BLAFROKAN - Many Tribes, One Blood

Reclaiming Our Rites to BE

This award-winning documentary from Ivory Coast follows a group of young men who undergo an ancient coming-of-age ceremony in a remote West African forest. Their spiritual tutor is struggling to preserve the tradition of the Generation Festival at a time when young local men are increasingly indifferent to these ancestral rituals. Thanks to his efforts, ancient custom prevails and many young men in their early twenties take part in a gruelling three-week endurance test of physical and mental prowess.

Have we become lost in our own land, a result of a vision stretched across the vast seas? We are now vagabonds in media and cultural deserts, thirsting after mirages of “grandiose civilizations,” supposedly cradled and acmes in The West. Did we overlook our own African backyard? Fertile, plentiful and teeming with wellsprings of wisdom, awaiting an awakening, that we might replant ourselves. Distracted and perhaps despondent, we wander vicariously through hand held black mirrors, digital playgrounds, yearning and endeavoring to live their fantasy, striving to enrich ourselves with trinkets and symbols of opulence concealing our poverty. We desire to travel anywhere evading coming home to reality, even while standing in our own front yards.

Are we recognizable to our fore mothers and fathers? If they observed us, not the shell but from within, who would they see? A foreigner, an invader, an enslaver, the colonizer, or worst yet, an apparition. Behold the mirror of truth. Does it reflect your Ancestors; or do a vacant eyes of a strange glare, a defaced memory of African excellence, or have you become invisible?

Spirituality is reality. Reality reflects our Ancestors. Our Ancestors preserved our cultural traditions. The best of our cultural traditions produced, the pinnacle of civilization, Africa. If we are not our Ancestors, we are disillusioned, distorted or invisible to ourselves, living an alternate reality, spiritually incoherent.

The prerequisite for reconnection is a choice requiring a dose of courage to walk the path less traveled, until greater fortitude is found amongst our collective. Are we faithful enough to decide and embark into ancient cultural traditions which illuminated and fortified our Ancestors existence in perpetuity.

For those bold souls choosing to seek, remember and find their way home, therein lies contentment and confidence to live the truth our future requires us to BE, to insure our survival. 

Inspiring is the story, of young African men from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) choosing to rites to replant in the richness of their cultural traditions, Ancestors, reality and spirituality for the purpose and promise of a future mirroring themselves. 

Akachi Azubike

Akachi Azubike

Eze Nwaanyi of Blafrokan

African Vanguard | Journalist | PhotograpHer + Creative

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