The women fit perfectly into Carrie- or Miranda-type boxes. Nana Yaa, the main character, is a radio journalist who ponders existential dating questions in voice-overs throughout the show. Zainab and Makena both function as a Miranda — fiercely independent and all about their business. Ngozi is the church girl who works for a nongovernmental organization and purses her lips at too much talk about the male anatomy. And Sade is Samantha, with condoms spilling from the designer handbags that her rich, married boyfriend buys for her. The women spend an enormous amount of time sipping cocktails in dimly lit restaurants as they chat about rolling power outages, good condom etiquette and men who expect them to leave their jobs and make fufu all day.
But the show’s creator, Nicole Amarteifio, who moved from Ghana to New York and then back again, is also presenting an unseen side of culture on a continent that is usually depicted with footage of war, famine and poverty. There is none of that here. Instead, “An African City” struts into the lives of well-off African women. Makena is an Oxford-trained lawyer, and Sade graduated from Harvard Business School. Zainab sits atop a growing shea butter empire, and Nana Yaa’s father is the country’s minister of energy. Through the five women, “An African City” explores what it means to be a westernized young woman readjusting to the culture and surroundings of her home continent.
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