Ben Affleck gave a TED talk last week about why the Congo isn’t hopeless. This on the heels of his being awarded some sort of prize from the union he belongs to, and more or less during the same week that the Congolese army, apparently not having heard the news, once again ceded territory to the rebels without putting up a fight.The talk isn’t online yet; I assume that the TED folks are dressing it up with their usual multimedia pizazz. I wonder whether Affleck’s speech is based on Charles’ Kenney’s thoughtful 2011 essay or Prendergast’s tiresome take on the same. I’m glad to see Affleck give the Kinshasa Orchestra a nod; I’d like to think my drum-beating on their behalf helped.It’s terribly easy to make fun of movie stars attempting to do good. They meander into disaster zones like cows wandering through a firing range, secure in the belief that their good intentions will see them through. They are as unable to imagine that they could do anything harmful as that anything harmful could ever happen to them. In the end, generally speaking, they are not so much unhelpful as useless: Did anything come of Nicole Richie’s 2009 intervention in the DRC? Even the more thoughtful celebrities often end up accomplishing little. Several times I’ve seen
RogerGeorge Clooney attempt to draw attention to South Sudan by travelling there. Each time, the accompanying camera crew focused entirely on him, all but cropping Africa out of the picture. For celebrities, working with the media must be like costarring with dogs: they’ll follow you anywhere, but the more emphatically you point in the direction you want them to look, the more obsessed they become with your finger.
Ndani TV’s newest web series “Gidi Up” tells the story of four friends living in Lagos in pursuit of success in their professional and personal lives. The show is somewhat reminiscent of “Shuga” as a depiction of young adults and their trials and tribulations and warrants a viewing for 3 reasons:
- Quality: The production quality of this show is amazing. The cinematography depicts a visually beautiful Lagos, which we don’t see enough. The editing is excellent, showcasing that in spite of popular conceptions (somewhat emphasized by a lot of Nollywood films), Nigerians know how to make good quality productions.
- Honesty: As many have expressed, the first episode of “Gidi Up” seems pretty shallow, but now that we’re 3 episodes in, it’s clear that the series is not going to gloss over the crass decisions young people can make. Yvonne’s storyline (the fashion designer) is particularly indicative of this.
- Experimental: We love, love, love that the series highlights young Nigerians pursuing careers that aren’t the typical professions: banker, engineer, doctor. Rather we get to watch young creatives pursuing their unconventional and artistic careers and it definitely adds an extra layer to the show.
The ‘gidi’ in “Gidi Up” refers to the popular term “Las Gidi” meaning the “real Lagos” and we have to say that from what we’ve seen so far, the show is staying true to its name. Check out episodes 1-3 below and stay tuned for episode 4 coming March 20th!- OkayAfrica.com