Africa On Film – ‘We Need to Be the Hero’

Queen of Katwe
Photo: Queen of Katwe

Atlanta, United States - Mohamed Echkouna is on a mission to control your mind. The 24-year-old filmmaker says that film is a way to influence emotions and shape perspectives.

"It's like doing brain surgery without opening up the brain," he says with a smirk. "The way things come together to make a film, it's magical."

Through film, Echkouna wants to change the way people think about Africa. He has a profound attachment to the continent of his birth.

On his phone are tracks by Senegalese, Nigerian and Malian musicians. He talks at length about the glorious sound of the kora, the 21-stringed harp lute instrument of the Mandinka people.

"If you hear the kora, you wouldn't think that it comes from Earth. It sounds heavenly," he says with a wistful nod of his head.

Clearing his voice, he says, "I'm a light-skinned Arab by skin. By identity, I'm African."

Building an identity

His journey of self-discovery involved challenging what he believes is a steady flow of propaganda from the international media that has distorted perceptions of Africa and Africans.

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