Tabitha Karaba (or Tabi), is a self-professed movie nerd and lover of music. Together with her friend Lydia, Tabi developed a video game called Kawia’s Adventure for The Sony Talent League by THU. Get to know Tabi, what drives her passion, and what her experience in game development has been as a filmmaker.
Tell us about yourself Tabitha?
My name is Tabi and I am a music and film enthusiast. These two art forms have had the most influence on the person I have become, and who I am still growing to become. I graduated with a bachelor’s in film and theatre arts in 2019 and have since been doing freelance work creating all sorts of visual work.
How did you get involved in film?
I grew up exposed to a wide range of films. I remember staying up till around 3 AM just to watch TCM movies behind my parent’s backs. That’s how into it I’ve been from the beginning. So when I found out that it’s possible to actually build a career around film making, I immediately knew that that’s what I’m meant to do. There was finally an outlet to the imagination I’d built up in the years up until then.
How did your skills as a filmmaker come in to play during the creation of Kawia’s Adventure?
My background in film-making helped shape the storytelling part of Kawia’s Adventure that is both a movie and game; in other words, a govie. Therefore my background came in handy with scripting the cut scenes, blocking the scenes, and revising the story in general.
What was the biggest challenge working on Kawia’s Adventure?
The biggest challenge on my side was finding the balance between the film and game aspects. Both are equally important to Kawia’s Adventure and we didn’t want to overwhelm any one side with the other. On one hand, the story was a means for us to pay homage to the rich culture we come from and on the other. We needed to make a fun dance game.
Were you interested in games or game development before Kawia’s Adventure?
Before Kawia’s Adventure, I had never guessed that I’d get as involved with game development as I did. The transition from film to game development was quite easy because even on the film side, I’m more proficient with the technical aspects.
Who inspires you in your work? Whether in games or film?
Now that I’m getting started with game development, a huge influence currently has been Sally Slade. She was one of our game development mentors, and the guidance she gave us despite personally being a newbie, gave me enough confidence to actually get started with the entire design process and I’m so grateful.
A lot of filmmakers inspire me too. However, the person that I always want to impress the most is myself, by bringing my imagination to life.
Realizing a vision I had at the beginning of any project I throw myself into inspires me to keep at it. I have quite the imagination, and lots of stories to tell, and that’s actually what pushed me into film making, so that still remains my main motivator.
As a filmmaker, do you plan on getting more involved in game development in the future?
I absolutely plan on getting more into game development going into the future. Working on Kawia’s Adventure was almost like a nudge that got me started with designing, and I had a blast once I got the hang of it.
What would you like to see more of in the game development scene in Africa and globally?
I would love to see more representation of women in the game development scene generally. This is especially in leadership roles; seeing someone who looks like you succeeding in a field you’re interested in makes a huge difference in encouraging you to pursue it.
Is there anything else you want to tell us? A fun fact about yourself?
A fun fact about me is that I was told by my karate sensei that I have killer kicks because of how sturdy my legs are. However, I never went on pursuing karate which is still something I regret, but I plan on getting back to in the future, hahaha!
Vote for Kawia’s Adventure here until the 22nd March 2021: https://www.trojan-unicorn.com/challenges/sony-talent-league