On the significant occasion of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence, three young Jamaicans and cultural ambassadors are making a “50 days in Afrika” tour with the mission to explore and strengthen ties between Africa and the Diaspora. One of the main aims of the youth initiative sponsored by the Supreme Ventures Foundation and C.H.A.S.E. (Culture Health Arts Sports and Education fund), is to produce an investigative film, which will document the strategies and methodologies used in African film-making and highlight the positive contribution African countries have made to the global film industry. By extension, the ‘50 Days in Afrika’ initiative will investigate other art and entertainment industries such as music. The film will also explore and in some cases challenge the imagery and content audiences have received in the Western world of the African story.
The young Jamaicans are half way through their journey to six African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. To date the team has completed their leg in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana and now, have just landed in South Africa to conduct interviews with local filmmakers, veterans in television production, actors/actresses, musicians, policy makers and the general public.
The “50 Days in Afrika” team includes Donisha Prendergast, granddaughter of Bob Marely and Mykal Cushnie who have both produced their own independent films, which they have been screening in the different countries. Part of the trio is also Kelissa McDonald, Jamaican reggae recording artist who is promoting the prelude to her debut album called ‘Rebel in Disguise.’ Kelissa has been performing and doing collaborative studio work in each country and will have the opportunity of sharing a stage with Femi Kuti at the annual ‘Felabration’ music festival in Lagos. Building on networks established during this initial journey, “50 days in Afrika” is intended to serve as a continuing platform for cultural exchange, networking, collaboration and business opportunities for youth on the continent and in the Diaspora.
“We are not African because we are born in Africa, We are African because Africa is born in us.” – Chester Higgins Junior