Dr Ambala is a senior lecturer and head of the Multimedia Department, FADA, at the University of Johannesburg. He holds a PhD and MA from Wits University, and a BA Hons from Moi University.
His research interests are in participatory and user generated content creation, and in social impact design and creative practices. Cultural discourses on Africa and African diasporic spaces and those of marginalised voices are central to his research. He has lectured film and television studies, scriptwriting, documentary, film editing and directing, and digital content design at Wits University, AFDA Film School and The University of Johannesburg.
Dr Ambala has supervised several postgraduate research studies at Honours and Masters level and is currently co-supervising a creative practice PhD.
He is a practitioner in the film, television and digital media-scape having worked as an actor, a scriptwriter and live Outside Broadcasting (OB) technical crew for television shows on KBC and SABC. His first feature length screenplay Chameleons featured at the Maisha screenwriters’ lab overseen by renowned filmmaker Mira Nair.
Here are some of his recent academic publications and presentations:
Ambala, AT. 2016. ‘Voicing “Kenyanness” in the everyday: disrupting traditional broadcasting tropes through participatory digital storytelling’, in African Journalism Studies, 37:4, 45-61, DOI: 10.1080/23743670.2016.1256056. ISSN: 2374-3670 (Print) 2374-3689 (Online).
Ambala, AT. 2015. ‘Illusions of participation: power and empowerment in Kenya’s contemporary television broadcasting-scape’. Paper presented at the Intimacy at a distance: Television at home and away symposium hosted by the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Film and Media Studies on the 13th and 14th of June 2015.
Ambala, AT. 2014. ‘Reimagining the Kenyan television broadcasting scape: Active User Generated Content (AUGC) as an emancipating platform’ in Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies, 35:3, 39 – 53.
Ambala, AT. 2013. ‘Chronicling the Kenyan broadcasting landscape: a legacy of elitist self-preservation, political profiteering and the ‘big tribe’ syndrome’. Presented at the East Africa @ 50 Conference, 10 – 12 September, 2013 at the University of Nairobi, Kenya