[AFRICAN CONNECTION]<br />
âAn African Cityâ Gives Ghana Its Own âGirlfriendsâ<br />

The sexy, elegant cast of ‘An African City’

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I think men in Africa as a whole would probably watch that particular episode and think it’s ridiculous to be dumped for such silly pet peeves. But whether they admit it or not, they also become aware that we as women are not so desperate that we have to stay with a man for the sake of just having one. It’s a great way to start that dialogue.

EBONY: The show delves into the inconveniences that others might view as “normal” in Africa (water rationing, sporadic electricity) and even ventures into the taboo. How do you see An African City challenging cultural norms? Will this be the show that helps to define what’s considered a compliment across country borders?

MM: I actually felt blessed to have lived in Ghana on and off and deal with these inconveniences. Seeing the lights go off or sometimes having to buy water just to shower definitely prepared me for traveling around the world to other countries. It can certainly get annoying from time to time, especially when you become accustomed to a certain way of life. But it also increases your appreciation for the conveniences that you do have and helps you to not take it for granted.

One thing that started happening since living in both Ghana and New York is, when I was in Ghana I would miss the East Coast terribly but found that the same thing would happen. And I’d miss Ghana while in New York. I developed an appreciation for both, good and bad.

NA: The show is just a show. When I grew up in the States, I spent much of my life in predominantly White neighborhoods. In school, when a “Black issue” came up, I would feel the heads of the teacher and all my classmates turn to face me—as if I, a Black human being, must then have all the answers to that issue.

Since the launch of the show, I’m starting to feel that same pressure again. Some of the critics who look at me see a Ghanaian woman and then say, “The show must do this. The show must do that. The show must be this!” for all women on the entire continent. I agree that I do want the show to break some ground. But I also think it’s OK if sometimes an episode is not looking at a serious issue. Sometimes it’s just about having a few laughs. It’s absolutely okay to laugh.

Kevin L. Clark is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer. You can find him on Twitter @HassanFvckry.