The MAMA Youth Project team are all very special. We are always on the other end of the phone for any questions you might have and we love hearing from you! Here is a run down of some key people you can expect to meet – and learn from.
Bob Clarke, Founder and CEO
Bob started his television career in 1982 as a Video Tape Operator for Humphries Video Services. He went on to join The Services Sound & Vision Corporation in 1987 where he cut his teeth as an editor on different types of programming including light entertainment, news and documentaries. Following BBC training, Bob became a freelance editor and worked at various facilities in Soho, before setting up his own- bcPost.
In 1996 Bob took this facility to the next level by purchasing his first Avid Media Composer, which attracted clients such as the BBC, Endemol, Ginger Productions and Tiger Aspect. Then, in September 2005, MAMA Productions funded an experiment and recruited young adults to make an entertainment show called ‘What’s Up’. This experiment proved so successful, it led to the formation of the MAMA Youth Project.
In 2008, Bob decided to put all future commissions through the MAMA Youth Project, using talented newcomers who had worked on ‘What’s Up’. This enterprise became very successful and turned over 45,000 in 3 months. However, due to the legal limitations of a charity earning income, Licklemor Productions had to be formed – which is now MAMA Youth Project’s commercial arm.
On a personal level, Bobs great strengths are his creativity, adaptability and ability to understand what a client wants. He is also quick to recognise new talent and give them the opportunities they need.
Cristina Ciobanu, Director of Operations
As Director of Operations, Cristina is involved in all aspects of running the organisation, managing activities ranging from funding to training programmes, job recommendations and mentorship for alumni and the day to day running of the charity.
Since she joined MAMA Youth in 2013, Cristina worked her way up from being an Assitant Producer and then a Producer for Seasons 8 and 9 of What’s Up TV for Sky 1. Cristina studied for her Journalism and Social Communication BA in Romania and Norway and worked as a news reporter, a time when she developed her passion for video production that leads her to complete an MA in Film and Video Production at West London University in 2011.
When she is not in the office she still goes by Rihanna’s “work, work, work, work” lyric and lazy holidays are never her favourites.
Mariana Magnavita, Head of Training
Mariana gained a BA in Film & Video at the prestigious London College of Communication. Her graduation short film Ana (2004), filmed in the backlands of Bahia-Brazil, was nominated for ‘best short’ at the Birds Eye View Film Festival, the main English festival for films directed by women.
Mariana also project managed her own music videos in 2010 for White and 2011 for We Walk Alone. We Walk Alone won best music video at The Indie Gathering International Film Festival 2011. Her most recent work was the music video for her song Things That Go Around 2013, it won special mention at The London Short Film Festival 2014, in the Music & Video category.
Mariana enjoys working at MAMA Youth Project, bringing her passion for working with media and young people to her role within the charity.
Caroline Clarke, Project Manager
Caroline worked in the broadcast industry as a Librarian initially with Humphries Video Services back in the eighties. After being there for 5 years she decided to up root and go and work for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney, as a Librarian Researcher. On returning back to the UK, Caroline quickly found a permanent position at Visnews as a Librarian and Archive Researcher, and then from there went to Post Production at BBC Television Centre.
After bringing up two boys and many years of voluntary work including supporting families of offenders, Caroline joined MAMA Youth Project in April 2013, as Project Coordinator.
It has been fitting that Caroline has been able to join the charity as she has been involved personally and financially as the wife of our CEO, Bob Clarke.
Tanita Ojo-Baptiste, Senior Production Trainer
I am a Senior Production Trainer (SPT). My role requires me to train our Production team (Researchers and production Management) to the very highest standard so that they are work ready when we place them into work placements with our partners. Taking novices from a place of insecurity to a place where employers compete to recruit our talented and highly skilled team members is so rewarding. I help to give our trainees the tools to reach their full potential and the confidence to climb that ladder, of achievement, and kick away the snakes. The trainees receive a 13 weeks training with me. During this time, they receive full performance reviews and continual honest constructive feedback which also includes employability advice and training.Aside from My SPT role I am also the Producer of the show What’s Up TV where the trainees get their ‘on the job’ training. Once trained I am confident of our trainees’ ability to work for the show which is commissioned by Sky 1.
Before MYP I was employed as a Multi-Channel Broadcast Co-ordinator, Broadcast Scheduler and I produced promo VT’s for broadcast. My career started off in Set Design which has been invaluable to me as it frequently comes in handy in my work as a Producer.
