Ghanaian-American filmmaker brings immigrant experience to forefront

Tamerra Griffin | 8/8/2013, 5:20 p.m.
Just as African-Americans jokingly throw around the acronym CPT, or “colored people’s time,” to explain their tendency to arrive later ...

Initially, Akyea wanted to compile the “African Time” stories into a feature-length film and enter it into the Madison Film Festival. He missed the deadline, so he and his production team decided to post individual stories on YouTube instead. The 15-episode season has received over 11,000 views on the video site. Recently, “African Time” was commissioned by the Africa Channel television network. It currently airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m.

Akyea is already planning to shoot the second season of “African Time,” set to make its debut in 2014. He has used both public reaction and personal lessons gained from the first installment to shape the direction of the next.

“I want to tackle issues in the second season that might make people uncomfortable or that are a little bit more somber,” he said. “Some of those could be homosexuality or coming in contact with racism, especially in West African countries, where it is not an issue because everybody is Black anyway.”

He also touched on a topic he hopes to explore that would specifically engage African-American viewers. “A really important issue that I want to look at in future seasons is this kind of tension between African-Americans and Africans in the U.S., which I think is something nobody really discusses, but it’s a very real issue,” he said.

Although the series’ title refers to late arrivals, Akyea’s decision to spark a discussion about the African immigrant experience in the U.S. appears to have come right on time.