Segments in this Video

Prelude: Today's Africa (04:14)


The Africa of today embraces the tom-tom and the Internet, tribal dancing and hip-hop, a symbolic expression of the tension between tradition and modernity. Rappers discuss their responsibility for showing Africa's youth the way to change.

AIDS: Scourge of Africa (04:25)

In Africa, AIDS is the greatest human tragedy to have occurred. In South Africa, Sparrow Rainbow Village is an oasis of hope for AIDS orphans and terminally ill AIDS victims. Six hundred thousand children in the world have AIDS. Of that number 550,000 are African.

Women in Africa (04:48)

In Africa, 80% of the work falls on women, as does all child rearing responsibilities. If the women should "slip and fall, Africa would fall apart." In some parts of Africa, women wield political power, and some become queens.

Polygamy in Africa (02:50)

In most parts of Africa, polygamy and arranged marriages are the norm--though many women challenge these practices. Men often acquire a second wife to meet their sexual needs.

Arranged Marriages in Africa (03:22)

Ethiopia: A young Muslim woman who was to marry her father's uncle through an arranged marriage, rebels and flees to the city. Her father disowns her and speaks badly of her. The uncle shares his side of the story.

Women's Views of Arranged Marriages (02:48)

Ethiopia: The mother of a rebellious Muslim woman shares her side of the story when her daughter refuses to take part in an arranged marriage.

African Women and Prostitution (04:02)

Mali: Many African societies reject a woman's right to refuse arranged marriage. Young women are isolated and impoverished, and many turn to prostitution. A young mother tells why prostitution is the only way out for her.

Mutilation of Women in Africa (03:34)

Ethiopia: Female genital mutilation, known as excision, is supposed to destroy a woman's sexual appetite. A woman shares what happened to her after her excision. People believe myths and lies about the value of excision.

Female Mutilation: Ancestral Tradition (01:56)

In Ethiopia, excision (female genital mutilation) is a custom that goes beyond religion. The practice is rooted in superstition. In 2000, 2 million African girls were sexually mutilated even though the practice is illegal.

Male/Female Relationships in (03:28)

Senegal: Unmarried women participate in a contest in order to find a good husband. Women are to satisfy their husband's needs and whims. Women are the guardians of tradition, yet they also want to break tradition's chains.

Western Beauty Standards in Africa (03:20)

African traditions of beauty and family are being lost in the big cities. Western canons of beauty are taking over. Women want to lighten their skin, lose weight, and look more like Western beauties. Beauty products are often toxic and dangerous.

Homosexuality in Africa (05:12)

In Niger, men paint themselves up like women and sing like women to celebrate the coming of the rains. Homosexuality is many African countries is illegal. Many gays are murdered, imprisoned, and stoned. In South Africa, gays have certain rights.

Polio in Africa (05:56)

Millions of Africa's polio victims have little or no access to treatment. In Benin, police and customs officers often turn a blind eye to disabled people, many of whom make their living by smuggling gasoline. Polio wreaks havoc in sub-Saharan Africa.

African Emigrants in Search of a Dream (04:23)

"Africa does not explode, but it bleeds." Emigrants are the blood that leaks out of Africa. They are most often the brightest, most talented, and most ambitious who leave in search of a dream. Will they return one day to help their country?

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Africa Calling: An Appeal for Understanding

Part of the Series : The Call of Africa: The Voice of a Continent
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Mental images of storybook adventures and stereotyped people, on the one hand, and genocides and pandemics, on the other, make it practically impossible for Westerners to see Africa as it really is: a place with generational conflicts, cultural misunderstandings, and power struggles—just like anywhere else—plus the added dilemma of how to deal with the tension between tradition and modernity as the already rapid pace of progress continues to accelerate. Bringing together segments from other episodes in The Call of Africa series, this program strives to build bridges of genuine understanding about human rights, political power structures, the environment, public health, marriage customs, emigration, and many other vital topics through the views of real people living in the real Africa. (Portions in other languages with English subtitles, 57 minutes)

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL39458

ISBN: 978-1-60467-369-2

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.