My name is Danaa Hafiz Gbabillana, founder/principal of the Tamale International Folk High School in Tamale Ghana.
I am from a big family with 16 siblings, my mother 67 years, my step mother 76 years and father 110 years. Out of the 16 children only 3 of us have gone a little bit beyond senior high school level because our parents are not able to further our education. I was 8 years old when I started to take care of myself and support my parents and 6 of my brothers and sisters. Fighting for survival is a real life situation from where I am coming from, and there are thousands of people like me here. In most of our homes here, 20-35 people can depend on only person who is a little bit successful and so when such person loses his or her job or die then the family is destroyed. So many of these social issues have their original source in poverty and illiteracy.That is why I started the Tamale International Folk High School to help provide basic numeracy/literacy and professional skills to marginalized and needy youth.
I am a drama/forum theatre writer, facilitator and a performer for more than 10 years now. I have been to two Danish folk hojskoles. At International People’s College(IPC) I studied development management, documentary film making and Drama in 6 months period stay. Also at Nordfyns FolkHojskole where I spent 3 months, studied coaching, fund raising, UN millennium goals and event organizing where i participated in organizing national progrmme which was organized by my school in 2012.I also facilitated a forum play at the cope 15 in Copenhagen in 2009 at the climate change campaign
Improving the and developing the lives young peopleis my source of motivation, development of community is my keen interest and I am inspired by the results of the impact on service onthe people and the community. In Ghana for that matter Tamale many youth are interested and talented in drama, theatre and film but has no opportunity to get the formal film making education in these areas because they can not afford. With my little knowledge and experience in theatre and drama, I have trained and facilitate in forum theatre, drama and filmmaking with youthfor over 10 years, and have impacted hundreds of youth in that time. In Ghana, locally-made movies and dramas are one of the most loved sources of entertainment for both people in the urban and the rural communities. Film and drama are a powerful tool for education, information and creating awareness. But the thing is that many of these films suffer withoutprofessional filmmakers to produce them. As we develop in entertainment we must acquire the right skill and education to grow at the right direction for a best contribution to the development of our nation.
I have tried it all with all my skill and knowledge and with some support from my colleagues but I am still where I am with my film making school project.Meeting new people and spending time in the school will surely give me what I and my filmmaking school need to grow and contribute to the development of Ghana. It is clear that in filmmakingyou have to know enough and have enough resources to be able to make good movies that is why I need some exposure to modern techniques, new people and new connections to be able to have the right education to return and impact them on the youth to help them become professional film makers. In Ghana for that matter Tamale, film making is an industry that has captured the interests of many youth but they are not able to do a professional productions because they do not have the required skill and knowledge because they are not able to afford the film making education. Film making Ghana started way back about 4-5 decades ago in a form of stage plays in communities to theatre staging to drama and now movies. Most African countries did not know what it takes to make plays nor drama. Nigeria who are quite advanced in film making in West Africa picked up a lot of film making ideas from Ghana but because they are rich they are able to educate their students in good film making schools in abroad and also has been able to bring good film makers from around the world into their industry.
Perth film school has it all for me to have my film making education, the environment and the staff makes it perfect for students like me to have a better film making education to help improve my film making knowledge to build a better film making career and to mentor many of the youth in Ghana. Many of the skills I have now are self-taught, and studying film at a professional film school will give me the chance to improve the methods I pass on to the youth I teach.Adaptation of the school program structure and methodology will be keenly considered in our school structure as it will be perfectly fit into our teaching and training structure in the Tamale International Folk High School.Considering the modern film making skill, methods and equipment of Perth school there is no better place for me have a film making education.
As a successful youth mentor, I need the required and modern film making skill from Perth to help me effectively impact and improve the lives of my students to contribute to development of their communities through film making and also to make them financial independent. For lack of knowledge many youth are perished and are engaged in all kind of social vices and also being used in conflicts and wars. If Tamale International Folk High School will need anything now, it’s a new skill in film making from Perth.
I will like to thank you all those who have supported through donations to help me acquire new skill for the benefits of thousands of youth in Ghana. God bless and replenished all that is put into this fund raising.