VIS Social Impact Launches First Writers’ Room


VIS Social Impact, the cause-driven production division of Paramount’s VIS,  has launched its inaugural writers’ room, Beyond the Binary: Fluid Voices, with Paramount Africa.

Actor, writer and director Thishiwe Ziqubu leads the room, which features African writers with different levels of experience. They will create content that focuses on the themes of climate change, equity and global health.

The participating writers are Makgano Mamabolo, Mia Arderne, Nyembezi, Ado Aminu, Sonia Audi and Glow Makatsi.

A group of experts will meet with the writers to support the creation of their ideas and ensure accuracy. The expert advisers include Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, a climate and environmental rights activist; Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, United Nation’s special rapporteur on the right to health; Dr. Beverly Ditsie, an activist, artist, filmmaker and one of the founders of the Gay and Lesbian Organization of Witwatersrand; and Ava Heather Mrima, who works for Jinsiangu, a charity in Kenya that aims to improve the lives of intersex, trans and non-binary persons.

“We are thrilled to kick-off VIS Social Impact’s first-writers’ room with a group of incredibly talented creatives,” said Georgia Arnold, head of VIS Social Impact and senior VP of international social responsibility at Paramount. “The candidates have all demonstrated a passion for social impact and will bring their unique lived experiences, interests and points of view to the room, which we are confident will result in powerful content creation and further the mission of Paramount’s global Content for Change initiative.”

Ziqubu said, “As a gender non-binary person myself, it is an honor to lead the program’s directive as a mainly gender-diverse room. My personal agenda, which aligns with VIS Social Impact, is to give room for marginalized identities to hold the mic. Our task is to tell entertaining, character-driven stories that impact change on the social issues humanity is battling. Hardly ever do the ‘Others’ get prime selection in any media program. We’re making history here. I am honored to be at the helm of this powerful movement.”

Monde Twala, senior VP and general manager of Paramount Africa, added, “Edutainment, diversity and inclusion, social impact and authentic storytelling are the cornerstones of Paramount’s brands in Africa. We are proud to be part of this pioneering initiative. Having seen that impact is driven through showcasing rising talent, this platform will bring about authentic African stories and showcase the need for an integrated, synergistic knowledge sharing approach to drive change. Thank you to all the writers participating in Beyond The Binary: Fluid Voices’ program, we wish them all the best in this journey.”