$30,000 Tony Elumelu Storytellers Fund Targets Emerging Artists, Storytellers

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Yemisi Izuora

The $30,000 Tony Elumelu Storytellers Fund being sponsored by Hiers Insurance and Hiers Life Assurance is targeting emerging artists and storytellers, whose work shines a light on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in Africa.

Winners would be entitled to award grants said a statement issued by the underwriting firms on Thursday.

The project was named after Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Hiers Holdings, African business leader and philanthropist.

It stated that Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life Assurance is the insurance subsidiaries of the pan-African investment group, Heirs Holdings.

“The Tony Elumelu Storytellers Fund is a standalone initiative and an extension of his commitment to catalysing a redefined African success story, powered by Africa’s youth and their creative ideas.

“The fund calls on journalists, filmmakers, content producers, visual and performing artists to submit multimedia creative ideas that tell the stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and showcase the true and positive spirit of entrepreneurship in Africa.

” Applicants must be aged between 18 and 35 years, living on the continent or in the diaspora.

” They must have a platform or portfolio of work that shines the light on entrepreneurship in Africa,” the statement said.

Speaking on the fund, Elumelu expressed his belief on the potential of young African entrepreneurs to transform Africa.

” This initiative aligns with our belief and extends the work that we do at the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

” Empowering young creative entrepreneurs and the creative sector provides a channel for us to project Africa’s positives globally.

” We need their voices to tell our often less-told stories of triumph, resilience, hard work and innovation,” he said.

Ms Ifesinachi Okpagu, Chief Marketing Officer, Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life, said that the insurer was pleased to support the initiative because it directly impacts lives of young African creatives.

Okpagu noted that as frontrunners of digital innovation in the insurance space, Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life both recognise the important role the creative sector plays in transforming Africa’s narrative.

“We are on the same transformative path, and this initiative clearly demonstrates that the ideas that we need to boost Africa are right here on the continent.

“The Fund is open for applications on the Africa No Filter website with a closing date of July 29 and inquiries from : Lerato@africanofilter.org,” she said.

Mr Moky Makura, Executive Director at Africa No Filter, said that the partnership is significant because it is the first African funding it has received towards the fight for narrative change.

“We are also excited to be partnering with one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs to celebrate entrepreneurship on the continent through storytelling.

“We need more success stories, more awareness and more celebrations around entrepreneurial ideas and the dynamic young people driving change here,”Makura said.

Africa No Filter is a donor-collaborative shifting stereotypical and harmful narratives within and about Africa.

This is done through research, grant-making, community building and advocacy by supporting storytellers, investing in media platforms, and driving disruption campaigns.

Its funders include Ford Foundation, Bloomberg, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Luminate, Open Society Foundations, Comic Relief, the Hilton Foundation, the British Council and Hewlett Foundation.

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