I love MYP because of the priceless opportunity and the experience that it gives the trainees. When I talk to people about the company, I am faced with disbelieving or blank faces. They are waiting for ‘the catch’ and when they don’t hear it, they just ask me point blank “where is the catch”. I won’t lie, I used to ask myself the same question, but not anymore. For there is ‘no catch’, it is just a wonderful opportunity for those who want to take it with both hands and work hard to achieve their potential with a team of people who believes in them.
Mostafa Nagy, Lead Technical Trainer
As lead technical trainer/director Mostafa provides training and mentoring on broadcast and film Cameras. Lighting concepts and advanced lighting techniques. Location sound recording and sound editing. Avid and Adobe post production editing and delivery. Also, the digital end-to- end filmmaking workflow process, including several digital media platforms for the What’s Up TV brand. Includes, on location directing. Devising and implementing training programs.
Mostafa started his career in the TV industry as a Lighting Camera man and on-line Editor (1990-1993) in Egypt. Within the next years, Mostafa came to London and began working for a few companies in the industry (BBC, ITV, NBC, MBC) ranging in positions from Director to Senior Producer. Mostafa then became his own boss and started freelancing as a Director, Picture Editor and Post Production Producer. After doing this for some time he then joined Al Jazeera Media Network, which holds 70 bureaus around the world, the second largest number after BBC. Mostafa began his time there as a Programs Producer/Director with their English and Arabic channels. Over the course of his 10 years (2005-2015) with Al Jazeera Media Network he held different Managerial positions including Head of Production with their children channel, Head of Programs for the Documentary channel and eventually their Global Production Operations Manager for programs and documentaries.
Mostafa loves to continuously learn and enjoys teaching others how to improve and gain new skills.
Jacqueline Shepherd, Assistant Producer
Jacqueline started her career in the media industry indulging in different job experiences building her skill sets and working her way up. Jacqueline has done a few glamorous jobs in her day, but her work with John Legend and The Roots on their cover albums for London’s “Wake Up Tour” is a once in a lifetime experience. In she then moved on to reporting red carpet events for Real Steel UK Film Premiere.
These experiences lead Jacqueline to “What’s Up TV” and inevitably to MAMA Youth Project in 2011. Jacqueline has worked many positions since joining MAMA Youth, including doing her own Freelance Presenting, Hosting and Voice-Overs. She has worked as a Training Assistant, Project Manager and is now our Assistant Producer. While Jacqueline assists producing “What’s Up TV,” liaising with label managers and producing music cue sheets, she also manages to find time in helping our trainees find their way in the industry (and at MAMA Youth). Jacqueline is also one of the most prominent presenters on “What’s Up TV.”
No matter how much Jacqueline has on her plate, she keeps stacking. This determined young woman is a great contributor to MAMA Youth’s team.
Maya Francis, Training Assistant & Head of Digital Communications
Maya started her career in the media industry in 2010 and spent the next 6 years freelance producing, filming and editing for music videos, a variety of companies and charities. In 2015 Maya used her talents to help further the skills of young people in film and editing.
Building up her portfolio, Maya created a website and built a name for herself as Maya Francis Film. Her next step was to get into the TV industry, here she became a trainee video editor for What’s Up TV in its tenth season. She then worked at the BBC for the TV & Media Operations department. Since then Maya has been working for MAMA Youth Project as well as freelancing as a producer & editor for the BBC Live Stories team. She still continues to freelance in her spare time where she can express her creativity and unique ideas in her work.
Maya loves working at MAMA Youth Project as it has always been her dream to work within the industry and to help change young people’s lives.
Meet the members of the board:
Waseem Mahmood, Chair of Trustees
Waseem Mahmood OBE
Waseem Mahmood is a strategic communications expert having developed and managed several major projects specifically in Countering Violent Extremism and illegal migration. An award-winning broadcaster, he began his career at the BBC in the General Programmes Department, producing for both television and radio. He left the BBC to set up TV Asia, the first satellite subscription service for the British Asian community, where he was director of programmes.
He has been instrumental in several and various strategic communication projects in Pakistan and Nigeria, most notably, the launch of a Hausa language TV station in Northern Nigeria. Stationed in Kano, he was responsible for setting up and running a US State Department funded free to air Hausa language satellite channel aimed at supporting the Counter Terrorism Bureau’s CVE agenda in Nigeria. As well as working very closely with NGOs and government bodies involved in CVE and interfaith relations, he also collaborated with bodies promoting education, girl’s rights, human rights, women’s empowerment and health issues.
