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African Culture Comes Alive in ‘African Folktales Reimagined’

The series showcases African mythology and folklore in a modern way as tribute to the rich cultural heritage of the continent.
May 4, 2023
10:47 pm

The African Folktales Reimagined series offers a beautiful celebration of African culture and storytelling. The six-part series showcases the diversity and depth of African mythology and folklore while highlighting the creativity and talent of up-and-coming African filmmakers. Each episode offers a unique and fresh take on an ancient story or folktale, reimagining it for a modern audience. The series is not only entertaining but also educational, providing a window into the rich cultural heritage of the continent.


One of the standout features of the series is its excellent cinematography. From the stunning aerial shots taken in Katope to the breath-taking landscapes of the rural South African countryside in Mamlambo, the series boasts a visually stunning portrayal of Africa. As a result, the cinematography captures the essence of the stories, transporting viewers to the heart of the tales and immersing them in the rich cultural environments of the continent.


Another notable aspect of the series is the exquisite costumes and sets that are true to the stories’ cultural origins. The attention to detail in the costumes and sets brings the stories to life, creating an authentic and immersive experience for viewers. The costumes range from traditional African attire to more contemporary designs that reflect the fusion of traditional and modern culture in Africa.


The characters in the series are well-portrayed, and the actors deliver excellent performances that bring their roles to life. Whether it is the young Katope in Tanzania, the strong-willed Anyango in Kenya, or the traumatized Amanda in South Africa, each character’s journey is portrayed with depth and sensitivity. The actors’ performances breathe life into these ancient stories, making them relevant and relatable to a modern audience.


The series’ themes are also a significant highlight. The themes range from love, betrayal, and redemption to societal issues like gender-based violence and poverty. The stories offer a fresh perspective on these themes, presenting them through the lens of African mythology and folklore. The series’ themes offer a rich tapestry of experiences that are sure to resonate with viewers from all walks of life.


While each episode is unique and engaging, some stand out more than others. Katera of the Punishment Island, for instance, explores the devastating impact of colonialism on the people of Uganda. Halima’s Choice, on the other hand, offers a thought-provoking look at the ethics of genetic engineering. Anyango and the Ogre, with its powerful depiction of a mother’s love, is a standout episode that is sure to tug at viewers’ heartstrings.


Despite its many strengths, the series does have some shortcomings. Some of the episodes suffer from poor pacing, leaving viewers feeling disconnected from the story’s emotional beats. The lack of character development in some episodes also detracts from the overall impact of the stories.


However, perhaps the most significant aspect of African Folktales Reimagined is its role in preserving and promoting African culture. Through its partnership with UNESCO, Netflix has provided a platform for African filmmakers to showcase their talent and share their stories with the world. By reimagining these ancient tales for a modern audience, the series ensures that they will continue to be passed down from generation to generation, keeping Africa’s rich cultural heritage alive for years to come.


It is also worth noting the impact that African Folktales Reimagined can have on the representation of African cultures in the media. Too often, African cultures are either misrepresented or ignored altogether in mainstream media. By showcasing the beauty and complexity of African mythology and folklore, the series challenges these stereotypes and offers a more nuanced and accurate portrayal of the continent and its people.


In this sense, African Folktales Reimagined is not only a celebration of African culture but also a call to action for the media industry generally. It highlights the importance of diversity and representation in storytelling and serves as a reminder that there are countless stories and perspectives that are still waiting to be told.


The African Folktales Reimagined series is not only a triumph for African cinema but also crucial step towards cultural representation and diversity in the entertainment industry. By showcasing the beauty and richness of African culture and mythology, the series challenges Western-centric narratives and offers a fresh and authentic perspective on the continent.


In conclusion, African Folktales Reimagined is a series that is as entertaining as it is educational. Through its powerful themes, stunning visuals, and compelling characters, it offers a window into the richness and diversity of African culture and storytelling. But it is also a reminder of the importance of preserving and promoting these traditions for future generations, and a call to action for the media industry to do better in representing the cultures and perspectives of people around the world.


It is a must-watch series for anyone interested in African mythology, folklore, and storytelling, and a testament to the power of storytelling to unite and inspire us all.


Loukman Ali – Uganda

Katera of the Punishment Island (Uganda)

Release date: 29 March 2023

Runtime: 27 minutes

Streaming service: Netflix

Director: Loukman Ali

Cast: Kababito Tracy, Michael Wawuyo Jnr, Michael John Wawuyo, River Dan Rugaju, Arnold Mubangizi, Kamya Ali, and others.

TNR Scorecard:
Halima’s Choice – Korede Azeez

Halima’s Choice (Nigeria)

Release date: 29 March 2023

Runtime: 24 minutes, 8 seconds

Streaming service: Netflix

Director: Korede Azeez

Cast: Habiba Ummi Mohamed, Adam Garba, Sani Muazu, Hadiza Mohamed, Tijani Faraga, and Umar Gombe

TNR Scorecard:
Vaoline Ogutu Kenya DAY 5 OF SHOOT

Anyango and the Ogre (Kenya)

Release date: 29 March 2023

Runtime: 18 minutes, 11 seconds

Streaming service: Netflix

Director: Violine Ogutu

Cast: Trevor Jones Kamau, Sarah Hassan, Jewel Furaha, Lucarelli Oyango, Prince Mwangi, and Wakio Mzenge

TNR Scorecard:
Mohammed Echkouna from Mauritania

Enmity Djinn (Mauritania)

Release date: 29 March 2023

Runtime: 19 minutes, 24 seconds

Streaming service: Netflix

Director: Mohamed Echkouna

Cast: Fatma Mohamed Ali, and others

TNR Scorecard:


Katope (Tanzania)

Release date: 29 March 2023

Runtime: 13 minutes, 31 seconds

Streaming service: Netflix

Director: Walter Mzengi

Cast: Raveley Matete, Jane Mahenyela Chesco Yalamyu, and others

TNR Scorecard:
Walt Mzengi Corey – Tanzania and wife producer Rebecca Mzengi

Mamlambo (South Africa)

Release date: 29 March 2023

Runtime: 20 minutes, 40 seconds

Streaming service: Netflix

Director: Walter Mzengi

Cast: Simphwe Dana and Zikhona Bali

TNR Scorecard:


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