Home Arts-Entertainment Showcase 8-PART 'AFRICA' SERIES TO BE CARRIED ON WTJX



Sept. 6, 2001 – Starting Sunday, WTJX-TV/Channel 12 will be airing "Africa," a special eight-part presentation of the "Nature" series produced by Thirteen/WNET New York that is being carried on the Public Broadcasting System.
Each episode of the series will air initially on Sunday at 8 p.m. and then be repeated on the following Saturday at 4 p.m. As a special feature for WTJX viewers, a member of the St. Thomas-St. John African Association will introduce each program.
Narrated by Joe Morton, the landmark series "is the compelling story of a continent, told through the eyes of its people," according to the "Nature" web site. The various episodes focus on the lives of individual men and women across the continent, showcasing Africa's history, many cultures and stunning landscapes.
The production of Thirteen/WNET New York's Nature and National Geographic Television "tells the stories of these people making spiritual journeys," a release from WTJX, the Virgin Islands PBS affiliate, states. "It illustrates how the geography of Africa impacts their destinies."
Episode 1, "Savanna Homecoming," focuses on two women. The first, Alice Wangui, is a successful salon owner and expectant mother living in Nairobi. Viewers will follow her as she journeys across the savanna, determined that her baby be born on Kikuyu soil. The second, Flora Salonik, is a wife and mother living in a isolated part of Tanzania who longs for the city life she knew as a child growing up in Arusha.
Solomon Sentongo-Kabuka, president of the local African Association, believes the series is timely for the Virgin Islands community and for PBS audiences in general. "We [African people] have made progress that is not part of the everyday news," the Uganda native and University of the Virgin Islands faculty member said. "As you travel around the world, you find that you have Africans in all ranks professionally."
Beyond professional progress, Africa is making great strides in its social institutions, he said.
Today, for the nations of Africa, the goal is "no longer to become independent," Kabuka said, "but rather, how do you transform that independence?" The challenge and the opportunity that today's African peoples face, he said, is to enhance their quality of life "on both social and cultural levels."
Kabuka, a professor of business administration at UVI, said he hopes the series will dispel some misconceptions many people have about Africa. "When the outside world looks at Africa, they think it's just one culture," he observed.
In fact, "It's a continent that has more than 4,000 languages and dialects," he said. "It's a culture that has a multitude of religious beliefs and a variety of cultural and social norms. Some of these themes are depicted in the PBS program, giving a window to PBS audiences to see the dynamics currently taking place in contemporary Africa."
For more about the series, including many visuals, see Nature on the Web: Africa
The final episode of the series will air on Oct. 21 and 27.


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