A Tale of 2 African Cities is an initiative of Ayoola Shadare’s Inspiro Productions. It has already received endorsement by the South African High Commission, Lagos. The idea is conceived as a platform for the exposition of arts/culture, tourism and business with participants drawn from both countries.
Following the ‘yellow card‘ immigration row that threatened the bond between Nigeria and South Africa, this is considered a good step in the right direction to bringing both nations closer again.
The fusion showcase is billed to run alternately in both cities of Lagos and Johannesburg. It will be staged at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, from October 3 to 6, 2012, while Johannesburg will play host to the South African leg early next year. The economic and social roles of both cities in shaping trends in Africa will be the major highlight of the package.
Three of Nigeria’s notable motion picture producers and directors, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Tunde Kelani and Kunle Afolayan are part of the programme. Their films Tango with Me (Ali-Balogun), Maami (Kelani) and Phone Swap (Afolayan) have been selected to be screened at the event that is broadly designed to celebrate a planned two-legged Nigerian/South African week.
According to Ayoola Shadare, “The idea is to showcase the essence, character and culture of two of Africa’s leading cities through this fusion showcase of arts/culture, business and tourism and the three films we have curated from Nigeria and Johannesburg fits the bill”.
The South African Ambassador to Nigeria, Kingsley Mamabolo, had this to say about the initiative, “This is a good way of dealing with the problem of perception, which has become a challenge to both countries. We are very happy that there is this project, which is being organised by Inspiro Productions and the South African Mission because we need to deal with those issues that hamper the development of our nations. We can only do that by people-to-people engagements; no amount of government relations alone is going to help. You can’t say it should be on the political level or it should be trade pure and simple”.