Directed by Bolaji Kekere-Ekun for 37thSTATE (a media production company that produces culture & lifestyle content of the African continent), the short film is titled "Nkiru" – the director’s fun take on an age-old folktale of love and sacrifice, based on the Diaspora urban legend known as Mami Wata (Mother Water).
It’s a couple of years old, so some of you may have already seen it.
The Mami Wata legend has taken many forms throughout the African diaspora, and you’d likely hear a variety of stories of what Mami Wata truly represents if you asked enough people. In some cases, she’s actually a good spirit, or a mermaid, whose presence in any one person’s life is a sign of good fortune. Others will describe her as cunning and seductive, or protective yet dangerous, a snake charmer, or a combination of all of the above.
And just as varied are descriptions of her physical self – having long dark hair, very fair skin and compelling eyes; or, in other cases, short hair, and even bald. She may appear to her devotees (in dreams and visions) as a beautiful mermaid, complete with a tail, she is also said to walk the streets of African cities in the guise of a gorgeous but elusive woman. And the colors she most often wears are either red or white, or red and white.
Check out Bolaji’s 12-minute short film below. It could be even stronger, but, as is, I appreciate the effort on the filmmaker’s part. Plus it’s well-photographed, with all its vibrant colors, as well as the use of the location itself.
First, here’s the trailer as a tease; and underneath it, you’ll find the full short film: