Words Hope Crick Pictured Lira
Multi-platinum SA singer Lira and Nigerian hip-hop artist MI hooked up with Africa.com to participate in the Africa Straight Up, a 30-minute film aiming to change perceptions of Africa.
“Even within the continent, Nigerians are not aware of the developments in Kenya, Kenyans are not aware of developments in Ghana, Ghanaians are not aware of developments in Botswana,” says Africa.com CEO Teresa Clarke, who wrote and executive produced the film. “We find that the lack of knowledge about what is happening in Africa exists within the African community and outside of it.”
Narrated by Warren Adams – the choreographer of hotly anticipated Broadway production Motown: The Musical – Africa Straight Up was made public on October 8. The film features commentary and opinions from across Africa on the rise of what 19th Century journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley, in archive film footage, calls “the dark continent”.
MI, for example, reflects on the growing popularity of contemporary African music around the world, saying: "The changes are everywhere... we've seen videos of people from Greece doing covers of Nigerian songs [and] I saw a video of some Middle Eastern girls doing a dance to one of my songs".
Africa.com encourages people to share their African story, and to join its ever expanding community; to challenge and dispel preconceptions and ignorance to the emergence of Africa into the world stage, and to promote African ways of life, traditions, art and cultures. Africa Straight Up is a large step taken in the right direction to realise those goals.
Showcasing promise, talent and innovation emerging from the world's most rapidly progressing continent, and encapsulating the ever-increasing feelings of pride, passion and independence within; it combines an exhibition of some of the ideas, technologies, and even revolutions that are contributing to the changing face of Africa with clips of speeches and interviews that deliver a very potent message.
That message is this: Africa is not a place in need of charity, a place with a single stereotype or story, or a place primal or backwards in nature; Africa is the future.
Watch the film here: