It’s not exactly “The Apprentice in Africa,” but it’s the first thing I thought of when I initially heard about this new documentary series from Al Jazeera English, titled Tutu’s Children.
The news came on the heels of last fall’s announcement that the Mo Ibrahim Prize For Achievement failed to award a winner for the 3rd time in 6 years – a prize that’s awarded to African leaders of state who “deliver security, health, education and economic development to their constituents, and who democratically transfer power to their successor.”
It also followed Uongozi – the new Kenyan political reality show that seeks to create a virtual national Kenyan election and campaign process on prime time television, with the heart of the show being the desire to identify potential new young political leaders.
Al Jazeera’s Tutu’s Children features four hour-long documentaries that follow the exploits of 25 participants in the leadership program that Desmond Tutu leads, which attempts to build a new network of African leaders who are together committed to tackling their countries’ most stubborn problems.
The 25 participants are put through group tasks designed to reveal their strengths and weaknesses.
Their opinions are constantly challenge in debates on the most controversial *African issues* – racial hierarchy, corruption, privilege, and Western democracy to name a few.
The so-called experiment also pushes each of them out of their comfort zones emotionally, culturally and intellectually.
The young leaders were followed in their home cities as well as during the coaching, with filming in Tunis, Cape Town, Kigali, Johannesburg, Oxford and London, over a period of seven months.
Al Jazeera director of programmes Paul Eedle said, “Tutu’s Children offers a rare chance to witness a turning point in the lives of those who may one day change the course of Africa’s history. The travails of our fantastic onscreen characters will entertain and will also give our viewers a strong glimpse into the big issues affecting Africa.”
This series actually aired in January, for 4 four weeks, and each episode is available online to watch in full, so check out all 4 of them embedded below. I watched the first, and I’m encouraged enough to watch the rest eventually, which I will.
Each is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour long.