For over a week now, the talk on social media spaces has been driven by what has become to be known as a Mustafa fad.
What has ignited this craze is a takeaway video clip from Charles Shemu Joyah’s 2012 movie, The Last Fishing Boat. The small clip depicts a family, characterised by Flora Suya and Hope Chisanu, in which the husband (Yusuf) is asking the wife (Abiti Alefa) the source of some gifts and money that she received.
Abiti Alefa, with all the innocence on her face and unassuming aura all over her, tells Yusuf her husband that she got the gifts from Mustafa, a role played by Robert Kalua.
This portrayal has incited widespread excitement such that the video clip has been shared and re-shared on various platforms. Some have gone on to recreate memes that are apparently a sequel to the original narrative. It has all been part of the fun.
But the question that has been asked by many is why Mustafa is erupting now from a production which dates as far back as 10 years. Indeed, that was my question too when I first got wind of this trending craze.
And let me confess here, before I watched the circulating clip, I could not relate as to what was the genesis of the fad. And when I watched the video clips I was torn between too emotions: to share on the fun or feel sorry.
You can ask why I felt sorry in that manner. For me, this exposed one thing: Many Malawians are a distant away from content that is very close to them and their own. A majority of Malawians have only realised that the clip is from The Last Fishing Boat just now.
Even worse, this is their first time to hear about the film. Trust me, those people are out there. But these are the people who can’t miss a production about Jason Statham, Jet Lee, Idriss Elba and co.
These are the people who can sit all day and discuss the poorly scripted Nollywood movies. But unfortunately this bunch takes little pride in associating with content that is generated by their own here at home.
On this same space, one time I opined about how rich our narratives are and how some are doing their best to package them in the best way possible. There is great wit in which Malawian sons and daughters are telling our stories.
All what these people need is our support. There is no shame in associating with things Malawian. Others may think, to be seen to be flouting Malawian content will make them less.
But there is no indigenous industry which earned global acclaim without the support of its people. For our film industry to become what we want it to be, we need to play a part. That role means us supporting our local creatives.
Imagine if all of us who are keeping a copy of that Mustafa clip in our phones had an original copy of The Last Fishing Boat film in our movie collection at home? How much would that have meant to the development of Joyah’s dream as a movie maker?
We all always point fingers at the stagnation of many sectors, but if we can reflect, we Malawians are contributing to the sluggish progress of some of these industries. Most of these could do with our little push in so many ways.
The excitement created by this craze has forced Joyah to bring back the film on the market. The film started selling in strategic spots on Wednesday. We can only hope that this hype has created a sustainable demand that will help impact on the sales of the production positively.
After 10 years I did not expect people to be getting excited with The Last Fishing Boat. At least if we were talking about Joyah’s immediate last production, The Road To Sunrise, which is even a better production. Let’s be proud Malawians by supporting our own. For that matter Seasons of A Life, before these two was even lekker.