Flower Girl: A Classic RomCom with Nigerian Flare

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Kemi has a perfect life. A great job, family, best friend, steady boyfriend, but one thing is missing, a proposal from said boyfriend, Umar. He is a career-obsessed lawyer, wanting no distractions from his corporate climb, not even the love of his life. When a celebrity actor crashes his car into Kemi (she lives), his PR nightmare becomes Kemi’s opportunity to get Umar to propose.

Flower girl is a classic romantic comedy with a meet-cute that is brutal then suddenly hilarious. Kemi is a bubbly florist with hot temper. Her sweetness balances out her larger-than-life personality, making her one of the more interesting rom-com heroines I have encountered.  In an instance mistreatment, she douses the perpetrator with a bucket of ice water! She is definitely not one to suffer in silence!                                                                                           

The rom-com tropes like the fairly absent, zany best friend, the makeover montage and more, keep things familiar if one likes that sort of thing. The film outdoes the genre by making sure that the political balance between the sexes is maintained. The marriage, though the driver, is not created to fix a hole in either of the protagonists life. You get the sense that the lovers find each other when they are each ready. Although I wouldn’t say the film passes the Bechdel test, it definitely one-ups lots of romcoms in gender equality.

The film’s main goof is that Damilola Adegbite’s portrayal of Kemi needs a makeover at all. She’s gorgeous with or without the makeup and extra hair, and not exactly dowdy to begin with, so that’s a bit of a stretch.

Visually, having a protagonist that is a florist means that we get to see beautiful flora in most of the film, and setting it in Nigeria gives us lots of flare in fashion and music. Flower girl is easy viewing and fun to for everyone. Get the girls together and grab some popcorn. It’s movie night!

Monica Obaga

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Such a great docu-series. We love it!

dynamicafrica:

Watch All Nine Episodes of Cecile Emeke’s “Strolling” Series.

"Growing up in London I was not reflected anywhere, not fully. I think most of us tried to grasp on to images of African-American culture, and we tried to cling on to our identities from the Caribbean and Africa. We’d wave our Jamaica flags at carnival and watch reruns of fresh prince but ultimately nothing reflected us. We didn’t exist.

Part of the aim of erasure is to alienate you and therefore silence you. Strolling is the complete and utter rejection of this implicit call to silence and the self-destructive assimilation required for survival.”

- Cecile Emeke

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Foreign Language Oscars 2015: Africa

These are the five African films submitted to the Academy for the Foreign Language Oscar.

Mauritania is submitting for the very first time!

Egypt, The Factory Girl (dir. Mohamed Khan)
Ethiopia, Difret (dir. Zeresenay Berhane Mehari)
Mauritania, Timbuktu (dir. Abderrahmane Sissako)
Morocco, The Red Moon (dir. Hassan Benjelloun)
South Africa, Elelwani (dir. Ntshavheni wa Luruli)

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SKEEM: A cult classic crime comedy waiting to happen!

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Skeem is a comedic romp that follows two unlucky wannabe gangsters that have to deliver a million dollars in cash. Their car breaks down on the way to the drop and they have to spend the night in a creepy holiday resort. When the money spills all over the hotel driveway, all their new neighbors notice!

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South African comedian Kurt Schoonrad and ‘Hear Me Move’ star Wandile Molebatsi are the bumbling gangsters. Kurt’s brash confidence and Wandile’s bumbling naïveté make the perfect odd couple!

The gangsters are sitting ducks at the resort. The characters range from a bankrupt former millionaire, loser stoners, three generations of Claudes and even girls on a bachelorette weekend and they all have a special interest in the money.

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The film is reminiscent of the comedies that include films such as ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Rat Race.’  The writing is great, with an exciting pace, colorful characters and great gags. 

The story structure is pretty much perfect. The main plot is like a video game, with everyone trying to outwit the other and get to the money first and the bunglers trying to protect it. A secondary plot, a sweet romance develops keeping the pace interesting!

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This film is ripe to become a cult classic. It’s incredibly well written, hilarious and full of heart.

Monica Obaga

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ourafrica:

Rest in Peace Ali Mazrui 1933-2014.

Kenyan, Ali Mazrui, one of the most celebrated intellectuals in the world has passed away. 

If you’re unfamiliar with Mazrui, here is a short summary by: Daniel Pipes of the national review.

Ali al-Amin Mazrui (b. 1933) is the most celebrated intellectual of African origins in the United States. His 1,500-word official resume is a bit daunting, but here follow some highlights:

At Binghamton University, which is part of the State University of New York Mazrui is (1) Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities, professor in (2) Political Science, (3) African Studies and Philosophy, and (4) Interpretation and Culture, plus (5) director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies.

