #LANGUAGEREVOLUTION  as the executive producers of  #SHUJAA, Kiroho Mtoto_Mtoto wa kiroho kurudisha ulimwengu wetu #Warrior_ Spirit child taking back our earth… envisioned to be ‘the feature film of the millennium’

#Language revolution!
“Úshujaa  : Mtoto wa kiroho kurudisha ulimwengu wetu
#WARRIOR
*spirit child taking back our earth

Meet  the passion of Africa, beyond continental borders  #CreatePreneurAfrica Neil Schell

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

My passion is to tell stories with the purpose of connecting Africa with North America so the people of both continents begin to understand each other more. Right now there is this huge misconception between their inhabitants.

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

I wanted to be a part of the film and TV industries when I was around 16 years old.   But it took me a while to find my place.  It’s kind of been a continuous discovery over the past 4 decades.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

The freedom to create, to communicate on a large scale about things that matter and with that communication being able to inspire others to improve conditions for themselves and others.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

It  came hand-in-hand with wanting to reach as many people as possible.  The film and TV industries are the vehicle to achieve my passion and at the professional, money-making level the most people are communicated to

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

 Way back around 1983.

  What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

Just somehow knowing that I was meant to do this line of work.

What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

The excitement I have for the projects I am working on.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

I would have to say, “I know you couldn’t see it in me then but I am glad you can see it in me now.”

 What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?

Be persistent and professional and never stop learning.  Enthusiasm is contagious. Spread it!

CreatePrenuerAfrica – Kenya’s Sheila Munyiva – award winning movie RAFIKI

Sheila Munyiva made world headlines after her role as Ziki in the very first Kenyan feature film to be premiered at the Cannes Film Festival: Rafiki by Wanuti Kahiu . Starring together with  Samantha Mugatsiashe , they received standing ovations and well deserved international recognition..  

The crux of the film challenges societal convention,tackling taboo subjects.Rafiki was applauded internationally but banned locally in Kenya's web of colonial-era law structures in a paradigm of homophobia that condemned the film for promoting lesbianism.

Meet #CreatepreneurAfrica  Kenya’s rising star-  Sheila Munyiva

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?
I am driven by making a difference. Growing up, I would look around and see so many things that I thought were unfair and that if done in a different way, things would be better.
As a child, there’s not much that I could have done but now as a young black woman, all the power rests in my hands and I can make a difference.
My true passion in life is acting, activism and filmmaking. These three to me are very closely related and are mediums that allow you to truly make a difference.
How did you find your passion and how old were you?
I found my passion for activism when I was really young. I was the girl who spoke up every time I saw an injustice happen and I was the girl who encouraged others to speak up and allow no one to put them down. My passion for acting and filmmaking came about when I was 18 years old.

A friend of mine invited me to go on set as an extra for a TV series and when I walked on set, I was in awe. At that moment, a switch turned in my brain and I realized this was what I needed to do. I went back to college the next day and changed my course from Mass Communication (at the time, I was studying to be a news anchor) to TV and Video Production.

What about your passion appeals to you the most?
The fact that I closely get to work with people. I love to study people to know what makes them tick, what makes them happy and how I can help.
What drove you to make money from your passions?
I realized that I could make money from the industry and that I could support myself and my grandmother. Being an orphan in Kenya is not easy so when I realized I was able to make ends meets from my passions, I was driven to do more.
 When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
The first time I got paid for my passion was the first time I went on the set that changed the course of my career. I remember I was given fare money and a packet of chips 😂 and that to me was everything.
What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
I kept going because I realized how far I had come. My life has been full of ups and downs and every time I thought about giving up, I saw the little me and how far she had come and I knew I couldn’t let her down.
What motivates you every day to be even more successful?
I am motivated by my progress and growth, I am motivated by incredible women like my mother and grandmother, Sir Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who was one the president of Libya, Nomzamo Mbatha a great woman, actor and speaker and my friend Moana Luu who is the head of Essence magazine.
What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

Looking back, I realize it might have appeared that the odds were indeed against me, but that was no reason to talk down and discourage me. What if you dimmed my light? There would be no Sheila Munyiva.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative's who look up to you?
To live a creative life, you must loose your fear of being wrong. Trust your gut and take risks, eventually, it does pay off.

#CreatepreneurAfrica- ‘Afrodazzled’ Kenyan Artist Cyrus Kabiru- “C-Stunner Spectacular Spectacles”

Trashy Business- Give trash a second Chance .

Cyrus Kabiru

Electronic refuse dumps in the Nairobi, the capital of Kenya was a stepping stone for Cyrus Kabiru as he gave dumped materials new life.

 

His creative pathways embody soul playfulness and inspire the  Nairobi youth and creatives alike.

C. Kabiru

 

He steps in various aspects of art, between sculpture, performance, and fashion.

His gallery has sculptures, glasses and humorous canvassed painting portrayals of contemporary life in Kenya. Bottle caps are sewn together depicting African nature.

 

Artwork beyond the regular , his life journey is embodied in the prosthetic knowledge gallery.

His obsession with eyewear all started when his father refused to get him ordinary spectacles, so he created his own special twist in eyewear. He turns spectacles into various forms that enter a new realm of creativity into the beyond

My spectacles draw curiosity and attention . It therapeutical in a sense!

 

 

#CreatepreneurAfrica Spectacular Inventor Cyrus Kabiru

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life? 
 My passion….. My passion is my creation. My passion is my art.
How did you find your passion and how old were you? 

A young age, I forget how young I was. I just know my dad inspired me. He did not like the ordinary in anything! even refused to get me glasses I desired, so I created them!

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 
Art defines me. If there was no art there would me know me.I would feel like I live a soulless life.
What drove you to make money from your passions?
What drove me? It kind of came naturally. People started to buy my art. They started requesting my art and wanting to pay for it.
When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
 In 2005. My uncle bought from me for $9.
After that, he felt guilty for paying such a low amount and always dashed off when he saw me!
  What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
 I used to give up on a lot of other things in life. Not my art. My work. It’s about treating it as a calling and one can never actually give up what is a natural calling. A life purpose
 What motivates you every day to be even more successful? 

Every day, Every morning when I wake up, I fell like I must achieve something. I want to raise my art to new heights. I want to soar my art internationally. More so.I do believe it is already there.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you? 

Doubt me if you need to…..thats your choice ……but not my work. It has been a long journey for me to reach where I am

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you? 

Just believe in what you are doing, be the best and if you want to move be your unique self. Be what you want to be