TV series on Lives of African Migrants in Europe to be Broadcast on Dutch & Al Jazeera TVs


A nine-part television series titled “Surprising Europe” which reveals stories about African migrants in Europe will be broadcast on the Dutch public television (Nederland 2) by an organization called ‘HUMAN’ starting from the 8th of July 2011 every Friday as from 4.30 pm.

On August 8th 2011, the same documentary will be broadcast by the international news channel Al Jazeera English to over 220 million viewers worldwide. The series will feature weekly on Mondays: 10.30 PM, Tuesdays: 9.30 AM, Wednesday: 3.30 AM, and Thursday: 4.30 PM GMT.

The TV series is said to show the real life of African immigrants in Europe…which according to the documentary makers, is a different image from the one most African migrants usually present to their families and friends back home.

“Surprising Europe” portrays stories of hope, opportunities and possibilities, as well as culture shocks, the struggle for survival and strange European traditions. In it, musicians put their views on Europe into words in a soundtrack made up of a variety of sources and styles; African ‘guest reporters’ zoom in on topics such as mixed marriages, discrimination and health care. They talk to the naive newcomer, the successful entrepreneur, the homeless job seeker, the ambitious student and the disillusioned prostitute.

The documentary involves Africans in ten European countries who show the reality of their lives as immigrants to Europe. The goal is let people back in Africa be aware that life for their brothers and sisters in Europe and elsewhere is not always rosy as they think or assume.

The project “Surprising Europe” was initiated by Ugandan photo journalist Ssuuna Golooba.

It is presented by Kenyan rapper K-Nel. It combines serious portraits, humour and music into a varied magazine-style television series.

It is directed by Jean Hellwig, Rogier Kappers, Kay Mastenbroek and Alex Goekjian and sponsored by the following organizations: Al Jazeera English, HUMAN, the Dutch Cultural Media Fund, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NCDO, ICCO, Stichting DOEN, Digitale Pioniers, This is Africa, Jongens van de Wit, Stichting Vista Far Reaching Visuals and Stichting Sankofa.

Africans around the world are advised to watch the TV series on the dates listed above.

For More information, please visit www.surprisingeurope.com or check ‘Surprising Europe’ on Facebook or Twitter: @surprisingeurop.

By Larry Bate Takang (Editor-in-Chief)