iKasi Creative Media equips rural youth with job-ready skills

The current economic status quo for South African youth is looking rather bleak and it’s harder in rural towns, where marginalised youth have fewer job opportunities and access to resources than in urban areas. The iKasi Creative Media team is passionate about alleviating the vicious poverty cycle in rural towns and offers skills development programmes, that have impacted between 200 – 400 youth annually over the past few years.

iKasi has a holistic approach to their business, which focuses on personal development and entrepreneurship as the keys to job readiness. There are several sustainable outcomes for all participants and especially those that graduate from the learnership and incubator.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFSof the 1st quarter of 2021, young people are still struggling in the South African labour market. The official unemployment rate was 32,6%. This rate was 46,3% among young people aged 15 – 34 years, implying that almost one in every two young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2021. About a quarter (24,4%) of the youth have jobs and 45,3% of them participate in the labour market. Within the youth, those aged 15–24 years are more vulnerable in the labour market with an unemployment rate of over 63%, an absorption rate of about 7,6% and a labour force participation rate of 20,6%.

The unemployment rate among the youth is high irrespective of education level. Unfortunately for the youth, lack of work experience is a stumbling block that results in them finding it hard to secure employment. Some of these young people have become discouraged from participating in the labour market and they are also not building on their skills base through education and training – they are not in employment, education or training (NEET).

iKasi Creative Media recruit rural youth, who are classified as NEET and enrol in various development programmes in digital media. They are launching a year-long learnership that equips learners with a full qualification in media.

The iKasi Creative training programmes are not a skills-dump that leave learners with no hands-on experience. It is an incubator where learners practice in our content creation pipeline using accessible technology that they already have.

Smartphones are powerful tools for expression and digital platforms are hungry for authentic voices from creative pioneers. This is a pathway to empowering youth in the creative economy, with a focus on entrepreneurial and soft skills. The content created is broadcast on television as part of the iKasi Voices series, which is the perfect youth expression platform, explains Lamise Inglis, iKasi Creative Media Managing Director.

iKasi hosted a course registration roadshow in May from Cape Town to Swellendam and Clanwilliam. They will be running the orientation course in July for eager youth in the platteland.

We are appealing to the public and companies to assist iKasi with cash donations via the payment link: https://pay.yoco.com/ikasi-creative-npc to sponsor a learner, which will cover their programme costs, refreshments, transport and accommodation (R991,67 per learner). iKasi will be hosting 30 students per location listed above.

iKasi share their success stories of two of their learners who have completed the course.

Amitia Arendse iKasi Creative Media
Amitia Arendse

Amitia Arendse, 31 years old hails from Saldanha, attended Vredenburg High School, she is one of two children and is a mom of two wonderful kids.
She graduated from the iKasi Creative Skills programme in 2021 and is a dedicated and aspiring film producer developing her craft to make her dreams a reality.
She enjoys making videos that focuses on important issues, like drug abuse, gender-based violence, mental health issues and parenting. 
Her other form of income is being a driver for various rural schools in the Breede River Valley and the Cape Winelands area. She also produces social media adverts, documentaries on local businesses and does reviews of brands and products.


“The iKasi Creative Skills programme changed my life and gave me new direction. I realise now that my story matters and that I am worthy of giving this life a shot. My outlook on the world has changed as a result of this experience. Despite the obstacles in my life this course gave me a new lease on life. I have tried my hand at scripting a treatment document and used the leadership skills to build my business. It also taught me to be more confident, courageous and to know the importance of finance management.”, shares Amitia

“The collective experiences in my life led me to the film and TV industry. The leap was scary, but it brought me fulfillment and I’m living my passion. All the learners formed a close bond and a life-long connection. It has been an honor to be part of the IKASI skills course and an honor to be associated with learners with such character and drive.” explains Amitia.

iKasi Creative Media Merilene Hartley
Merilene Hartley

Merilene Hartley, 26 years old grew up in Kranshoek, Plettenberg Bay, she is one of five siblings and attended Plettenberg Bay secondary school.

She graduated from the iKasi Creative Skills programme in 2020, she has a passion for her community and church, since her graduation she has been assisting her church with by conducting interviews and recording sessions for their conferences.

She has not been working in the film industry due to personal reasons but it’s something on her radar. Her strengths are in producing and editing in film and she has a natural flair for graphic design. She is continuing to use the skills she learned at iKasi at her church and to create content for her local community. She has also recently assisted a charity organisation, People of Love by doing their media management.

“I was inspired by iKasi’s work ethic and their hands on approach. People from various backgrounds all came together under one roof to attend this course – different cultures and religions all working together as one – that was magical for me. The techniques I learned were remarkable and I have new ways to film a story and how to use the angles without giving too much away. The course taught me how to use the camera properly and how to tell a story in a more interesting way. I also learned how to communicate in a business environment and that the world is my oyster”, explains Merilene.

For more information please check the social media platforms and website:

Website: www.ikasimedia.com

Facebook: @ikasimediadev https://www.facebook.com/ikasimediadev

Twitter: @iKasiMediaDev https://twitter.com/iKasiMediaDev

Instagram: ikasi_media https://www.instagram.com/ikasi_media/?hl=en 

LinkedIn: iKasi Creative Media https://za.linkedin.com/company/ikasi-creative-media 

YouTube: iKasi Creative Media https://www.youtube.com/c/iKasiCreativeMedia/featured 
WhatsApp contact: +27 81 219 3526 

Read more Showbiz Spotlight stories here.

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