Ya Ma’Afrika is a new African drama series that will soon hit the airways on TeleSud. It is a show that “fuses the lives of 4 African women living in NYC and highlights their cultural experiences, contradictions & challenges of Africans living in the west. The roommates (from South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon & Zimbabwe) confront issues from relationships to immigration & employment”.
The director, Thato Mwosa, is an independent filmmaker originally from Botswana, who won the Best Emerging Local Filmmaker Award at the 2005 Roxbury Film Festival for her short film “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”.
As an African woman in the USA dealing with the hassles of getting an education, a job, travelling etc. while on a visa, this really speaks to me. I read the script. Personally, I can’t wait to see the show – although I don’t have DISH-TV or TV-5 USA. Hopefully, it will be broadcast online too.
It is hard enough being a young black woman in a country dealing with its own racial prejudices. Then add on worries whether you will be admitted to a particular university, not because you are not smart enough, but because you are not American. Or getting that coveted admission, but not being able to pay the tuition because it is ridiculously high, and unlike Americans, you can’t get federal loans or certain scholarships, and to top it off you can’t get a private loan from the bank unless you have an American cosigner.
Or what about when you become “out of status” for whatever reason, and know that “going back home” is not an option, and you thought you had it tough before, but now you have to struggle to make it. We all know people [who know people] who have “married for green card” and the worries & panic that this is associated with. Or getting that job, and waiting patiently for that H1B visa to slowly process into a Green Card while suffering indignities on the job and at various airports.
Then there is the cultural change we all experience. I already am a blend of multiple cultures. But I have seen people who have lived “at home” all their lives, came to college in the States and within those 4 years their views changed so dramatically that they too struggle to defend their identities as African.
RANT! RANT! RANT!
Ok, breathe deeply! E-x-h-a-l-e!
I’m excited about this project because we usually don’t see Africans portrayed like “normal people” on TV, and I’m really glad that Thato has had the opportunity to do us proud!