Soka Afrika

Football may in many ways be a great leveller, but the experiences of sporting hopefuls in Africa can differ wildly, as this documentary shows. Following the contrasting tales of two boys, it shows how football can offer salvation from poverty for some – and a devastating fantasy for others.
Country: UK Runtime: 76 mins Director(s): Suridh Hassan
Cast: Ndomo Sabo, Kermit Erasmus, Jean Claude Mbvoumin

FILM FESTIVALS: Raindance Film Festival 2011

RAINDANCE REVIEW:

Many boys dream of becoming a football star but when such fantasies meet extreme poverty it can be a dangerous mix. Some young men, such as Kermit from South Africa, will meet trustworthy agents who want to support and nurture them. Many others will be duped and trafficked abroad.

One such unfortunate youth is Ndomo from Cameroon. Promised that their son would find his fortune through his talent overseas, Ndomo’s parents agreed to sell their families inheritance in order to ‘invest’ in a plane ticket to send him away. Dumped on the streets of Paris, he found not a glittering footballing career but a life of suffering and loneliness – yet through a charity set up by Cameroonian football player Jean Claude Mbvoumin, he has been able to rebuild his life.

There is a vibrancy and polish in this film’s production, thanks in part to the quirky illustrations that set the tone from the start. Combined with an uplifting soundtrack and an in-depth approach to storytelling, Soka Afrika is sure to delight anyone intrigued by the background to South Africa’s World Cup.

Abi Smith

AVAILABILITY: United Kingdom and Eire only

“Visually rich and engaging… Amazing” BBC
“Watch it, share it, and help spread the word!” Hollywood News
“Fascinating… staggering… Insightful film making…★★★★” Filmoria
“Stylish..Eye-opening….Hoop Dreams with studs on.” Empire