On Friday, June 1, 2018, the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) held a graduation ceremony for Degree, Diploma and Certificate students who had satisfied the requirements for their courses of study in various specialisations.
This was the 15th Congregation of the Institute, and it saw 85 students graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree, 72 students and 138 students graduate with a Professional Diploma and Professional Certificate in Media and Creative Arts respectively.
Of the 85 BFA Degree graduands, majority (57) graduated with First Class Honours and Second Class Honours (Upper Division). The remaining 28 graduated with Second Class Honours (Lower Division). There were no students graduating with Third Class.
This is a first for the Institute, and Prof. Kofi Agyekum, Dean of the School of Performing Arts of the University of Ghana, representing its Vice Chancellor, remarked that the graduating class of NAFTI was made up of a unique composition. According to him, at most graduation ceremonies, it is seen that the majority of graduands obtained Second Class Honours (Lower Division) and Third Class.
Speaking to the graduands, Prof. Agyekum said, “You should be proud of the roots you are coming from, for your study was supervised by the University of Ghana, which is the Premier University in Ghana, which is also universally noted for its high standards of educational delivery”.
Prof. Agyekum added that the University of Ghana since signing an Affiliation Agreement with NAFTI, is impressed with the progress the Institute has made thus far and shares the joy of the speedy advancement the Institute is making in the academic delivery system of the country.
“It is remarkable to note that after the signing of the Affiliation, NAFTI has expanded its programmes. You now have Degree Programmes in Broadcast Journalism and Multimedia Production. This is highly remarkable and commendable. NAFTI, Ayekoo”, said Prof. Agyekum.
On behalf of the Honourable Minister of Education, Prof. Mohammed Salifu, Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), reiterated Government’s support for the creative arts and its recognition of the potential of the film and television industry and the creative arts to create jobs and help modernise the country.
According to Prof. Salifu, “NAFTI is playing a critical role in the development of the media industry in Ghana and the Ministry of Education lauds management for its good work and assures of its commitment to the transformation agenda of NAFTI.”
Prof. Salifu in his address bemoaned the lack of local content on our television screens. He stated that our screens are inundated with Mexican soap operas and other undignified content that are completely foreign and do not reflect our values as a people. Not only are these not reflective of our culture or lifestyle, they also do not provide real infotainment as the media industry is required to do.
“It is about time that institutions like NAFTI stepped up to the plate. We need to resuscitate the local film and television industry and NAFTI must provide that balance and strategic route forward. What has become of the Time with NAFTI series? Some of the most iconic features, some of the crystal clear pictures and memories I have about short feature documentaries were part of these series”, said Prof. Salifu.
On his part, Dr. Samuel Anyetei Nai, Rector of NAFTI congratulated the graduating students, stating that, “Your hard work, toil and frustrations have come to fruition. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. You have progressed in your path towards your professional development as film and television professionals”.
Dr. Nai presented a report on the state of the Institute at the ceremony and according to him, “Products of NAFTI are very well represented in the media industry in Ghana. Many NAFTI graduates have made positive waves on the local and international film scene, winning awards on various platforms”.
The graduating class had the opportunity to hear from three (3) alumni of the Institute; Ms. Juliet Asante. CEO of Eagle Productions who currently chairs the NAFTI Board of Governors, Mr. Abdulai Awudu, General Director of Multi TV and Mr. Astus Ahiable, General Manager of GHOne TV.
“You are stepping out into a whole new world where in order to succeed, you need to be curious, inquisitive and tenacious. The world is your oyster. Go out there and conquer”, said Mr. Awudu to the graduands.
“A lot is expected of you. Fortunately, you have an alumni association waiting to guide you. I hereby extend to you an invitation to join the NAFTI Alumni Association. You have the opportunities, use them and do more. Dare to dream. Make yourselves, NAFTI and Ghana proud”, Mr. Ahiable added.