THERE really are no adequate words to describe the way one feels after watching the MTN TV commercial, which is currently hitting the airwaves and billboards across the country. Writes Linda Mbambazi.

It is a great TV commercial which features an incredible beauty and spirit of the country which is recovering from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi – where so many young, positive and hardworking people show that ‘Yes they can!

Jean Claude Nkulikiyimfura, the General Manager of QG Limited, told The New Times that MTN’s advertising agency was very proud to request the services of Annette Uwizeye, a local Film and TV Producer.

“From the onset, we felt very confident of a successful delivery because Ms. Uwizeye exhibited a strong sense of ethic and professionalism, while being interviewed for her role in the making of the TVC,” Nkulikiyimfura noted.

He said one of the challenges they faced was to find a production house which could deliver a TVC, which could do justice to the quality of the song.

“I take this opportunity to commend the unique talents of Ms. Aline Gahongayire, the local diva who exceeded our expectations in the delivery of the theme song: “Igihugu Cyanjye, Abantu Banjye, Umuhuza Wacu”.”

Nkulikiyimfura explained that as an advertising agency servicing the MTN brand, QG Limited is privileged to be a part of the many achievements being realised by MTN.

Uwizeye is a graduate from Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria, South Africa, and currently works at Link Media, a Production House that was set up by Eric Kabera.

This is the same production company that conceptualized and co-produced Africa United.

She has written, directed and produced over 10 projects, mostly in South Africa. Her most recent achievement was co-Producing a Reality TV show for the MNet EDiT 2010 competition, which was awarded the Best Overall Production early this year in Johannesburg.

“QG Limited approached us and it was a huge deal for us, because most big companies in Rwanda prefer to source foreign productions to advertise their products,” she noted.

Link Media Productions, outcompeted various Ugandan production companies to win MTN’s deal.

Uwizeye selected a team of dedicated professionals, whose excellent skills are seen in filming, directing and editing of the TVC.

“We were so thrilled by the trust that MTN gave us, we saw the opportunity to prove to the entire country that indeed Local is Lekker!

And there is really no need to shop outside Rwanda for services such as ours. It took us only 2 weeks and a half to get the job done and deliver it.

The filming itself was done in exactly one day,” Uwizeye added.

Uwizeye, however, explained the need to train more professionals in the field of Media Arts and Entertainment.

“Many of my team members were trained at the Rwanda Cinema Center in Gaculiro. This is one field where there is immense job satisfaction, work opportunity, but still needs investment from both the public and private sectors in order to hasten its growth in Rwanda,” she noted.

The TV commercial, directed by a 26-year-old Rwandan Diaspora from Canada, Allan Karakire, consists of 15 models of different age groups and backgrounds; interesting people who share their pride for their country, as well as passion and excitement of the MTN’s brand.

“The concept was about honoring Rwandans from all walks of life, and to have the beauty of Rwanda as a backdrop to their lives, with beautiful Rwandan music to take you through it,” Uwizeye said.

She added: “Gahongayire’s music was so good and that challenged us create visuals that matched the lyrics and the unique rhythm.”

Gahongayire said: “This was a good initiative and I am so privileged to have take part in it. I believe many local artists will start working with big companies.”


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