Inaugurated in 2021 as the leading entertainment training platform providing online masterclasses in the entertainment industry, SANAA ACADEMY, an initiative under Sanaa Post LTD was officially set afloat with its launch happening on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023.
Founded by revered and adulated Actor, Producer, Director, and CEO of Spearhead Entertainment and Sanaa Post, Peter Kawa, Sanaa Academy is set to offer a wide range of courses in diverse fields of entertainment, including Film and TV production, Scriptwriting, Acting, Music Production, Make-Up, Screen and Stage Directing and more.
With no or little knowledge and skills, new players, armed with just passion and interests dive into the game with aspirations to be able to thrive in the industry. Of course, to most of them, it is always not what they expect, and sometimes are compelled to opt out for lack of mental, psychological, professional, and economic preparedness. Therefore, to help them achieve the dream of professionalizing their arts and craft, and being mentally prepared for the ups and downs of the industry, these entrants need an understanding of; What the industry is like , What to expect , How it works, What they need, and How to maneuver these mucky waters that are the creative economy. They also need basic technical and creative skills to kick them off in the industry and future educational endeavors
Sanaa Academy Founder and CEO, Peter Kawa
Amassed with years of experience in their fields, Sanaa Academy is backed by a team of exceptional facilitators highly experienced in their areas of career and who are passionate about knowledge and skills transfer, the facilitators are as follows;
Melissa Kiplagat is an international actress globally known for her lead role as Akisa in Kenya’s first licensed Netflix show, COUNTRY QUEEN.
Over her decade-long career, she has starred in over Five TV shows and appeared in dozens of films and plays in Kenya and the UK.
Melissa is motivated by her passion for knowledge and skills transfer to upcoming actors under her MKM Initiative and now facilitating two courses at Sanaa Academy
So you want to be an Actor?, a Sanaa Academy course by Melissa Kiplagat, walks creatives through what it means to be an Actor, reasons why people decide to be actors, and by the end of the course, help participants make a decision.
Audition Preparation Made Easy, another one of Melissa’s courses, provides insider tips for standing out from the competition in the audition process with Melissa sharing her techniques for successful auditions.
DR. JULISA ROWE
DR. Julisa Rowe has been acting and directing for over 30 years, throughout the United States, Kenya, and worldwide. She holds a BA in Drama, an MA in Intercultural Ministries, and a Doctorate in Ethnodramatology (study of different cultural drama forms) and taught theatre at Daystar University for 11 years.
She is an international consultant, trainer, performer, and director, serving as the country director for ACT Kenya, and has performed in, and directed dozens of plays for community, school, and church groups.
She toured the United States professionally for 14 years with several original one-woman shows, both musical and dramatic.
In Kenya, she has been seen on several local TV series, such as “Briefcase Inc.”, “Groove Theory”, and “One in a Million”. She has directed the drama ministries at Nairobi Baptist and Mamlaka Hill Chapel, as well as directing shows for Potter house School and Chemi Chemi Players.
Soon to come to Sanaa Academy is a course by Julissa Rowe on Stage Directing. The course will focus on the strategies, plans, and attitude needed to successfully run and direct a stage play.
Brian Munene is a respected self-taught writer, director, thespian and sound designer. Some of his notable accolades include writing eight seasons of the comedy television show, ‘Classmates’ for KBC, writing and producing the award-winning short film, ‘My Faith’, writing and producing the AMVCA and Kalasha nominated film ‘Between the Lines’ and being part of the story advisory team for the Oscar’s nominated short film ‘Watu Wote’.
Most recently, Brian was the brain behind the story of the Showmax Series ‘County 49’.
Brian is currently the Creative and Production Director at Lightbox Africa, a film production company based in Kenya, where he has written and directed a number of infomercials and documentaries for the NGO world and local media companies from 2014 to date.
He is also the co-founder and co-owner of Kibanda Pictures.
Screenwriting for beginners is a soon-to-come course by Brian Munene that will focus on story structure and the tools needed to write a compelling screenplay.
