Mohamed Amin Foundation

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The Mohamed Amin Foundation "is registered with the Charities Commission of England and Wales (# 1073419) and operates as an NGO in Kenya." [1]

David Johnson & Christel de Wit "run the day to day operations of the Foundation and the Television Training Centre." [2]


"Shortly before his untimely death in November 1996, Mohamed Amin - Africa’s greatest television news cameraman - was actively planning to set up a TV training centre in Nairobi where African television journalists could be trained to international standards.

"Although immediate plans for his training had to be put on hold, his dream came true two years later, when on 11 December 1998, the first students, MoFORCE 1, graduated from the Television Training Centre in Nairobi and received their Diplomas in Broadcast Television Production from the Minister of Broadcasting and Information...

"A series of happy coincidences and quirks of fate played their part. In August 1997, David Johnson, an American, and a South African, Christel de Wit, arrived in Kenya on an overland journey from South Africa. They brought with them a 30 year old Land Rover and 55 years of combined experience in education, publishing, public relations and television production and training in the USA, Mexico and Africa. While in Kenya, they met with Salim Amin, son of the late Mohamed Amin who told of his father's interest in establishing a media-training centre in Africa.

"Living in their Land Rover and a make shift tent amongst the rhinos, lions, buffaloes & giraffes of Nairobi’s National Park, David and Christel created the curriculum and course work for the Diploma course in broadcast television production, as well as the mission statement, aims and objectives of what would become The Mohamed Amin Foundation. Salim and his family, excited by the possibilities, offered classroom facilities, equipment and daily running costs to get the Foundation up and running. The Television Training Centre and the Foundation are currently housed at the residence and studios of the late Mohamed Amin in Lavington, Nairobi.

"Help, for the Training Centre, from overseas was forthcoming: publishers donated expensive text books free of charge, and television production companies like Avid and Sony donated some of their state of the art television equipment. The Ford Foundation generously sponsored four grants and the Government of Finland continues to sponsor their work. The Foundation currently offers 4 scholarships that are donated annually by the Reuters Foundation, the BBC, Bloomberg TV and the Maisha Foundation. These scholarships have enabled talented, deserving young East Africans to receive professional television training.

"In order to expand the training staff to include capable young Kenyans, the Foundation selected two of its top graduates, Andrew Mungai and Ayaz Rajput (both ex MoFORCE 2) who are currently undergoing the final stages of the train-the- trainer- course.

"Since 1999 The Foundation has been engaged in an annual international student exchange and documentary project that is sponsored by the Government of Finland. The students travel to Helsinki for 15 days where they work with students from the Helsinki Polytechnic. They are split into teams comprised of 2 Finns and 2 Kenyans. Each team creates a 1- minute urban documentary for the Polar meets Solar Film Festival. Then the students from both schools repeat this process in Nairobi, Kenya. The Polar meets Solar exchange project has been so successful that expansion to and working with Film and TV schools in other countries are currently being investigated.

"The Training Centre gives the students an excellent technical base. The students put their technical skill to work making news packages, short creative programmes and television drama. Nearly all the past graduates are employed in the industry in Nairobi. In 2001 the Foundation registered the first students from Uganda and Tanzania. The Centre has established itself as the leader in television training in East Africa." Source

"In September 1997, David Johnson and Christel de Wit arrived in Kenya on an overland journey from South Africa. Between them, the pair had 55 years' experience in education, publishing and television production in the USA, Mexico and South Africa. In Nairobi they met Dr Lillian Beam, education consultant and retired Vice-Chancellor of USIU-A (United States International University in Africa).

"Because of David's keen interest and experience in television and education, Dr Beam directed the couple to the Nairobi-based Makini Schools and College, an innovative education institute with an international flavour. There they met with Dr Pius Okelo and Mary Okelo, founders and codirectors of the schools. The Okelos were keen to offer television and radio as part of the curriculum at their College and this led, in turn, to a meeting with Salim Amin - son of the late Mohamed Amin - and now managing director of Camerapix.

"Salim immediately realised that here was a chance of fulfilling Mohamed Amin's dream of a television school; all parties were brought together and a joint venture was formed under the banner of 'The Mohamed Amin Foundation'. For the first year Makini Schools took responsibility for the intake of students, student transport and the paying of a very basic teacher's salary for David Johnson. The Amin family offered classroom facilities, equipment and daily running costs." [3]

CNN funding

In 2004, CNN "pledged to increase its investment in training journalists and journalism safety by awarding a new three-year bursary to the Nairobi-based Mohamed Amin Foundation’s Television Training Center... “There could be no better tribute to Mo, his work and ideals, than for CNN to establish these bursaries,” said CNN International’s managing director Chris Cramer, who in 1985 assigned Mohamed Amin to work alongside the BBC’s Michael Burke for their ground-breaking coverage of the Ethiopian Famine... David Johnson, Managing Director of the Mohamed Amin Foundation’s Television Training Centre added: “We are honoured that CNN has entrused their name to our Training Centre. This much needed funding not only helps us to continue our work, but also provides us with a sense of added responsibility, demanding accountability from our students and our organization, which after all is an underlying core to good journalism." [4]


Current Supporters

Past Supporters

  • The Amin Family
  • ABC, Australia
  • Africa Film & TV Magazine, Zimbabwe
  • Aurora Ventures – Miguel Carmona
  • AV Specialist Magazine, RSA
  • Avid Technologies
  • BBC
  • Bloomberg Television
  • Camerapix
  • DigiDesign – ProTools
  • The Finnish Foreign Ministry, through the Embassy of Finland, Nairobi
  • The Ford Foundation
  • Freedom Forum, RSA
  • Focal Press, UK
  • International Centre for Journalists, USA
  • International Television Network
  • The Reuters Foundation
  • The Royal Netherlands Embassy – Nairobi
  • Sachtler, Germany
  • Screen Africa magazine, RSA
  • Sony
  • Tektronix
  • WFD - Westminster Foundation for Democracy
  • Africa Journal & Reuters
  • Camerapix Ltd
  • Don HuntWilliam Holden Trust
  • Flashback
  • French Cultural & Cooperation Centre
  • Inter-connect
  • Dr Lillian Beam
  • Lino Typesetters
  • Sarova Hotels
  • Makini Schools


Current Patrons of The Mohamed Amin Foundation



P.O. Box 45048, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Telephone: +254-20-434 9280

External links