Black Women in Cinema: Yaba Badoe


Yaba Badoe talks about her experiences as writer and filmmaker, her film The Witches of Gambaga and its reception, and her current documentary project about the renowned Ghanaian writer, Ama Ata Aidoo.

Yaba, tell us a bit about yourself, your experiences with cinema growing up in Ghana.

I’m a Ghanaian–British documentary filmmaker and writer. After graduating from King’s College, Cambridge University, I worked as a civil servant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ghana, before returning to the UK to do a second degree. I then became a General Trainee with the BBC. I’ve taught in Spain and Jamaica and worked as a producer and director for the main terrestrial channels in Britain. My TV credits include Black and White, a ground-breaking investigation into race and racism in Bristol, using hidden cameras for BBC1; I Want Your Sex, an arts documentary exploring images and myths surrounding black sexuality in Western art, literature, film and photography for Channel 4 and a six-part series, VSO, for ITV. I go back and forth between London and Accra and work for part of the year as a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, where I make films for the Audio-visual Unit there.

I left Ghana to attend school in Britain when I was very young, so my memories of cinema in Ghana are early ones of Saturday night trips to the Rex Cinema off the High Street in Accra, to watch American movies. I loved them and vividly recall crying passionately at a particularly poignant scene (so it seemed to me back then) of a blonde-haired girl, around the same age as me, up there on the screen, furiously tearing up a beautiful blue party dress. If she didn’t want the dress, I reasoned, she could at least give it to me! I’ve loved cinema ever since for its power to transport me into another world.

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Wall Street Journal: How Kelly Rowland Is Expanding Her Brand

(L-R) Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow attend a photocall for the X Factor at 02 Arena on August 17, 2011 in London, England.

R&B/Pop recording artist Kelly Rowland was only 11 years old when she made her foray into the music industry and as a teen became a member of Destiny’s Child, a group that starred a still-budding young singing sensation named Beyoncé Knowles.

Two decades later, Rowland is still topping the charts as a solo artist. Her single “Motivation” recently reached No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, and Rowland is set to release more singles from her third solo album, “Here I Am,” internationally.

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Association of Black Women Historians comments on ‘The Help’

An Open Statement to the Fans of The Help:

On behalf of the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH), this statement provides historical context to address widespread stereotyping presented in both the film and novel version of The Help. The book has sold over three million copies, and heavy promotion of the movie will ensure its success at the box office. Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers. We are specifically concerned about the representations of black life and the lack of attention given to sexual harassment and civil rights activism.

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