Fati, unhappy with her prospects as an irregular migrant, returned from Italy to take care of her five children. She faces stigma with gossiping neighbors and friends, who paint her as a failure. She forges ahead but can she cope amid a failed marriage, her children being taken away, and dire financial constraints? Alone and rejected, will she regret coming back home or succeed in her primary aim of getting the children back?
Fati and her husband travelled to Italy with dreams of instant prosperity. She and her. Husband used all their savings to go through the back way through Libya, leaving their children in the care of her in laws. When they arrived in Italy, they got there as undocumented migrants living in squalid conditions in a camp with an uncertain future. Back home her children were not receiving adequate care and she had fallen pregnant with her next child. After a few months, she chose to ask the Ghanaian embassy to help repatriate her. Her husband was furious as he had hoped to use her pregnancy to expedite the regularization of their stay in Europe. Upon her return, she is faced with the stigma of returning a failure. Her neighbors, friends and family do not understand why she left Eldarado to return to poverty – they whisper and gossip behind her back. Now that Fati has returned, her husband has asked for her divorce and her in laws refuse to give her the children back. Her day-to-day life is one of deprivation and poverty. Will she succeed in reuniting with her with her children and will she come to regret her decision?
“For over a decade, I have used my expertise and skills in film production to help capture and tell compelling stories of ordinary people.” Fatimah went into film production, having studied at the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) of Ghana and the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. Her initial work was in advertising and television production. This experience has made her a compelling storyteller who is able to craft stories about marginalized groups. As a filmmaker, Fatimah’s forte is in the documentary genre, having previously directed success stories on the reproductive health of adolescent girls and a UNESCO partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education. She is also a member of WeOwn TV Filmmakers Fellowship.
Growing up, I had a lot of family members travel abroad without making it back for the fear of being called a failure. Those who made it home had to go to the extreme to impress family members and friends. Why should that be? So when I met Fati, one of the very few people who after going through challenges of getting into Europe are able to independently make the decision to return home voluntarily, I was in awe. I took inspiration from her bold decision as a female to come back home regardless of criticism and difficulties to build a better life for herself and her children. I got to know Fati through a cousin of mine who also tried crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. After talking to Fati, I knew she’s the one. Although her economic situation seems tough, Fati exudes positivity and gives hope to those who might be in a similar situation. This story in a personal way will explore the issue of stigma associated with returned migrants especially females and how they try to better their economic situation. It will also inspire debate on how society contributes to irregular migration by having a poor judgment of returnees.
Hamid has over a decade of experience in media production: he started as a broadcast journalist and steadily rose through the ranks to become senior producer and head of the Content Creation Group at the leading TV station Ghana TV3. During the period, he directed and produced over twenty in-depth documentary films and worked with BBC and Channel 4 as an independent local producer. Television has taken him into film, and he continues honing his expertise in film production.
Don Edkins is a South African documentary filmmaker and producer based in Cape
Town. He has produced documentary film projects that have been broadcast around
the world, such as Steps for the Future, Why Democracy? and Why Poverty? earning
multiple international awards, including an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, and the
Special Teddy Award at the 63rd Berlinale for Steps for the Future. The Peabody
awarded Why Poverty? Project, with documentary films from 21 countries, was
screened globally by 70 broadcasters. He is Executive Producer of AfriDocs, a free-to-
view VOD platform and broadcast strand across Africa that screens the best African
and international documentary films. He is currently producing a new documentary film
project with African filmmakers across the continent, Generation Africa, around the
theme of migration. He is a mentor for the Berlinale Talents, Durban FilmMart, and
Docs by the Sea in Indonesia, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Tiny Mungwe is a documentary film and arts producer. She currently works at STEPS
(Social Transformation and Empowerment Projects) where she produces Generation
Africa, a pan-African anthology of 25 documentary films from 16 countries in Africa, on
the topic of migration. Mungwe’s films include Akekho uGogo, a 48 minute
documentary about urban youth culture, which screened at several festivals including
the Durban International Film Festival, Apollo Film Festival and DOKANEMA Festival.
Her short film script Evelyn was selected for the National Film and Video Foundation
(NFVF) Women Filmmaker Project and she directed another short film in the program,
Daddy’s Boy. She has written for some of the highest rating South African television
dramas such as Muvhango and Matatiele, and was one of the directors on the series
Uzalo. For several years she worked as a festival organizer and programmer for four
international festivals, namely Time of the Writer, the Durban International Film
Festival, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival and Poetry Africa. During that time she also worked on the program for Durban FilmMart (the co-production market of the festival) and Talents Durban (a career development program for emerging African filmmakers in partnership with Berlinale Talents). She continues to work as a program curation associate for the Durban FilmMart. She also programmed and curated the city of Durban’s inaugural book and art fair, ARTiculate Africa.