If you’re someone who’s lived abroad and then returned home, even if just ‘for a visit’, you’ve no doubt had to deal with scrutiny from family members, friends and even local strangers who think you’ve “changed”. You’re either getting too fat, becoming too American/British/European, or are no longer “insert nationality here” enough and the list goes on.
For women, there’s even more to it. Once you’ve been out on your own and discovered your ability to make life decisions for yourself, returning home can be quite a humbling experience and that’s just one of the many issues the new web series, An African City explores in its first 2 seasons.
*please note: adult content – viewer discretion is advised*
Some have called the show, Sex and the City but in Ghana, but An African City is more than just cosmos, sex and relationships. Created by Nicole Amarteifio, An African City tells the stories of five women trying to reintegrate themselves into daily Ghanaian life after time spent living abroad.
A native Ghanaian who has lived and studied in the U.S., Amarteifio said what’s important for her is to own the narrative around young women and her country.
“I was inspired to create An African City because I was tired of the single story of Africa. I was tired of the reoccurring conversation about my country, about poverty and famine. So I said, ‘let me do something different’.” – Nicole Amarteifio
Amarteifio is just one of many millennials who is working toward changing the way Africans are seen around the world. In the show, Nana Yaa, Ṣadé, Zainab, Makena, and Ngozi go about their daily lives as they would if they were still living in Boston, London, or D.C. They go to work, run their own businesses, shop, work out, go out on dates, and make time for each other to talk about their individual experiences living in Accra.
Conversations range from confrontations about their natural hair, sexism, and skin bleaching, to talking (very) openly about their sex lives. Nothing it seems is out of bounds for these savvy, single ladies. While always wanting to be entertaining, the show does try to provide insights into the everyday life in Accra as a way to educate those who may only know of the ‘single story’ Amarteifio warns against as being so harmful to the perception of life in Africa. For the women on the continent and throughout the diaspora, the show provides a platform where topics that were once seen as taboo, can be openly talked about.
The show also serves as a conversation starter for serious social issues as well. In Episode 9 from season one, the girls confront a group of men about their belief that a person can, “look too good to have HIV” as a reason why they don’t use protection during intercourse. The episode uses this as a way to address the risks associated with having unprotected sex and the impact of HIV/AIDS on the continent.
With Season 2 just having finished and viewership increasing from around the world, Amarteifio said she hopes to grow the show’s brand and that there’s much more in store for fans,
“It’s been great, I think people have really appreciated a new fresh storyline about the continent and about my country Ghana. We have over 2 million views on YouTube. We get emails from Africans around the world, we get emails from Koreans, people who live in Puerto Rico, all appreciating that we’re turning the experience. What’s next? hopefully another season and other tv projects that are bulldozing the single story of Africa.”