Cecile Emeke’s ‘Ackee & Saltfish’ Returns With Episode 4, ‘The Job Interview'

UK filmmaker Cecile Emeke’s ‘Ackee & Saltfish’ web series returns with episode 4, "The Job Interview."

Cecile Emeke's Ackee & Saltfish has fast shaped into one of the breakout web series hits of 2015. In February the UK filmmaker and storyteller debuted her dialogue-driven project as a short film starring British actresses Vanessa Babirye and Michelle Tiwo as best friends Rachel and Olivia.  in London. The two reprised their roles in a web series version which premiered shortly after. "Emeke’s portrayal of two young Black women is unlike anything else on TV or the web right now," Okayafrica contributor Adwoa Afful wrote in her review on the film and series. "Yet something about it feels familiar. There’s no contrived romantic subplot, no barriers the characters need to overcome, no existential crises they need to work through. Rather, Emeke has the confidence and skill to let her characters do what two young Black women are so rarely allowed to do on screen – just hang out."

Since the series debuted, we've been keeping up with Rachel and Olivia's antics through Emeke's two-to-six-minute installments. Last week we saw the girls seek shelter inside an empty carpet shop, and before that we watched them banter over Lauryn Hill concert tickets and the desirability of "back bread." In the fourth episode Rachel asks Olivia for an unusual favor (or what she calls "a standard friendship procedure") ahead of a job interview. Olivia objects, and the friends bicker over the acceptability of the request. Catch up on episode one, "The Lauryn Hill Tickets," episode two, "Breakfast," and episode three, "The Carpet Shop." Watch the latest installment of Ackee & Saltfish, "The Job Interview," below.

>>>Read: Okayafrica's interview with Cecile Emeke

>>>Read: UK Filmmaker Cecile Emeke’s Portrayal Of Two Young Black Women In Ackee & Saltfish Is Unlike Anything Else On Screen


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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