Entara and Afrisos – A Storytelling Synergy

Entara, in partnership with the African School of Storytelling (AFRISOS), will be hosting two young aspiring wildlife filmmakers and photographers on a 60-day mentorship programme in the field between the Serengeti, Randilen WMA and Lake Eyasi in Tanzania to develop their craft as wildlife storytellers.

Mentored by professional wildlife photographer, Roshini Lodhia, and professional wildlife filmmaker, Hans Ngoteya, these candidates will be immersed in the full Entara Safari experience of living in the bush, game drives, walking through the wilderness, fly camping and engaging with locals to share in their culture and daily activities of hunting and gathering and simply co-existing with the wild world that is their home.

Afrisos is an NGO that sponsors aspiring filmmakers and photographers to hone their craft and talents through visually capturing the mystery and wonders of the continent. Founded in 2020 by Jigar Ganatra and Frank Papushka, its aim is to empower grassroots voices to tell authentic stories that will have a positive impact on the environment – much the same vision that drives the Entara philosophy.

The synergy between Entara and Afrisos is further echoed in the NGO’s belief that collaboration and inclusivity is at the core of its success. In partnership with other NGOs and like-minded stakeholders in the tourism industry, Afrisos works to pool resources to remove obstacles blocking aspiring storytellers and to provide all-expenses paid, hands-on mentorship, online tutorials, practical assignments and storytelling grants.

Entara is passionate about protecting, sustaining and raising awareness of the human/wildlife environment through sharing stories and experiences in their down-to-earth Tanzanian Safaris – and the work done by the AFRISOS mentees will go a long way to further this aim.

“Seeing the great work Afrisos was doing in empowering young and promising African creators, we felt a natural synergy here: expanding on the Entara internship programme and ethos where we provide training and access to women and members of indigenous communities into the tourism sector through hands-on training,” says Hagai Zvulun, CEO of Entara.

“We envisage a similar outcome where young African creators can learn professional skills through hands-on training and develop their own creative voices. We feel strongly that a better representation of an authentic and independent African narrative is needed. We aim to give these young African creators the stage to share their unique perspectives and tell us their stories.”

Let’s delve into who the people are behind Afrisos, our mentors and mentees.

Behind the Scenes with Roshni, Jigar, Vanessa & Luqmaan.

Q&A With Jigar Ganatra, AFRISOS Founder

Jigar Ganatra

What was the inspiration behind forming the AFRISOS initiative?

The global discourse on Africa lacks the voice of Africans themselves and that is why it is painted with warped images that don’t represent the continent fairly. One of the biggest challenges for African filmmakers and photographers to have their voice heard is access to specialised training on storytelling. There aren’t many educational opportunities out there for visual artists and this kind of job is not taken seriously. Where there is education, it is often theory-heavy and doesn’t cater to the local way of learning. That is why we started AFRISOS, an NGO that focuses on empowering filmmakers and photographers through hands-on learning opportunities.


What is the process of selecting the winning candidates?

We get hundreds of applications for each of our programmes and it is the biggest challenge to choose only one candidate. We would have loved to give opportunities to all those that need it but in order to make a deeper impact, we are forced to choose just one at a time. Applicants can apply on the AFRISOS website for opportunities in wildlife, underwater, high altitude and culture-themed programmes. Our selection committee reviews the applicants and assesses who would be the most deserving and who would be able to make the biggest environmental or social impact after going through the programme.


What can the successful candidates and mentors expect throughout the programme?

 Successful participants of AFRISOS programmes go through a rigorous experiential learning process that gives them a crash-course from pre-production, production and post production. Our programmes range from 15 days to 60 days where participants complete a real-life storytelling assignment in the field with the support of their mentor. Learners get an opportunity to delve into the depths of the creative, technical and business aspects of storytelling. By the end of the programme, mentees would have completed a short film or a series of photo essays and would have expanded their portfolio immensely. After the programme, alumni are connected to the industry and given the chance to network with production companies so that they can turn their passion into a career. Those who have not been selected for our mentorship programs can become a Patreon and get access to tutorial videos filmed while on the programme and monthly Google hangouts sessions.


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Behind the Scenes with Roshni, Jigar, Vanessa & Luqmaan.

Q&A With The AFRISOS Mentors

Hans Cosmas Ngoteya

Where are you originally from?

I was born and raised in Arusha, Tanzania, and I am currently based in Dar es Salaam but work all over Tanzania.
How long have you been doing wildlife photography and videography?
I started working as a music video director and event photographer in 2010 and became a topside wildlife and conservation photographer; a filmmaker in 2015; and then an underwater photographer and filmmaker in 2018.
Why are you involved in this project?
The aim of getting involved in this project is knowledge-sharing. As we all know, there are very few Tanzanian filmmakers and many exciting wildlife and conservation stories that need to be told. Therefore, all national and international wildlife filmmakers need to find a way to train local wildlife filmmakers whenever an opportunity arises.
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Roshni Lodhia

Where are you originally from?

I’m from Arusha, Tanzania. 
How long have you been doing wildlife photography and videography?
I’ve been a documentary photographer for seven years. Growing up in Tanzania, I found my calling in telling stories of grassroot healthcare, development and conservation efforts through photography and film. My work is unique in the way I capture light and the human spirit. I have worked for conservation organisations – including The Nature Conservancy – in Tanzania, Kenya, Gabon, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa. 
Why are you involved in this project?
I’m incredibly thrilled to be part of this mentorship programme. It’s a privilege to share my knowledge and learnings with upcoming photographers. Mentorship is a key tool in the development of African photographers and filmmakers: it’s about information-sharing, problem-solving, and seeing personal and professional growth in individuals. I’m excited about this platform of African mentors partnering with African mentees for the expansion of content creators on this continent. 
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Behind the Scenes with Roshni, Jigar, Vanessa & Luqmaan.

Meet the Mentees

Luqman Muhsin Masoud

“I am a 24-year-old Tanzanian photographer and filmmaker with a degree in tourism and hospitality management. Growing up on the University of Dar es Salaam campus, I was surrounded by nature and wildlife. This abundance created my deep connection to nature. I have always been fascinated by the beauty of the natural world and have made it my mission to capture it through photography and filmmaking. I am eager to spend 60 days in the Serengeti learning more about filmmaking and wildlife conservation. I believe that through my work, I can raise awareness about the importance of protecting our natural resources and wildlife. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to the many adventures and experiences that await me.”


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Vanessa Jessica Mulondo

“I am a freelance documentary photographer from Uganda. My current interests and works are around documentary, art and wildlife photography. I am deeply drawn to wildlife and the environment and I am enthusiastic about telling stories that play a part in the global effort to sustain and conserve the environment. From the experience that I have had so far, I find it exciting to work with animals and it gives me great joy. I became interested in this programme because of the hands-on training that I will receive from industry professionals in the field of wildlife photography. I really look forward to learning more and honing my skills. I want to tell stories that encourage people to appreciate wildlife and nature a little more.”


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Behind the Scenes with Roshni, Jigar, Vanessa & Luqmaan.

Entara is extremely proud to be a part of this initiative with AFRISOS and looks forward to sharing the unfolding story of these young creatives’ journeys on our social media platforms and in our blogs to provide them with an even wider platform to showcase their unique perspectives that are true to the African continent. Follow us on social media to see Luqmaan and Vanessa’s work as they follow the program.




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