THEATRE guru, Daves Guzha has joined forces with local arts director and filmmaker, Simon Bright and Nigerian film director, Jahman Anikulapo for a documentary project titled the Great Trading Empires of Africa, which is meant to provide a deeper knowledge of the continent’s ancient kingdoms.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
In an interview with NewsDay Life &Style, on the sidelines of the project launch recently, Guzha said the pilot project would focus on the six empires — Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Mali, South Africa, Tanzania and Nigeria — while the full project will include Angolan, Brazilian, Ethiopian and Sudanese empires.
“We have, for the first time, shared the totality of the project Great Trading Empires of Africa itself with some stakeholders and those in the creative industry,” he said.
“The focus of this project is mainly looking at these six empires trade and their global impact.
“The overall objective is to re-discover these histories, obliterated by the twin scourges of slavery and colonialism, and compare the story of African empires in the context of historical and modern global trading networks with Europe, Asia and South America.”
Guzha said Zimbabwe’s focus would be on Great Zimbabwe and Mapungugwe, South Africa on Boomplaas Caves, Tanzanian on Kilwa, while Mali, Ethiopia and Nigeria’s focus would be on Timbuktu, Djenné, Kush and the Oyo empire, respectively.
“The project will impact the academia, undergraduates, school children and the wider public, as they can all be able to use and contribute to these missing histories because they are fascinating histories that can inspire great trading empires of the future,” he said.
Guzha said they were still negotiating with potential broadcasters for the airing of the documentaries, which will be 30 minutes long for television and five minutes long for mobile phones, adding that the documentaries will also be available on different online platforms.