In addition, he has distinguished appointments at Cornell University, the University of Jos in Nigeria, and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. He has served as visiting scholar at Stanford, Denver, Chicago, Ohio State, Pennsylvania, Bridgewater, Harvard, Colgate, McGill, Sussex, Oxford, Leeds, London, Cairo, Baghdad, Tehran, Nairobi, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and “etc.”

He has authored over thirty books, from Towards a Pax Africana in 1967 The Politics of War and the Culture of Violencein 2008. Every important newspaper in the world has carried his byline. He narrated a high-profile television series,The Africans: A Triple Heritage, for the BBC and PBS in 1986.

Miscellaneous honors include being elected an “Icon of the Twentieth Century” by Lincoln University and being nominated for a “Living Legend Award” by two African organizations. Honorary degrees have come tumbling in. He “has been involved in a number of UN projects on matters which have ranged from human rights to nuclear proliferation.”

Authorities around the world, in short, inform us that professors don’t come smarter or wiser than Mazrui.

If that alone does not impress you, lets take a closer look at his resume:

Positions held

Membership of Organizations

Media

  • Featured in [Motherland (film)]] 2009, directed by Owen Alik Shahadah which features key academics from around the continent of Africa.Ali Mazrui in Motherland film
  • Main African Consultant and on-screen respondent, Programme on “A History Denied” in the television series on Lost Civilizations (NBC and Time-Life, 1996), U.S.A.
  • Author of “The Bondage of Boundaries: Towards Redefining Africa”, article in the 150th anniversary issue of The Economist (London) (September) Vol. 328, No. 7828, 1993.
  • Author and Narrator, “The Africans: A Triple Heritage”, BBC and PBS television series in cooperation with Nigerian Television Authority, 1986, funded by the Annenberg/CPB Project.
  • Author and Broadcaster, “The African Condition”, BBC Reith Radio Lectures, 1979, with book of the same title (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980)
  • Advisor to the award-winning, PBS-broadcast documentary Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet (2002), produced by Unity Productions Foundation.

Mazrui was a regular contributor to newspapers in Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa, most notably The Nation (Nairobi), The Standard (Nairobi), The Monitor (Kampala), and The City Press (Johannesburg)

Awards

  • Millennium Tribute for Outstanding Scholarship, House of Lords, Parliament Buildings, London, June 2000
  • Special Award from the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (United Kingdom), honoring Mazrui for his contribution to the social sciences and Islamic studies, June 2000
  • Honorary Doctorate of Letters from various universities for fields which include Divinity, Humane Letters, and the Sciences of Development
  • Icon of the Twentieth Century, elected by Lincoln UniversityPennsylvania, 1998
  • Appointed Walter Rodney Professor, University of GuyanaGeorgetown, Guyana, 1998
  • Icon of the Twentieth Century Award, Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, 1998
  • DuBois-Garvey Award for Pan-African Unity, Morgan State UniversityBaltimore, Maryland, 1998
  • Appointed Ibn-Khaldun Professor-at-Large, School of Islamic and Social Sciences, Leesburg, Virginia, 1997–2001
  • Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1988
  • Appointed Distinguished Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell UniversityIthaca, New York, USA (1986–1992)

Dr. Mazrui was ranked among the world’s top 100 public intellectuals by readers of Prospect Magazine (UKForeign Policy Magazine (Washington, D.C.) (see The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll).

