Sports

5 Sports Films About African Athletes You Need to Watch

As the Olympics in Rio come to a close this weekend, check out these five films about African athletes you need to watch.

All eyes have been on #Rio2016, where African athletes continue to kill it earning medals in long jump, running, fencing and swimming.


All eyes have been on #Rio2016, where African athletes continue to kill it earning medals in long jump, running, fencing and swimming.

With the Olympics coming to an end on August 21, we thought we’d share five films about African athletes that you can watch when the Olympic nostalgia kicks in.

The Athlete

Before there was Haile Gebre Selassie, there was Abebe Bikila. The son of a shepherd, he moved to Addis Ababa and worked as a bodyguard before he was spotted by a Swedish trainer and became part of the Ethiopian team that travelled to Rome in 1960 where running barefoot, he won the gold medal in the marathon. ‘The Athlete (Atletu)’ recounts the 1960 and 1964 olympic win, as well as the car accident that ended his running career and started the next chapter in his life as a Paralympian. Directed by Davey Frankel Rasselas Lakew, 'The Athlete' was released in 2009.

Between The Rings

Two female boxing stars—Catherine Phiri and Esther Phiri (unrelated)—emerged in Zambia in recent years. Esther Phiri sold vegetables before becoming a seven-time world champion. ‘Between The Rings,’ a documentary by Jessi Chissi and Salla Sori, tells the story of how Phiri overcame the challenges in her life to become a champion. Catch the film when it airs on August 17 as ‘Zambia’s Boxing Star’ on August 17 at 20:00 GMT/21:00 WAT/22:00 CAT on Al Jazeera network.

Eighteam

In 2012, Zambia’s soccer team Chipolopolo beat the favorites Ivory Coast to become the Africa Cup of Nations champions in Gabon, the same country where nine years earlier, arguably the best outfit of Zambian soccer players died en route to Senegal to compete in a World Cup Qualifier. 'Eighteam' is a documentary by Ngosa Chungu and Juan Rodriguez-Briso that combines interviews with journalists who covered the Gabon Disaster, former skipper and African Footballer of the Year Kalusha Bwalya and more to tell the fascinating story of how Chipolopolo went from tragedy to triumph. Released in 2014, it was the first Zambian film to be screened at the special screenings at the Cannes Film Festival. It has since won awards in Nigeria, Barcelona and Silicon Valley.

Town of Runners

This documentary tells the story of young runners in the Ethiopian highlands of Bekoji, the town that produced Olympic medalists Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele. It follows three children as they move from school track to national competition. Released in 2012, it was directed by Jerry Rothwell.

Zoom Zoom: The Professor

Azumah ‘Zoom Zoom’ Nelson is a former Ghanaian boxer who some regard as the best boxer ever to come out of the continent. 'Zoom Zoom' is a documentary that combines archival footage and interviews with the boxer to tell his story from the slums of Bukom to holding the World Boxing Champion in the featherweight, lightweight and superweight categories for a decade. Released in 2010, the film was directed by Sam Kessie.

Mazuba Kapambwe is a freelance writer, social media consultant and a lifestyle and travel blogger who founded the Zed Blog and Social Media Awards. She is also the co-host of docu-reality webseries, 'The Fest Gurus.' Follow up with her on Twitter @afrosocialite and @TheFestGurus.

Interview

Exclusive Interview with Ethiopian Marathon Runner in Exile, Feyisa Lilesa

Rio 2016 silver medalist and Ethiopian marathon runner, Feyisa Lilesa, speaks with Okayafrica on his political exile.

As he enters the ballroom of a tiny Washington hotel with his wrists crossed in an “X,” Feyisa Lilesa, Ethiopian marathon runner, Olympic silver medalist, and now, political exile, is welcomed with a burst of applause from Ethiopians present.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

Four African Paralympians Ran the 1500 Meters Faster Than Their Able-Bodied Counterparts

Algerian, Kenyan and Ethiopian visually impaired runners outperform Olympians. The Ethiopian crosses fists in solidarity with Oromo protests.

I have to admit that when I heard that four Paralympians just ran the men's 1500 meter faster than the able-bodied Olympians at the Rio games, I assumed it was because of some carbon fibre blade technology à la Oscar Pistorius.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Image courtesy of Riveriswild

#BuyBlack: The 8 Black-Owned Brands To Shop For On Black Friday

It's that time of year again, here is OkayAfrica's 2019 gift guide for you to #BuyBlack this Friday.

You know we're near the end of 2019 once the holiday season comes back around. Thanksgiving is upon us and the bargain shopping and gift-giving is set to commence thereafter. While this American "holiday" being questionable in of itself, Black Friday is a prime occasion to highlight, support and spend exclusively with black-owned businesses.

Just like we mentioned last year, let's keep the 'for us, by us' energy going. Even beyond the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, tap into the businesses that continue to contribute to wealth-building, development and employment in Black communities around the world.

Here is OkayAfrica's curated shortlist of black-owned brands to take note of this Black Friday, including some standout home decor, fashion, skincare and beauty brands you should know.

Take a look below.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
'Queen & Slim' soundtrack cover.

Burna Boy Samples Fela's 'Shakara' on New Track, 'My Money, My Baby' From 'Queen & Slim' Soundtrack

The film's official soundtrack also features tracks from Lauryn Hill, Blood Orange, Megan Thee Stallion and more.

The official soundtrack for Queen & Slim has arrived, and it features a standout solo track from none other than Burna Boy.

"My Money, My Baby" is a heavily Afrobeat-tinged track that features a prominent sample of Fela Kuti's 1972 song "Shakara." The pulsating track also sees the singer, channeling Fela's signature talk-style of singing and repetition. Check it out below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.