Fresh Outlook for Africa in Queen of Katwe

When you go out to watch a film based on Africa, you will, more often than not, be taken through a pathetic narration of hunger, war and the general painful ravages of poverty bedeviling a backward continent. Well, the recently released Queen of Katwe takes a path of its own in its makers’ effort to tell the true African story. According to recent interviews on BBC involving the stars featured in the movie, the new film not only gives an uplifting portrayal of the continent but it’s also deeply refreshing.


Victory and Achievements of Dreams


Queen of Katwe is based on a true story of a young Ugandan girl, Phiona Mutesi, who realizes her dream of making it big in chess championships in spite of her slum-dwelling background. Directed by Mira Nair, the film is a compassionate narration of the success born out of struggles and hope. British actor David oyelwo said that past African stories have dwelt too much on the political aspect with focus on dictatorship, devastating wars as well as the inevitable wiping out of whole populations by disease. Queen of Katwe on the other hand, he said, is a story of African victory which anyone can identify with.


An Honest Depiction of Africa


For a long time, narrators of the African story have painted a grim picture of the hopelessness of a continent that is always in need of help. However, Oscar-award holder, Lupita Nyong’o who stars in the film as Phiona’s mother said that Queen of Katwe’s depiction of Africa is the honest one. According to the actress, the film is a powerful inspiration for Africans to take the lead in their own matters and solve their own problems.


Hopefully, Queen of Katwe has begun a new era in film-making, especially in regard to embracing of diversity when telling the African story. Oyelowo is confident that, although too long in coming, movie goers will now be given a chance to see the other side of Africa. He singled out Disney, Pathe and Film4 as the companies in the forefront in the quest to promote a more positive image of the continent.

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