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Acting Vice Dean: Research & Internationalisation
Name: Mr. Anthony Ambala
Location: Deans office, Lower Ground Floor, FADA Building Bunting Road Campus
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Tel: +27 (0)11-559-1354


About Professor Anthony Ambala

Prof Ambala is Vice Dean – Research and Internationalisation (Acting) and Associate Professor, Faculty of Art Design and Architecture, 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, interactive and immersive media from an African and Afro-diasporic lens, focusing on marginalized, co-opted and ‘othered’ communities, and working within digital, gamified and virtual reality spaces. He has lectured film and television studies, scriptwriting, documentary studies, film editing and directing, and digital content design at The University of the Witwatersrand, AFDA Film School and The University of Johannesburg.

Prof Ambala has supervised, and is currently supervising, several postgraduate research studies at Honours, Masters and PhD levels (both practice, traditional textual research and a confluence of these two research approaches).

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 Hollywood filmmaker Mira Nair.

Recent academic publications and conference presentations:

Ambala, AT. 2023. ‘Illusions of participation in Kenya’s contemporary television broadcasting-scape’ in the journal, Communicatio. DOI: 10.1080/02500167.2023.2285300

Ayesh, I and Ambala, AT. 2023. ‘Encouraging Humanitarian Assistance in Conflict Zones through Animated Public Service Announcements’. Cumulus conference: Connectivity and Creativity in times of Conflict. Conference Proceedings. 392 – 396. ISBN: 978 94 014 9647 6.

Ambala, AT. 2023. ‘Novelty or plagiarism? Bricolage in Ofentse Mwase’s Shorts’. Paper presented at the SACOMM Conference, 27 to 29 September, 2023 at AFDA, Johannesburg.

Ambala, AT. 2021 (published in 2022). ‘Voicing ordinary people and everyday narratives through participatory cinema’. Journal of African Cinemas, 13:2 & 3, pp. 119–133, _00049_1.

Ambala, AT. 2021. ‘Positioning Afro-diasporic speculative design episteme in South African higher education institutions’. DE+AFRIKA+4IR+ Design Education/Afrika / 4th Industrial Revolution Conference. Design Education Forum of Southern Africa (DEFSA), 16th Conference Proceedings. 183 – 193. ISBN: 978-0-620-97912-2 (e-book).

Ambala, AT. 2020. ‘Adapting Digital Storytelling Methods to African Contexts: Insights from the Utaifa Project’, African Journalism Studies, 41:4, 22-34, DOI: 10.1080/23743670.2020.1840413.

Ambala, AT. 2020. Voicing ordinary people and everyday narratives through participatory digital storytelling. Presented at the @frica: digital media conference, University of Houston, 28 February 2020.

Ambala, AT. 2019. “Television’s shifting broadcasting-scape in contemporary Africa’ in Media Studies, Chiumbu, Sarah and Iqani, Mehita (eds). Oxford University Press South Africa, Print ISBN: 9780190443535, Extent: 512pp.

Ambala, AT. 2019. Centering marginal voices: Digital Storytelling for self-representation in a Kenyan marginalized community. African Digital Media Research Methods Symposium, Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, 5th to 7th June 2019.