Life in Accra: An African City

an african city nana

What comes to mind when you think of life in Africa?

Be honest.

Is it extreme poverty, starving children and squalor a la Save the Children?

How about political corruption, religious war and tribal conflict?

Or maybe African life evokes images of wild, exotic animals roaming free?

Whatever it is, it can’t be modern or include fabulous fashion and brunch at fancy restaurants, right?

Life in Africa is all that and more.

Ghanaian born Nicole Amarteifio decided to showcase a different portrayal of the African woman with her new web series, An African City

The series has been pegged as Africa’s response to Sex and the City (I also thought Girlfriends) and it’s easy to see the comparison. Five African women who have returned to the continent, dishing on their lives and the pursuit of love over brunch or cocktails at their favorite spots around the city.

Take a look and let me know what you think…

As someone who was not born in Ghana (or anywhere in Africa), I can definitely relate as I’ve tried to acclimate to my temporary home. And I love how I recognize and have been to so many of the locations and venues at which they’ve filmed.

Yes, I know this is NOT real life in Africa for everyone or even a large percentage. That seems to be the main objection I hear from the African women who I’ve asked for their opinion. And yes, Ghana and many other countries in Africa are facing challenges, but I’m happy to see something positive with great production get a good bit of attention internationally.

If you enjoyed the first episode, check out the rest of the season on  YouTube.

XO from Accra,

April

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Responses

  • Fabiola says...

    OMG this is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing April! I can’t wait to catch up with the new episodes!

    • Glad you love it Fabiola! Enjoy season 1! Word on the street is that they will be turning it into a Television show. I just hope it’s still available outside of Ghana.

  • Thanks for sharing this April!

    I’m definitely going to try to follow and catch up on the next episodes!

    Their conversation totally reminded me of things I saw and experienced while living in Cameroon. Although this lifestyle wasn’t the norm, it was for a small segment of the population.

    • Great. Glad you liked it. It’s 10 short episodes so it won’t take too long to catch up.

      And I bet it’s veeerrry similar to Cameroon. It is a really small subset of the population, but I appreciate this side being shown as well. I don’t think anyone will disputes there’s poverty in Africa, but it still baffles my mind that many think there’s nothing outside of poverty and disease.

  • Shannette says...

    Life in Africa is akin to life on any other continent…containing a range of social and economic situations. It always pains me, when I see Africa only associated with poverty, famine, and disease. Yes, it does exist…it exists all over the world. However, the powers that be, love to associate lack with people of color. I know…a conversation for another day…back to the original question. When I envision Africa, I think back to my actual experiences in Africa, imagine that. I think of the best lamb I’ve ever had in my life prepared in South Africa. I think of the children in Mpumalanga who are the happiest I’ve ever encountered despite their lack of resources. I think of the hustle of Johannesburg. I think of the luxury of East Legon, Accra, where I live better than I do in the U.S. I think that deserves repeating. I live better in AFRICA than I do in the U.S. When I think of Ghana I think of wax print fabric, fly fashion, banku & tilapia, fufu, azonto, hi/hip life, I think of Adam’s Apples (my favorite series), I think of fresh coconut water like I get in Jamaica. I think of plantain, I think of a serious waste management problem. I think of black outs. I think of the best bread in the world at the Baatsonaa Total mart. I think of Spintex Road. I think of Reggae. I think of Kofi, Kuukua, Afia, Nana, and so many others. Ok, let me stop, I’m missing Ghana terribly.

    • And there you have it! Thanks for your comment Shannette. I couldn’t agree with you more. :-)

  • Krystal Bernier says...

    When I envision life in Africa I think tribal for some reason. I picture women with babies wrapped close to their bodies, men with spears, and lives focused on survival and food gathering. Maybe I watch too much discovery channel type programming. There is something attractive about this lifestyle to me though, wouldn’t it be more fulfilling to live in those simpler times? Anyways, the video was great and obviously Africa is a very diverse place with all sorts of cultures and people :-)

    • That’s a common response, Krystal. The media, Discovery Channel, etc do a great job of showcasing that side. In many areas the traditional culture and customs have been preserved and life is like that. Even in Ghana’s bustling capital city, it’s not uncommon to see Kings and others dressed in traditional attire and women carrying a baby wrapped on their back. But like you surmised in your last sentence, Africa is a continent with over 50 countries, where thousands of languages are spoken, multiple religions are practised and varying levels of socioeconomic standings exist.

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