[two_fifth padding=”0 25px 0 10px”]BY Jada Smith | PUB The New York Times
Let’s get this out of the way up front: “An African City Live,” the steamy Ghanaian web series about five young women looking for love in Accra, is an unabashed rip-off of “Sex and the City.”[/two_fifth][three_fifth_last padding=”0 0px 0 10px”]There are the ubiquitous five-inch strappy sandals, the scene-stealing dresses made of Fanti fabric and the bevy of men who hop in and out of the beds of Nana Yaa, Makena, Zainab and Sade. The women are as free and liberal about sex as their American HBO foremothers, with the exception of the fifth character, Ngozi, who is such a Charlotte.
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.[/three_fifth_last]
[two_fifth padding=”0 25px 0 10px”]Nicole Amarteifio
CREATOR & PRODUCER[/two_fifth][three_fifth_last padding=”0 0px 0 10px”]Nicole Amarteifio, the creator and executive producer of the webseries, was inspired to create the series based upon her life as she was born in Ghana but raised abroad. Upon her official return to Ghana, she wanted to tell the story of women returning to the country, as well as help change the face of the African woman within mainstream society. Inspired by Issa Rae of the webseries Awkward Black Girl, Amarteifio made the series a webseries because she felt that her ideas would be changed and it wouldn’t be the story she was trying to tell had she made it a television series. However, she based the series off of Sex and the City because she believed that Sex and the City gave American women confidence, and she wanted to do the same for women across the African continent.
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