By Cynthia Reid | Shadow and Act September 7, 2011 at 5:04AM
Here's a film we briefly touched on at the old S&A site. Called Soka Afrika, the documentary takes a look at the popular sport of football (soccer) via the contrasting tales of two boys. It will screen at the Raindance Film Festival in the UK on October 9th.
The film..."follows the lives of two young men chasing their dreams of sporting stardom. Kermit from South Africa and Ndomo from Cameroon take two very different paths in pursuit of their ultimate goal - a lucrative European footballing contract."
A more detailed description:
Born in a township in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Kermit Romeo Erasmus, 19, has risen from humble beginnings to a great height, signing a professional contract at 18 with Feyenoord in the Dutch league. His example is one of success brought about through the stable domestic system that exists in the World Cup host country. Just as important has been the support of a strong family, a hard working and dedicated agent, Kermit’s own mental strength and, as always, no small amount of luck.
For every Kermit, there are a thousand others who slip through the cracks. Their path is not paved with gold but riddled with exploitation. No-one knows this better than Jean Claude Mbvoumin, a former Cameroon international who forged a career in the 90’s in France. Having witnessed many examples of corruption, Jean Claude founded NGO, Culture Foot Solidaire. He and the CFS team strive to address the plight of young Africans trafficked to Europe intent on pursuing a career in professional football. One such person CFS encountered, now 18 years old, is Ndomo.
Born and raised in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Ndomo's life has been scarred by exploitation and mistreatment at the hands of those who would ride on the coat-tails of his talent. Trafficked to France as a teenager with promises to him and his family of riches beyond their imaginations, he was promptly abandoned in the streets of Paris. Despite this, Ndomo's story is one of inspiration as, fighting against all the odds, he manages to find a light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.
The doc was directed by Suridh Hassan.
For more info on the film and festival, please go HERE.