With the lens focusing less on our African stories that are told by African filmmakers, it’s important for us to tell our stories and keep telling them until the whole world listens.
Until the world starts to actively listen, watch and want to understand our stories. With the same efforts that have been put in understanding western stories.
Not to say that African filmmakers don’t tell African stories, actually, so many of us do. However, one cannot compare the amount of attention they get, with that of Game of Thrones, Empire, Fantastic Beasts or any other Box office movie that you may think of.
A million reasons already exist as to why this is so, but the primary one is that not many Africans support or even have an interest in watching African films.
Over 70 percent of Africans have a favorite western film/series, western actor/actress or favorite western filmmaker.
One that they admire and even try to emulate what they see in the films. It’s definitely not a bad thing. To appreciate talent and support unique skills. But why is the same energy not witnessed when African films told by African filmmakers hit the theaters?
Let me tell my story. One that I know many of you reading this blog can relate to. Either because you identify so much with the story because it feels like their is another person who has similar experiences to yours, or because they are stories that matter.
Our African stories matter. And it’s up to us to treat them like they do. We don’t need to keep emulating what we barely comprehend and keep ignoring what is naturally a part of us. Our stories.
The amount of attention that our African stories get is obviously low. Way too low to a point where the West tells our own stories based on what they imagine.
When a film that’s telling an African story is released by the west and does well in the theaters, we get online and give bad reviews about the film.
We even go ahead and criticize the directors and producers. 3 or 4 months down the line, we all forget about it and move on to other trending topics. High chances are always that no serious learning has come out of that action. No shame is felt. And if it is, it’s never enough to stop the fake narratives. Except the fact that it contains a lot of stereotyping and false information.
Very few take the initiative to do something about it. By telling African stories with information that is true, original and authentic.
Most choose to stay silent and say that it is not in their struggle. And when the few tell their stories, even fewer people acknowledge.
Telling African stories is amazing and beautiful. African stories are unique and full of life. They are interesting and worth your time.
Being oblivious of your own story leads to a loss of self-identity. Shunning them makes it even worse.