Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Orlando Jones Says Goodbye to 'Sleepy Hollow' Orlando Jones Says Goodbye to 'Sleepy Hollow' Here's the Character Lupita Nyong'o Plays in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' + Jar Jar Binks Dead? Here's the Character Lupita Nyong'o Plays in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' + Jar Jar Binks Dead? Dee Rees Talks Making of 'Bessie,' Her Approach, Challenges as a Black Female Director, Filmmaker Tips, More... Dee Rees Talks Making of 'Bessie,' Her Approach, Challenges as a Black Female Director, Filmmaker Tips, More... Weekend B.O. May 1-3 (The $187 Million Disappointment) Weekend B.O. May 1-3 (The $187 Million Disappointment) Deon Cole, Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall and Eve Join 'Barbershop 3' Cast Deon Cole, Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall and Eve Join 'Barbershop 3' Cast A New Month Begins with New Titles Added to Netflix's Streaming Library. Here Are Your Options... A New Month Begins with New Titles Added to Netflix's Streaming Library. Here Are Your Options... Newcomer Kascion Franklin Lands Lead Role in BBC Drama Feature 'Danny and the Human Zoo' with Destiny Ekaragha Directing Newcomer Kascion Franklin Lands Lead Role in BBC Drama Feature 'Danny and the Human Zoo' with Destiny Ekaragha Directing Taraji P Henson Thanks UK Fans for Illegally Streaming 'Empire' Which Led to Its Pickup + UK Reactions to the Show Taraji P Henson Thanks UK Fans for Illegally Streaming 'Empire' Which Led to Its Pickup + UK Reactions to the Show A New Film Studio Grows in Uganda - Wakaliwood A New Film Studio Grows in Uganda - Wakaliwood You Will Be Moved By the Atmospheric First Full Trailer for 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' You Will Be Moved By the Atmospheric First Full Trailer for 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Wendell Pierce Will Play Clarence Thomas Opposite Kerry Washington's Anita Hill in HBO's 'Confirmation,' Directed by Rick Famuyiwa Wendell Pierce Will Play Clarence Thomas Opposite Kerry Washington's Anita Hill in HBO's 'Confirmation,' Directed by Rick Famuyiwa Crowdfund This: Feature Film, 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' Crowdfund This: Feature Film, 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' Indie Box Office: How Did the Queen Latifah Exec Produced Indie Drama 'Brotherly Love' Do? Indie Box Office: How Did the Queen Latifah Exec Produced Indie Drama 'Brotherly Love' Do? Watch 'Deadpan' - an Early Short Work by Steve McQueen Inspired by Buster Keaton Watch 'Deadpan' - an Early Short Work by Steve McQueen Inspired by Buster Keaton Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Watch 'Nkiru' - Nigerian Fantasy Short Film Based On Mami Wata Legend

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 15, 2013 at 10:42AM

We posted a trailer for this short film on the old S&A site - this must have been in 2010/2011 - and, as I recall, a few of you were intrigued by what you saw in those 45 few seconds.
3
Nkiru

We posted a trailer for this short film on the old S&A site - this must have been in 2010/2011 - and, as I recall, a few of you were intrigued by what you saw in those 45 few seconds.

I'd forgotten all about the film since then, and was reminded of it this morning while researching for another post on Nigerian cinema, when I came across the full short film, which was uploaded to YouTube just this past December.

It's embedded below, so check it out.

As a recap.. the film was directed by Bolaji Kekere-Ekun for 37thSTATE (a media production company that produces African culture & lifestyle content), and is titled Nkiru - the director's fun take on an age-old African folktale of love and sacrifice, based on the Diaspora urban legend known as Mami Wata (Mother Water).

As a kid growing up in Nigeria many years ago, my memories of Mami Wata are that she was some kind of an evil spirit who would come from the ocean and snatch up people who'd done bad things, returning to the ocean with them, to be never seen again. At least that's the story we were told as kids (among many others), as I recall, by the grownups, in an attempt to get us to good children.

But the legend has taken many forms throughout the African diaspora, and you'd likely hear a variety of stories of what Mami Wata truly represents. In some cases, she's actually a good spirit, or a mermaid, whose presence in any one person's life is a sign of good fortune.

Others will describe her as cunning and seductive, or protective yet dangerous, a snake charmer, or a combination of all of the above.

And just as varied are descriptions of her physical self - having long dark hair, very fair skin and compelling eyes; or in other cases, short hair, and even bald; she may appear to her devotees (in dreams and visions) as a beautiful mermaid, complete with a tail, she is also said to walk the streets of modern African cities in the guise of a gorgeous but elusive woman. And the colors she most often wears are either red or white, or red and white. Those 2 colors seem to be the most dominant in all the various tales of the legend.

But check out Bolaji's 12-minute short film below; while I could point out the problems I saw in it, I won't this time, and instead say that I appreciate the effort on the filmmaker's part. Plus it's well-photographed, with all its vibrant colors, as well as the use of the location itself.

I'll be watching Bolaji's progress from here-on, and would like to see what came after (or will come after) Nkiru.

First, here's the trailer as a reminder; and underneath it, you'll find the full short film:


Shadow & ActNewsletter