At a time when the Cameroon movie sector or cinema is taking another turn, growing up one used to be obsessed with action films or any movie that had a superhero in it. Then on a personal experience, I could barely see Africans or black skin people playing major roles except in roles that seem always like a cliché. Over the years there has been a vast change in movie projects as we see blacks now playing major roles and I only had this nostalgic feeling about the importance of black movies from some movies I watched as a teenager.
Kang Quintus ‘ next project dubbed “NGANU” which I feel is an inspiration from the name or say a person of NGANNOU pushed me to paint a picture of the author’s creative direction in my mind’s eye. This doesn’t only rest on the author’s creativity but is more of a story retold, one that highlights many African themes. Reminiscing the time when I watched Movies like KUNTA KINTE, SARAFINA, SHAKA ZULU, TIMBUKTU, HARRIETTE, PELE, and many others!
This movie surpasses the sole purpose of entertainment, the names alone are of people who stood for a just course, behind every piece is history embedded within, one that reminds people of their culture, their roots, their beliefs. One that gives a sense of purpose, hope, and lies as a backbone to the unending journey for self freedom and liberation. It’s with this expectation that I wish to see the movie NGANU takes.
As labeled in recent times and as history holds it your name is your shield, and it’s not just a name but an identity. These were some of those African movies that I develop these nostalgic feelings about every time I rewatch or come across documentaries about them because they scream AFRICA! and give its people a reason to hold onto something that will see the light someday.
If the movie scouts for or involves characters and persons that best play a role to attain its objectives then it should go in for that. The presence of popular heads such as music artists first could be seduced by the commercial appeal and the quest to heighten the influence in its marketability as well as it could be as careful selection of people who best play that role according to the script.
Like other forms of creative expressions, filmmaking embodies a form of discourse and practice which isn’t just artistic and cultural, but also intellectual and political. It is a way of defining, highlighting, and expounding African experiences with those happenings that have molded or guided their past and that continue to guide and influence the present.
It is a product of the historical experiences of Africans, and it has direct influence and relevance to the challenges that face African societies and people of African descent in the world in the present moment and the future.
I know in Cameroon history embedded in movies is one that has barely commanded attention but a steadily growing number of films in recent years understand that. A good number of African films are devoted primarily to a critical engagement in the African past to contest, visioning, and re-visioning, to invoke a particular feeling, the use movies with history to reflect crises and challenges befalling the contemporary society as well as the future state based on speculations. Stories that highlight the African past have mostly been geared towards the influence of the western world and colonization.
Now, what about telling another story of Africa? A story of Africa for Africa by an African? The one that paints more of a picture of how Africans make it big beyond just the African continent without the huge western Influence. I could be wrong with my perspective but I’m hoping that is what the movie NGANU has to offer drawing inspiration from the success story of the actor Francis N’Gannou. Such narratives of heroism in ancient Africa coincide with similar moves in African historiography of the 70s which tended to focus on Western Supremacy now what about a reverse? The year’s from now we will watch the movie and this nostalgic feeling will be ignited.
Let’s keep anticipating NGANU