The Africa Digital Media Institute celebrated its journey from five to five hundred students in five years, on the 29th of June 2017. Under the motto “Passion to Profession”, ADMI is Eastern Africa’s premier creating media and technology college.
Founded five years ago by Wilfred Kiumi, a film producer with passion for practical skills, and professional standards, the school started with just 5 students as Jamhuri Film and Television Academy, with a focus on film and TV production then later rebranded to ADMI, after exponential growth that saw it offer more courses in other creative media related fields.
Today, the school has expanded beyond Film and TV Production to also include Software Engineering & Design, Digital Marketing, Sound Engineering, Music Production, Multimedia, Animation, Photography and Graphic Design. The school recently relocated to a state-of-the-art campus at Caxton House located on Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi’s CBD, which includes a music studio and several computer labs, to accommodate a 500-strong student body and staff from over 10 different countries.
Lissett Babaian, the Head of Academics, who holds a graduate degree in Education from Harvard University, is convinced that the digital economy offers many opportunities for young Africans. “At the center of our offering is an innovative learn-and-work model creating a talent pipeline for the creative economy. We design every course with employers to ensure that our graduates have market-relevant skills and become economically productive even before graduation.”
The Institute distinguishes itself by its close links to industry, using the latest software and equipment, relying on industry practitioners as faculty and ensuring all students graduate with solid work experience.
Another focus is soft skills, offered through a required program called the ‘Career Launchpad.’ Says Babaian, “When surveyed, East African employers report being dissatisfied with many graduates who lack practical skills, soft skills and a global outlook. ADMI works to solve this problem.”
Partnering with technical partners like Google and donors like the Equity Group Foundation, ADMI has established a non-profit arm to mobilize support for students who might not otherwise have access. The fifth anniversary celebrations will coincide with the launch of a scholarship fund.
Wilfred Kiumi, who has since attracted prominent co-investors into his ambitious and fast-growing enterprise, is proud of how far his vision has come, from the days he styled hair in Maringo to put himself through school. What keeps him going now is seeing people grow and make a name for themselves just like he has. “I myself am proof of the power of the creative economy. With hard work and dedication, anyone in Africa can turn their passion into a profession.”