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New Kenyan Sci-Fi Series Imagines Immigration In Reverse, As Africa Becomes World’s Oasis

by Tambay A. Obenson
November 26, 2013 11:55 AM
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While the production values may not immediately impress, I'm always appreciative of attempts to wander off the beaten path, turning conventional ideas on their heads, when it comes to Diaspora film/TV/web series/etc.

And this is one story that definitely intrigues. 

In short, a new Kenyan sci-fi TV series titled Usoni, which is set in a future world in which continental Africa becomes the world’s oasis, as the rest of civilization is in darkness, thanks to the absence of the sun, is set to make its premiere this week.

The series takes on the immigration debate head-on, by imagining a world in which Africa is the most coveted continent, attracting immigrants from outside Africa, because it's the place on the map that the sun reaches.

Here's a breakdown courtesy of Kenya-based Tech Moran, where the story originated.

At a time when Africa receives 50,000 Greencard Lottery wins each year to migrate to the US alone, this new production series seeks to address ongoing immigration issues within the world. It is also expected to change the negative portrayal of Africa as a poverty stricken continent to that of an avenue for development, of which, would gradually discourage youth from seeking “greener pastures” abroad. As the brain child of Dr. Marc Rigaudis, directed by Cherie Lindiwe from USIU, the new plot revolves around a young couple embarking on a treacherous journey to reach mankind’s last cradle of hope, Africa. However, the couple must beat the impossible odds, experience great sacrifice yet keep their faith before their goal can be achieved.

Essentially, a story of immigration, but instead of the expected Africans seeking better opportunities abroad, the series paints a portrait of how it would look if the reverse were to happen. 

“We are trying to push the boundaries in terms of production in Kenya also noting that Kenya has good quality productions,” said Usoni Producer Denver Ochieng.

The pilot episode will debut tomorrow, November 27, 2013 at the USIU auditorium in Nairobi, Kenya. USIU is a university in the country, and where the project actually originates.

The screening is open to the students and public. 

I'll expect it to be made available online soon thereafter, so that the rest of the world can see it. And once that happens, I'll share it here.

In the meantime, check out the trailer below (h/t to our friends at Afrofuturist Affair):

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  • deecreative | November 27, 2013 7:25 PMReply

    with a higher production value this show could be great!!

  • jeni | November 27, 2013 4:54 PMReply

    Coincidentally, I was just listening to a BBC podcast about immigration politics in Melilla, Spanish Morocco, yesterday. Timely project. Thanks for sharing.

  • Aaron | November 27, 2013 8:26 AMReply

    I had an idea for a screenplay about this. I'm still going to write my interpretation on this though to keep the discussion going. I will definitely check this out. Kudos!

  • J | November 26, 2013 12:56 PMReply

    We don't have to imagine "a world in which Africa is the most coveted continent," because we are living in it and have been for some centuries now. I have to restrain my fingers from expounding on this truth.

    I will definitely be checking for this pilot.

  • brian | December 3, 2013 6:48 PM

    !!! Chuuuch

  • Dave | November 27, 2013 8:35 AM

    @J: Best. Comment. Ever.

  • urbanauteur | November 26, 2013 3:18 PM

    I'm with you on that..;-)

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