Kenyan entrepreneur boosts local TV content with strong female characters

March 03, 2016 Kenyan entrepreneur Dorothy Ghettuba recently started a TV production company with no training and no experience.

Before becoming CEO of Spielworks Media, Dorothy left a well-paying job with a venture capitalist firm in Canada to make a life back home.

Her production company specializes in movies, drama series and talk-shows for audiences across Africa.

In an interview, Dorothy spoke about her experience.

“I tell people that I have never been to a film school I don’t even know how a film department looks like. It is something that I taught myself. I read everything that I could read, I researched on everything I could and I just learned on the job. It was just something that I wanted to do and so I figured hey you know what let me go and learn as much I can about it and get as much experience I can about it. In Canada I worked in a company and I worked in corporate communications in a venture capital firm so moving from the whole finance sector to the whole creative sector was quite a leap but it was a necessary one for me,”

Kenya, which is on a mission to boost domestic media production, had been long dominated by Hollywood products, Nigerian soaps and Latin American telenovelas.

Like most entrepreneurs, Dorothy faced several challenges, primary amongst which financing.

“One of the biggest challenges that I had was really the initial breaking in to the market. You know, I remember giving a television broadcaster… an executive, my pilot and she sat on my pilot on the disc for about 14 weeks, 14 weeks, and I said ‘really, honestly’. But you can’t give up, you have to keep on calling, you have to keep on asking, you have to keep on shopping around your concept, your idea, your pilot. You cannot give up,”

She went on to comment on the challenges of being a female in the entertainment industry.

“Being a woman in this industry, I think producers – whether being male or female will always face the same challenges. You know we are looking for money, we are all trying to produce, we are all trying to do the best that we can do. But it is always going to be a bit more difficult for the woman – the woman tax, that’s what I call it… like I pay it,”

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