Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Review of An African City Web Series

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by Adelarin Awotedu

I was bored last week trying to prepare a business plan for a feature film I am working on so I decided to find what the latest online buzz is. Been wondering for a couple of weeks what 'an African city' is all about. I give it to their public relations team, an African city is on every influential blog online.

I watched nine of the episodes of the hit web series whilst laughing my head off, I am sure my neighbors were wondering what I was up to.

Over a course of weeks, an African city has received coverage even on CNN African voices, called the African Sex and the City by BBC. I really hate that tag, just like I hate the fact that Mo Abudu is being referred to as Africa's Oprah and not Africa's Mo.

 Back to the Matter at hand, The fashion is simply incredible, showing the world how contemporary African prints have become. I particularly enjoyed how each character's individuality was made to shine, almost every African girl can been seen in at least one of the characters, from the short and stout, tall and lanky, natural hair, permed hair, dreadlocks etc.

The African dump episode is my favorite, sent me to stitches, how does one announce, 'I wanna take a dump'

In total for acting, believability, accent, style, dialogue and comedy I give it an A+. it brings to light several issues which we avoid to talk about because of our culture.
But my main issue with an African city is why almost all the episodes are about men and the lavish lifestyle.
This web series fails the Bechdel test completely.

What is now known as the Bechdel test was introduced in Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. In a 1985 strip titled "The Rule",an unnamed female character says that she only watches a movie if it satisfies the following requirements:
It has to have at least two women in it,
who talk to each other,
about something besides a man
Why do we always focus entirely on negativity in women?  It's not balanced. Women are often painted as sex crazed human beings but we forget that the men are also culprits. What happens to the men? Where are the male stories?

Basically the message being communicated is what I don't get.

I will like to see an african city through the eyes of an average African woman, not returnee spoilt brats with fake accents. I will love to see strong african women grow and break the norm in a male dominated society and inspire other women. We need to be proud of our heritage and try not to attach being independent to having random sex with several men.

An African city definitely has these women who are the main characters in the same named web series but they are definitely in a minority.

Either we like it or not, in the process of entertainment, content producers play an important role in giving people an idea of how to live and act, what type of life to live but I am sorry I will hate to have my relatives act like sex crazed females.

I hope the series continues because its entertainment value is on the high and sincerely hope none of these girls catch dreadful disease which at the end is the stereotype which the creator is trying to avoid.

Adelarin Awotedu

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