Initially it was very difficult for me to imagine a sci-fi story set in Africa… because all the sci-fi I’d been exposed to… had been western sci-fi… mainly centered around the future of the West. It was extremely difficult for me to imagine a future Africa. And when I tried, I even thought that some of the ideas I had were frankly patronizing.
Words from Ghanaian sci-fi writer Jonathan Dotse (who blogs at AfroCyberPunk) from the recent 25-minute BBC Radio documentary below that asks whether science fiction is coming to Africa or if it’s already here.
And even though my initial reaction to the hyperbolic BBC doc title specifically was negative (Is Science Fiction Coming To Africa?), I appreciated and learned from the conversations that followed, as host Lauren Beukes (the South African author and winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction in 2011, for her novel Zoo City, which is being adapted for the screen) chats with filmmakers Neill Blomkamp (South Africa – director of District 9) and Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya – director of Pumzi), blogger/writer Jonathan Dotse (Ghana), author Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria/USA – her novel Who Fears Death is being adapted for the screen via Kisha Cameron-Dingle’s production shingle, with Wanuri Kahiu attached the direct) and others.
Topics covered center on how their particular experiences have influenced their work, as well as some consideration for the artistic and cultural movement deemed Afrofuturism.
It’s a good listen, so give it an ear: