An African City is a web series launched in 2014, created and written by Nicole Amarteifio. Born in Accra, Ghana, but raised in New York, Nicole felt that everything on television about Africa was negative. She felt that the amazing Ghanaian and Nigerian women in her life were never highlighted in Western media. So, she took it upon herself to create a showcase to raise the visibility of these women. Enter Nana, Sade, Makena, Zainab and Ngozi – women in bustling Ghana dressed in trademarks of African fashion (their American counterparts known as Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha – got the picture?).
Inspired by Sex and the City, Nicole based her characters on what each of the American counterparts would look like if they were Ghanaian. She also got inspiration from shows like “Real Housewives” although her goal was to show female friendships without fighting, throwing or punching. Nicole seeks to show a sisterhood reinforcing a loving togetherness. In addition, she seeks to try and incorporate real-world issues into the show. For example, one of the characters is hesitant when looking at a condo when the real estate agent tells her it may not always have electricity, although the price is comparable to a Western luxury property. In Accra, the sustainable availability of water or electricity is not guaranteed.
According to Nicole, the most educated immigrant group is African in the US. This is why her lead characters were all educated in Ivy League schools. She hopes to dispel the stereotypes by highlighting another reality. Whether or not the show changes Western viewers perceptions of Ghana as being poor, many African Americans who have been taught not to be proud of their roots have watched the show and now feel proud of who they are. According to Nicole, some have visited or even moved to Ghana.
Nicole feels the story of single women is universal – it’s tough, has a lot of heartbreak, surprises, and battles of self-love and respect. The show is about being a single women, African or not.
Source: Washington Post, Monica Leftwich, 9/2016