Wednesday, 24 February 2016

CHILD’S PLAY: Emprezz Golding ventures in puppetry and animation with kid-friendly series Ackee Walk

COLOUR MY WORLD: The inspiring new series explores identity and wellness, among other issues. Below, Emprezz Golding.

Emprezz Golding, one of the hardest working women in edutainment, is all about empowering Jamaican youth through her creative endeavours. For her latest labour-of-love project, the woman behind Café Africa and Talk Up Yout’, opted to combine the ever-reliable medium of television with the cool concept of animation to produce and present Ackee Walk, possibly Jamaica’s first ever puppet show, which has been airing on TV-J for the past few weeks.

According to Emprezz, the themes that the mini-production explores range from health and wellness to identity and Black consciousness. “It’s my passion project right now. With Ackee Walk I’m championing children’s rights and the need for Jamaican children to know their rights,” she explains. “There’s also an inclusion of young people born with disabilities because I feel they need special attention. We want to motivate and lift them up.”

To that end, Ackee Walk – with its vibrant storytelling, lush colour palette and catchy musical numbers – is a rousing blend of entertainment and education, with special attention to the overall Black experience. “It’s looking at both the Jamaican way and the Black way because we have to stay true to our identity as Black people and nurture the next generation from as early as possible.”

Ackee Walk, which is funded by UNICEF, packs ample insight and inspiring facts into each of its four-minute episodes that have been uploaded to the show’s YouTube page. Joining forces with Emprezz (creator and executive producer) is hubby Steven and Television Jamaica, who are co-producers. A talented team of youngsters, Emprezz reveals, has also been working with her on putting the show together.

In the meantime, Emprezz Golding, whose popular youth-empowerment TV series Talk Up Yout’ has morphed into a cultural touchstone, was among the speakers giving motivational pep talks to the high-schoolers who turned out in their numbers at the recent National Career Development Expo at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

In the spirit of entrepreneurship and mental stimulation for coming-of-age Jamaicans, Emprezz says it’s an event she heartily endorses. “I think events like [this annual expo] stirs the creative mind. The different workshops and motivational speeches resonate with them, giving them that drive,” she insists. “For the future, one of my major goals is to do a career-related TV show.”

> Catch episodes of Ackee Walk on Saturdays at 10:30 am on TV-J or watch them online via YouTube

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