So in the Spirit of Afrocentritude and severe Scandal withdrawal, I have turned to the Ghanaian TV show An African City for my new fix of Thursday night drama. I know, I know, it doesn’t exclusively air on Thursday nights but people… my decision to stop watching Scandal left a void in my life. A deep void full of despair and darkness. When Thursday night rolled around, I found myself curled up in bed with tea and tissues, mourning my loss, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” playing over and over in my head. I never thought I would find a show that made me dream, that made me cry and shout and laugh, that showed me relatable black women, kicking ass and taking names. I was afraid Olivia Pope had ruined me for any other.
Then I saw the buzz on Facebook and thought, “why not?”
Well… I may just have struck gold. Here’s the break down. Five African women, highly accomplished, smart, beautiful and stylish return to Ghana on a mission of domination in (almost all) natural hair and African print fashion. Sex, love, career, family, life back home after the cushy comforts of life abroad #TheStruggle.
My take on the cast:
The central character. The JJC. She just arrived to Ghana after spending most of her life in the States and the first episode details her initial impressions. She seems like the good girl type. The one to do the expected, even when the expected is moving back to Ghana because of a guy. An innocent. But also the one who will surprise you with her inner bad ass. I hope the show developers can capitalize on this.
Marketing manager, Harvard grad, palaver finder, all round don chick for town. I have a feeling I’ll like this one. Straight talker, no pretense. She ain’t got time to act like she’s some perfect African princess.She steals the show right off the bat with her deep and confident voice. I am so looking forward to her exploits and wisecracks. She gives the impression of being a hard ass, but I think she will surprise us all by being a really kind and sympathetic character. She actually reminds me of a dear friend who was a returnee before returning was fashionable. (You know who you are. I love you chica.)
Where there is a Sade, you know there has to be a Ngozi. Super religious, super cute, super optimistic, naive and judgy to boot. You wonder how she fell in with this crowd. The others may roll their eyes at her but every group of friends needs a Ngozi, if anything to remind them what a truly wonderful thing innocence is. I believe, however, that this girl has inner ratchedness that is just waiting to come out.
She seemed a little world weary and cynical. Which is to be expected given the divorce (you know how us Africans are about divorce) and returning to Ghana jobless. Her little rant about the guy expecting her to cook 3 times a day made me chuckle.
Did not stand out. She was there but more like a space filler. I know it is only the first episode so I can’t wait to see where this one goes. Every one else’s underbelly is already showing. Zainab’s not quite yet.
Episode 1 opens with Nana Yaa returning home philosophizing copiously in her voice over. First of all, what’s with the accents? For a while I wasn’t sure if I was watching Sex and the City or Gossip Girl. I know we pick up accents after having lived here for long but if you have parents at home, you know you gonna have some contri-talk/pidgin laced inflection going on. I got 99 questions about those accents. And why in the name of Baba can they not pronounce African names? N-goo-zii? WTF?
The scene with her family felt rushed, like they didn’t just want to jump directly to the dinner date the ladies had, but they didn’t want to spend too much time dissecting family issues. Which is all fine and good, except we all know how families are in Africa, they could easily be a character in the story. I hope the shows producers don’t trim it too much.
Cut to dinner where the girls give Nana Yaa the low down on being a returnee. The power failures and water shortages,the good food and mannerisms. Use your right hand! Fat = compliment. I’m confused…Did these girls parents immerse them so much in European and American culture they completely have no clue about the way of things back home? Were there no visits in the summer? I find it hard to believe that amount of cluelessness is possible.
Anyhoo, my girl Sade going iiiiiiiin about the men. No shame no complex. Biiiig Biceps… Biiig Hands Hahaha! That look on Ngozi’s face! I die!
Although the African men to my memory don’t seem just as delicious…Or maybe I was too young to appreciate the goodies before I left Cameroon? I must revisit this matter.
The topic of Nana Yaa’s ex comes up and she quickly exits left stage. Like, it’s not noticeable at all that she denies coming back for him but needs to go away for a bit when his name is mentioned. Not suspicious at all.
As fate will have it, she runs into him with another woman in the same restaurant. Exit left stage again only to be found out by Sade. Sade who turns out to be just as solid a friend as I anticipated she will be.
As far as beginnings go, not horrible. I love that the show is showing the side of African women that doesn’t often get seen. The new breed. The product of all those Educate the Girl Child campaigns. The girl who owns her own destiny and makes things happen. I love that it is showing the side of Africa that is not war and famine.
I need to hear some real accents at this junx-ture tho.
The stage is set and I have a good feeling.
You folks on to this? If you are not Click Here to start watching
If you are, tell me your thoughts!