Other highlights of his career include developing a comprehensive five year strategic communication strategy countering violent extremism in Pakistan. This included running a successful Pashto radio soap for young people, “Da Duniya Zamung Duniya” (Our World) on 4 FM Radio Stations in Peshawar/FATA and the “Yeh Hum Naheen” (This is not us), anti-terrorism foundation in Pakistan aimed at de-radicalising young Muslims. In 2008, developed and ran a major multimedia campaign which culminated with world record breaking 62.8 million Pakistanis signing a petition condemning terrorism. Other initiatives include a “We are the world” type song, PSAs on aircrafts flying to Pakistan, the production/distribution of video/audio vignettes featuring personal testimonies of survivors of terrorism from around the world, developing comprehensive social media strategy to engage potential Jihadist recruits and undertaking extensive outreach campaign visiting over a hundred colleges and universities in at risk areas.
More recently, he was responsible for developing and implementing British High Commission Islamabad/FCO’s illegal migration communication strategy in Pakistan involving the production of a documentary that was aired on national TV and conducting extensive outreach in key areas.
Waseem was awarded an OBE in 2005 in Her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours List “for services to the reconstruction of Media in post war countries”, and received the KAPPA lifetime achievement award “for most outstanding contribution to media”.
Pat Younge is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sugar Films, a west London based content production company, and founder/director of WeCreate Associates, a consultancy that focuses on creative leadership, innovation and technology.
Between 2010-2014 Younge was Chief Creative Officer of BBC Television Production, the largest content creation company in the world, leading teams producing shows including Dr Who, Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing, Natural History and Eastenders. Prior to that he was President/General Manager of Travel Channel Media, an award winning US cable business in 90 million American homes.
Younge has campaigned to improve cultural diversity in television throughout his 23 years in the industry, which included working for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
He served on the Expert Group of the European Broadcasting Union assessing the future of public service broadcasting, and is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and Royal Society of Arts. He lives in Ealing, with his wife and three children.
Mark was born in Bermuda and attended the Purcell School of Music in London. Following this, Mark attended from the Juilliard School of Music at the age of 16 and graduated in 1998. Shortly after returning to London following his studies Mark started work with the Shaw Trust, a national disability charity and steadily progressed through the organisation becoming the National Equality and Diversity Manager assisting the Trust to become a Stonewall Top 100 employer and winning the Bristol Recruitment Awards for Positive Action schemes.
In 2009 Mark left the Shaw Trust to continue work as an independent consultant. Mark reviewed and redesigned the Law Society Diversity & Inclusion Charter self assessment standards, toolkit and reporting system and also the Law Society Procurement Protocol for which he won the ENEI Inclusive Procurement Award.
In 2013, Mark authored the Equality & Diversity Risk and Compliance Toolkit published by the Law Society to assist firms meet regulatory requirements in relation to equality and diversity.Recently, Mark has worked on several diversity projects for the BBC and a range of leading companies in the finance, health, probation, media and legal sectors.
Melissa has worked in television for 13 years. After finishing a business studies and tv & film degree at Brunel university, she started her television career as a runner for TSI, a post production company in Covent Garden. She then moved to the BBC, working on live television as an autocue operator and then joined Sky in 2000 where she worked her way up to being an editor.
Melissa currently works on a variety of entertainment and sport shows at Sky. She has been an editor for nearly 10- years and very much enjoys volunteering at MAMA Youth Project as a trainer.
He has skills and expertise across corporate strategy and corporate finance – M&A. His experience encompasses financial institutional groups, legal services and commercial real estate investment. These experiences provide him with a fresh perspective to think laterally and problem solve issues that are inherent in the media industry as well as challenging the status quo.
He has an interest in helping under-represented groups and disadvantaged young people to acquire and develop the skills required to progress. In pursuance of that he joined the MAMA Youth Project as a Trustee in March 2016, contributing by advising C-level suite on financial and strategic matters.
Shaun completed a law degree (LLB Hons) at Kingston University in 2008, he went on to take the Bar finals, successfully and was called to the Bar in 2009. In 2010 he graduated with a masters in finance (MSc) from King’s College London and is currently working towards an MBA at Imperial College Business School and Chartered Accountancy exams (ICAEW ACA).