Went to see Africa United over the weekend with Marie, Marie told me it was supposed to be an accurate portrayal of Africa. the opening sequence when Dudu (Eriya Ndayambaje) makes a football with a condom it made me sit up in my seat straight away as i knew this film just wasnt going to be any ordinary film. The story is that of 3 children’s road trip across Africa to Johannesburg for Fabrice (Roger Nsengiyumva), a football prodigy in the making, to be able to go out on the pitch for the opening of the World Cup. They get on a bus supposedly heading to the Rwandan capital for an audition but end up getting on the wrong bus and thats where there journey begins, they head through several African countries and have to fight the odds with so many things such as wildlife and bad guys threatening there journey and they pick up a couple of friends on there journey.
They hitch through Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa to get there and it includes many issues other continents would associate with Africa: AIDS, child soldiers, lack of schooling, war and prostitution. But it deals with them in a matter-of-fact, occasionally light-hearted fashion. I have to say it was a sobering storyline. The film was excellent and from the limited exposure i have to Africa i have to say it is pretty accurate. Considering that the main 5 actors of the film were children i have to say that the film was very well done, and its great to have a different storyline for a change rather than the usual hollywood stories where all too often sex or violence feature in some way.
We had quite a debate after the film because the one thing it got me thinking is although its an accurate portrayal, the bit that got me was Africa’s belief that condoms will solve the HIV/AIDS problem, when in reality it wont, it only treats the symptoms when the root cause is hearts need changing. Sleeping around seems to be so prevalent in Africa and all condoms do is seem to say that its ok to do that as long as you where one you wont get HIV, i honestly believe that a heart change needs to happen before the HIV/AIDS problem is going to be reduced. God is needed in so many hearts to convict them that sleeping with more than one partner is wrong before this problem will get anywhere near going away. its sad to see a generation being destroyed because of this.
I will close with this, you really should go and see this film if you dont know what the problems in africa are, in one sense it cant capture the true scale of some of the issues in africa because it would make a very dark and depressing film, however it does highlight some of the big issues in a positive way which is so refreshing given that we only hear about these stories so often in a negative light or once or twice a year at fundraising events. It’s quite exciting to actually see positive culture shaping films making mainstream cinema