Publications 

  • 2008: Islam in Africa’s Experience [Editor: Ali Mazrui, Patrick Dikirr, Robert Ostergard Jr., Michael Toler and Paul Macharia], (New Delhi: Sterling Paperbacks)
  • 2008: Euro-Jews and Afro-Arabs: The Great Semitic Divergence in History [Editor: Seifudein Adem], (Washington DC: University of America Press)
  • 2008: The Politics of War and Culture of Violence [Editor: Seifudein Adem and Abdul Bemath], (New Jersey: Africa world Press)
  • 2008: Globalization and Civilization: Are they Forces in Conflict? [Editor: Ali Mazrui, Patrick Dikirr, Shalahudin Kafrawi], (New York: Global Academic Publications)
  • 2006: A Tale of two Africas: Nigeria and South Afric as contrasting Visions [Editor: James N. Karioki], (London: Adonis & Abbey)
  • 2006: Islam: Between Globalization & Counter-Terrorism [Editors: Shalahudin Kafrawi, Alamin M. Mazrui and Ruzima Sebuharara] (Trenton, NJ and Asmara, Eritrea: Africa World Press)
  • 2004: The African Predicament and the American Experience: a Tale of two Edens (Westport, CT and London: Praeger)
  • 2004: Almin M. Mazrui and Willy M. Mutunga eds. Race, Gender, and Culture Conflict: Mazrui and His Critics Trenton, New Jersey: African World Press.
  • 2003: Almin M. Mazrui and Willy M. Mutunga eds. Governance and Leadership:Debating the African Condition Trenton, New Jersey: African World Press.
  • 2002: Black Reparations in the era of Globalization [with Alamin Mazrui (Binghamton: The Institute of Global Cultural Studies)]
  • 2002: The Titan of Tanzania: Julius K. Nyerre’s Legacy (Binghamton: The Institute of Global Cultural Studies)
  • 2002: Africa and other Civilizations: Conquest and Counter-Conquest, The Collected Essays of Ali A. Mazrui, Vol. 2 [Series Editor: Toyin Falola; Editors: Ricardo Rene Laremont & Fouad Kalouche] (Trenton, NJ and Asmara, Eritrea: Africa World Press)
  • 2002: Africanity Redefined, The Collected Essays of Ali A. Mazrui, Vol. 1 [Series Editor: Toyin Falola; Editors: Ricardo Rene Laremont & Tracia Leacock Seghatolislami] (Trenton, NJ and Asmara,Eritrea: Africa World Press)
  • 1999: Political Culture of Language: Swahili, Society and the State [with Alamin M. Mazrui] (Binghamton: The Institute of Global Cultural Studies)
  • 1999: The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities [Co-editors Isidore Okpewho and Carole Boyce Davies] (Bloomington: Indiana University Press).
  • 1998: The Power of Babel: Language and Governance in the African Experience [with Alamin M. Mazrui] (Oxford and Chicago: James Currey and University of Chicago Press).
  • 1995: Swahili, State and Society: The Political Economy of an African Language [with Alamin M. Mazrui] (Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers).
  • 1993: Africa since 1935: VOL. VIII of UNESCO General History of Africa [Editor,Asst. Ed. C. Wondji] (London: Heinemann and Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).
  • 1990: Cultural Forces in World Politics (London and Portsmouth, N.H: James Currey and Heinemann).
  • 1986: The Africans: A Triple Heritage (New York: Little Brown and Co., and London: BBC).
  • 1986: The Africans: A Reader Senior Editor [with T.K. Levine] (New York: Praeger).
  • 1984: Nationalism and New States in Africa: From about 1935 to the Present [with Michael Tidy] (Heinemann Educational Books, London).
  • 1980: The African Condition: A Political Diagnosis [The Reith Lectures] (London, Heinemann Educational Books and New York, Cambridge University Press).
  • 1978: The Warrior Tradition in Modern Africa [Editor] (The Hague and Leiden, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill Publishers).
  • 1978: Political Values and the Educated Class in Africa (London: Heinemann Educational Books and Berkeley, CA: University of California Press).
  • 1977: State of the Globe Report, 1977 (Edited and co-authored for World Order Models Project)
  • 1977: Africa’s International Relations: The Diplomacy of Dependency and Change (London: Heinemann Educational Books and Boulder: Westview Press).
  • 1976: A World Federation of Cultures: An African Perspective (New York: Free Press).
  • 1975: Soldiers and Kinsmen in Uganda: The making of a Military Ethnocracy (Beverly Hills: Sage Publication and London).
  • 1975: The Political Sociology of the English Language: An African Perspective: (The Hague: Mouton Co.).
  • 1973: World Culture and the Black Experience (Seattle: The University of Washington Press).
  • 1973: Africa in World Affairs: The Next Thirty Years [Co-edited with Hasu Patel] (New York and London: The Third Press).
  • 1971: The Trial of Christopher Okigbo [Novel] (London: Heinemann Educational Books and New York: The Third Press).
  • 1971: Cultural Engineering and Nation-Building in East Africa (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press).
  • 1970: Protest and Power in Black Africa [Co-edited with Robert I. Rotberg] (New York: Oxford University Press).
  • 1969: Violence and Thought: Essays on Social Tentions in Africa (London and Harlow: Longman).
  • 1967: Towards a Pax Africana: A Study of Ideology and Ambition (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, and University of Chicago Press).
  • 1967: On Heroes and Uhuru-Worship: Essays on Independent Africa (London: Longman).
  • 1967: The Anglo-African Commonwealth: Political Friction and Cultural Fusion (Oxford: Pergamon Press).

We have truly lost a great one today. May his soul rest in peace and his contributions to the world, his legacy, live forever.