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Training Day interrogates suppression of citizen’s rights

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In the wake of series of attempts by some African leaders to subvert the civil and digital rights of their citizens, Paradigm Initiative, a social enterprise working to advance digital rights and inclusion in Africa, has released a short film entitled, Training Day, as a vehicle to seed major take-outs from it’s 2019 Digital Rights in Africa Report.

Produced by Up In The Sky, the film tells the story of a determined young man whose quest for work took an unexpected turn.

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Released in May 2020, the film derives its story beats from the Digital Rights in Africa Report and gives a creative interpretation to its challenge in Africa, examining violations such as Internet disruptions, illegal surveillance, the arrest of major and key players including the passage of hurtful legislation to check citizen’s usage of digital platforms and other issues.

A 19-minute-long short film features a growing trend of African governments aggressively taking steps to suppress the digital rights of Africans. The film details how governments and agents of State are increasingly making overt and covert moves to muzzle people’s voices online and shows the importance of young people being vigilant and aware of their rights.

Speaking on the film, Community Manager at Paradigm Initiative, Thobekile Matimbe, said: “Digital rights are human rights and they have become increasingly violated in Africa, with rights-limiting legislation, internet shutdowns, and other violations regularly headlining international media reporting. The film was our way to get the 2019 Digital Rights in Africa Report to a wider audience and we are committed to more of such interventions in the future.”

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In his remarks, Sinmiloluwa Hassan, who played the role of Mr. Rogers, in the short film, said: “I have never done something like this before. The subject matter and messages encoded in the film are critical and connect with happenings in our everyday life.”

Also speaking, the Chief Operating Officer, Up In The Sky, Idiare Atimomo, stated that using the vehicle of the film is pivotal to ensuring that human rights remain front and center of public consciousness in the digital age.

Training Day also features Tomiwa Tegbe as Jude and was directed by award-winning Director Tolu Ajayi. The film is available for free viewing on YouTube via https://youtu.be/gCb8mBP4-AI. For more information, visit https://paradigmhq.org/trainingday/.

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