A Q&A With Your New Favorite African Sitcom: African Time
Earlier this month we dropped an interview with Damilare Sonoki, Blackish staff writer and the creator of the upcoming show, African Booty Scratcher. This time around we connected once again with Damilare to get updated on what’s going on with African Booty Scratcher, now renamed as the slightly more politically correct, African Time. We found out major updates including that the episodes will be here sooner than we initially thought. Watch the show’s pilot episode below and read our follow-up Q&A session with Damilare below!
How did you discover the little boy who plays Deji?
I asked Keri Shahidi (Yara Shahidi’s mom) if she knew any young Nigerian actors, and she introduced me to Dani Dare’s mom.
What made him stand out?
He came recommended by Keri, so that was all I needed.
What made you want to tackle issues with name pronunciation in the first episode?
I wanted to do something every African immigrant (and immigrant’s in general) could relate to. Often, the best stories are really specific but are still universal. For example, Moonlight is a very specific story, but in its specificity, it covers universal themes. Even if you don’t have a name that’s hard to pronounce, you’ve dealt with being embarrassed and trying to fit in.
What are some other issues that Deji has to deal with in other episodes?
We have a lot of episodes ideas we are kicking around — we want to do something dealing with Nigerian food. Most of our stories will deal with Ayodeji feeling like alienated because of something dealing with his culture, and trying to find a way to fit in.
Did you ever try changing your name to try to avoid issues with mispronunciation?
I did, and it lasted for like a day or two.
Does this mean episodes will be getting released soon?
The release of episodes is totally reliant on our fanbase. Despite the overwhelming response (6 million+ views on Facebook, 300,000+ on YouTube and articles, in Essence, Buzzfeed, OkayAfrica and other platforms), we aren’t getting the proper traction from producers. So to continue producing episodes, we’ll need our fans to support. We are starting a subscription-based release that you can find here: africanbs.com/subscribe. If we can get just a few thousand people paying less than the price of a cup of coffee every month, we can keep making episodes.
What will the scheduled rollout for episodes be?
Will they be released online as webisodes?
Until we find a producer who can help us get on a network, we will release episodes through our own exclusive network made up of our fans, who can subscribe here: africanbs.com/subscribe
Keep Up With African Time & Damilare on Social Media:
Twitter: @dsonoiki / @africanbs / @iamdulo
Instagram: @dsonoiki / @african.time / @iamdulo