We at the Youth in Animation and Post Production Initiative (YAPPI) are ecstatic at the enthusiasm and willingness to learn about our vibrant YAPPIans display. This series- YAPPI Student’s Experience, will highlight the YAPPI program from the point of view of our creative YAPPI community members. Meet Jude Uzonwanne, one of the Cohort 1  YAPPI students who recently started his on-site journey, and who shares his experience since he started the YAPPI program. Discover YAPPI through his eyes!

1.  Can you tell us your name and what you do?

 I'm Jude Uzonwanne. A concept generator and product designer, in addition to my growing skills as a graphic artist. I am also an aspiring animator and VFX designer. I also practice apiculture (beekeeping) when I can find the time and opportunity.

2. What unique strengths do you bring to the YAPPI program and how will you leverage them to make the most of the opportunity?

I believe coming into YAPPI and while participating in the program, I have discovered that my strengths are concept design/generation, story development, graphic design, and basic illustration. I believe these skills give me an edge in my animation classes. They help me easily draft ideas that I will, in due time, either develop into individual or collaborative creative projects with my team members.

3. The YAPPI program will be over the next six months, how do you envision your personal and professional growth?

Though the time frame seems short, I plan to fully maximize this unique opportunity that I have been given. I have personally developed a schedule that requires me to dedicate at least 3 hours every day for the next 6 months, (and hopefully beyond) to honing my skills and applying what I'm learning to improve retention. I will also dedicate myself to actively building meaningful bonds within YAPPI and beyond to grow my network in the industry and help achieve my aspirations to become an animator.

4. In what ways do you plan to collaborate with your peers in the YAPPI program to create a supportive and dynamic learning environment? 

I plan to collaborate in the ideation process, voice casting and capturing, and also in the area of directing. Animation and post-production in Nigeria and Africa are relatively new. To achieve global acclaim, relevance, and authenticity in those fields, it is important to have people who are dedicated to researching, documenting, and communicating our culture, the right tonal inflections, with a worldview mindset using these new skills. This is why I'm choosing to dedicate my skills as a YAPPIan in these areas.

5. What specific skills do you hope to gain from YAPPI, and how do you plan to apply them in your professional and academic pursuits?

I intend to acquire skills in animation and post-production, in addition to hands-on project collaboration experiences (practical).

6. What legacy do you hope to leave behind within the YAPPI community after completing the program, and how will you measure your impact?

I hope to inspire others within this first cohort and in others always to push the envelope for achievement because breakthrough moments occur when we strive to achieve the seemingly impossible.

7As a YAPPIan, how do you see yourself shaping the future of animation and the post-production industry?

As a YAPPIan, I see myself shaping the not-so-distant future by using animation as a vehicle to change false narratives about Africa. This continent is full of rich history and culture. There are more than a thousand awe-inspiring characters and stories that aren't exhaustible, even in the next 20 years, from Nigeria alone. So I intend to collaborate with interested studios and professionals to share the unique YAPPI spirit of adventure and uniqueness with the world through the colorful stories and concepts we embody.

8. Say one exciting thing about your YAPPI experience

From my experience, learning animation for free at this level, especially in Nigeria, is the most exciting thing and I am not alone when I say this. I am still shocked that I get to learn animation at this pace and this in-depth at no cost to me, with the present state of the economy and at a time when most creatives have almost lost hope of actualizing their dreams as animators...! It's one of the most exciting and uplifting feelings in the world.

Much love and thanks to the Mastercard Foundation and Del-York Creative Academy for their foresight in developing the YAPPI program and the contributions such a program promises in helping build this creative industry.

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Posted By: Folasola Sodiq
1 month ago