2016: Nakom: Torn between tradition and city life

Tom Cipolla
2016-06-21 17:06
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Movie: Nakom (Ghana)
Director: Kelly Daniela Norris, TW Pittman
Starring: Jacob Ayanaba, Grace Ayariga, Shetu Musah, Dinah Assan

English subtitles

Nakom, is an immersive and enriching story, filmed against the infinite skies and plains of Ghana.

Written by Isaac Adakudugu and TW Pittman, it follows the story of an aspiring medical student, Iddrisu (Jacob Ayanaba) who is abruptly removed from his girlfriend and metropolitan ambitions when he receives a call from his younger sister Damata (Grace Ayariga).

Iddrisu’s father has passed away, and he must return home – the eldest son – to perform his duties in handling the funeral and watching over his family.

It’s a conflicting situation that an African audience can identify with – this conflict between custom and personal goals.

Upon his arrival in the village of Nakom, he finds that the family’s state of affairs is deteriorating and the future of the homestead looks bleak. The family’s crops are weak, and tension is rife.

His father had fallen into debt to Iddrisu’s Uncle Napoleon (Thomas Kulidu), who threatens to claim their household if the money is not found. Iddrisu’s younger brother Kamal (Abdul Aziz) has become foolish and lazy; exchanging his family duties for drink while Damata has not been able to attend school while Iddrisu pursued his dreams in the city.

Not to mention the fact that Iddrisu’s mother (Justina Kulidu) refuses to interact with her late husband’s second, “junior wife” (Shetu Musah).

Iddrisu’s patience and leadership qualities are put to the test.

The film tracks a sharp contrast between Iddrisu’s urban life in town and his life at home in the rural village of Nakom. His knowledge of the outside world causes conflict for himself as he deals with the problems of a traditional village. Yet it could also unlock a deeper understanding of himself.

Our protagonist’s uplifting revival of his family’s life draws the attention of the chief of the village, which feeds into the climax of the story.

This film is humbling, energising, funny and sad all at once. The cinematography capturing the beauty of the African landscape (an enduring, old school motif in our films) and is carried by a beautiful and original soundtrack from West African artist Daby Balde.

This authentic portrayal of the richness of Ghanaian culture as told in the indigenous Kulaasi dialogue, provides much humour and warmth.

» Nakom screens at the Durban International Film Festival on Thursday at the Nu Metro cinema complex at 7pm.

» This story emanates from the Centre for Communication, Media and Society, Student Media Lab in partnership with City Press #Trending. Visit ccms.ac.za to find out more