Mama Africa, hosted by Queen Latifah and produced by Zimmedia Productions of Zimbabwe is an intriguing voyage through contemporary Africa. The DVD series features three short films and three bonus shorts that create a beautiful tapestry stretching along South Africa, Namibia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Tunisia and Kenya.
Ngozi Onwurah's Hangtime portrays a conflicted young man named Kwame Achebe (Brian Biragi), whose desire to win an American basketball scholarship robs him of his common sense. Although he is one of the best players on the local Ingbu team, his paralyzing fear that his shoes are sure to fall apart makes him easy prey for neighborhood gang leader Olu who wants to embroil the young man in criminal activities.
The sparkling gem of Raja Amaris One Evening in July, is actress Hend Sabri who portrays widowed Saida. Earning her living by preparing young, betrothed women for their marriage ceremonies, Saida encounters Miriam (Baya Zarouk) who has been pressured against her will to marry. Contemplating plans for escape to a life free of traditions, Miriam continues in her marriage preparation while Saida urges perseverance and patient hope that Allah will intercede as he had with the early death of her own husband.
Bintou set in Burkina Faso, Allma Salouka Kone and Hyppollo Ouangrawa bring a charming vitality to their characters Bintou and Abel. Bintou struggles to secure an education for her daughter by trying to make a go of drying and selling millet in the marketplace. Both her husband, with whom she bickers frequently, and her mother-in-law are opposed to wasting money on educating a mere girl.
These series of shorts are available for rental through Blockbuster Video.
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