Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

A behind-the-scenes photo of filming at the Yegna Ethiopian Cuisine and Coffee restaurant in Calgary, AB. // Photo courtesy of The African Family/Facebook.

New Afro-Canadian TV show filming in Calgary

By Roxane El Makhzoumi, December 4 2020—

Calgary has a new TV show being filmed on its streets. The African Family is an upcoming show in the drama genre and it is projected to appear on our screens very soon.

This show is special because it features an almost exclusively Black cast and crew, which is quite refreshing to many Canadians. The actors are originally from many different African countries but also represent young Calgarian Black youth. The show’s producer, Sylvester Ndumbi, believes in keeping his work local and familiar. 

Since similar shows have been shot in other Canadian cities — Toronto and Vancouver come to mind— but Ndumbi decided it was finally Calgary’s turn to show African culture in a different light. According to Africans in America, the story follows a “young African-Canadian woman, who recently sponsored her husband from Angola, and discovers the truth about their marriage.” The crew will have to find a TV network to showcase The African Family, and are hopeful to have it on the air by next September.

The production itself has been more than welcomed in Calgary. It has helped local businesses by featuring their stores and locations on tape, as well as investing $200,000 into the province’s economy and giving out 50 new jobs. Aside from the economic aspect, Canadian-African youth are excited to see a story presented by their community in the spotlight. It is important for Canada to equally broadcast television programs with cultural stories in the media. Ddumbi, being Afro-Canadian himself, is doing a great job including his culture into the lives of our Black youth. 

We would love to see more of his work in the future, as well as any other ethnic producers working hard to create a new perspective into Black culture. We look forward to catching The African Family on the small screen!

Photo of Chidi (Morountodun “Todun” Okedara) and Wewe (Emily Ugwadu) filming at the Malcolm Hotel in Canmore, AB. // Photo courtesy of The African Family/Facebook.

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