Wakio Mzenge is an award-winning voice, stage, and screen actor with vast experience, renowned for her professionalism, craftsmanship, her notable performances in numerous films, TV shows, and on stage. Her splendid performance cuts across remarkable productions such as Showmax’s Original political thriller series, County 49. She has also featured in the Showmax Original police procedural and legal drama Crime and Justice, M-Net’s two-time Kalasha Award-winning Swahili telenovela Selina, KTN’s drama series My Two Wives which earned her a Kalasha Award nomination for Best Lead Actress in a TV Drama in 2018, Showmax Original thriller series Igiza, NTV’s Pendo and Citizen TV’s Makutano Junction. She made her debut film appearance in 2020 with Tales of the Accidental City, which earned her a Best Lead Actress Kalasha nomination in 2021 and, won her Best Lead Actress in a Film at The Lake International Pan African Film Festival 2021. On stage, Wakio has delivered stellar performances with the theatre company, Back to Basics, in plays such as Biko Zulu’s Breathe 1, 2, and 3, Freefall and Decompress, Heartstrings Kenya’s Enough is Enough and This is Kenya. In 2023 Wakio played Nina in the historic performance of Francis Imbuga’s, Betrayal In The City.
As a voice actor, her voice has traveled the world in projects such as Deutsche Welle’s Learning by Ear series, documentaries by Biscuit Factory and Adastra Development Ltd, better World Educational videos by Discovery Learning, women of the World docu-series, AMREF – HELP Solution project and EAC Infrastructure Documentaries among others.
Coming soon at Sanaa Academy is a course by Wakio Mzenge on Voice Acting and Performing Arts where she will be giving insights on the pros and cons of voice acting and what an individual should consider to advance their voice-over artistry skills.
Popularly known as the queen of TikTok, Azziad Nasenya is a 22-year-old actor, content creator, and radio host whose prowess in content creation has led to the growth of her online audience to more than 4.8 million. Besides featuring in Maisha Magic’s notable show “Selina” among others, her influence, commitment, and dedication saw her appointed as the Official Global Ambassador for the Save our Future education campaign in 2020. In 2021, she was among other African bigwigs that were nominated for the E! People’s Choice Awards, African Social Star category.
As a content creator, she has collaborated with big brands in the country including Garnier, Bic, Denri, and Oraimo among others. Currently, she sits on the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports, and the Arts Creative Economy committee whose mandate is to establish a framework to monetize the creative sector.
Coming soon to Sanaa Academy, Art of Content Creation, is a course that will focus on shedding light to all content creators in the country on the technicalities, skills, and chops needed to make exceptional content.
Suki has a great mastery of the art of beauty and character makeup for Film, and TV production. With his decade-long career, he has proved to be one of the leading makeup artists in Africa. With his unique skill of achieving natural looks, Suki boasts of redefining the idea of beauty in Africa.
Besides his illustrious career through his company Suki Makeup Africa, he is also a mentor, public speaker, and trainer within the beauty industry. He is passionate about equipping the next generation of makeup artists with business skills and the art of storytelling through makeup.
Soon to come to Sanaa Academy, Make–up Masterclass by Suki will focus on; how to create a make–up artist profile, TV and Film make–up artistry, how a make–up setup should look like and the business aspect of make–up artistry.
A Highly experienced and dynamic business corporate trainer and coach using a creative yet dynamic approach to help expand businesses and provide solutions for individuals as well as small and large companies across diverse industries, Hannah Githuki has a remarkable capacity in designing and implementing powerful training programs aimed at nurturing existing competencies and introducing new Business Techniques. She is renowned as a powerhouse with a creative and visionary approach to driving measurable business change and transformation. Githuki is adept at cultivating, managing, and leveraging client relationships to provide a consultancy-based service. She has enthusiastic leadership and communication skills with a reputation for instilling enthusiasm in others and leading teams to achieve shared goals.
Personal and Corporate Branding is a course soon to come to Sanaa Academy facilitated by Hannah Githuki which will focus on how creatives should brand and package themselves in order to reach more audiences in such a competitive industry.
The mentioned instructors are just a few of the many who will offer their creative knowledge in their different creative fields of work.
All courses are taught in online short video format, making them accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world, and in an easy to comprehend manner.
Held at Baraza Media Lab, hosted by award-winning Actor and Director Nyokabi Macharia, and styled by Tatah Africana the Sanaa Academy Launch Event was met with attendances from heavy-weight players in the creative industry such as the CEO of Phil It Productions and director of the award-winning film Click Click Bang, Philip Karanja together with distinguished partners of the initiative.
A panel of instructors took on the stage to give a clear picture of what all creatives should expect from their courses and emphasized on the quality of information passed on.
Sanaa Academy is designed to allow all creatives to learn at their own pace, taught by experienced professionals in the entertainment industry. As an online learning platform, Sanaa Academy provides its students access to a supportive community of like-minded individuals.
With Sanaa Academy now officiated, this is a call to all Kenyan creatives, to take up this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity and get to skill up your craft through the knowledge offered in the platform. Sign up now at https://academy.sanaapost.com/, get to learn from the best, and be ready because there is definitely more to come.
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