When an African American hip-hop girl finally answers the ancestral call of the Senegalese "Sabar" dance, she discovers more than a dance - she finds herself.
Winner, Best Feature Film and Audience Choice Awards at the 2009 Urban Mediamakers Film Festival, "Sabar - life is a Dance" directed by Chike Nwoffiah is a coming of age love story that gives the audience an intimate look into a young woman's inner struggle for self-discovery and truth through her relationship with dance. It is the first feature length narrative film of it’s kind set against the backdrop of the African dance movement in the United States.
AISHA, a young African American girl has been dancing hip-hop all her life and cannot understand why her best friend is crazy about African dance. On a dare, she goes to an African dance class "just to see her friend" but when she leaves, the dance follows her and haunts her. Soon this hip-hop girl becomes a much talked about future "Queen of Sabar". But life has a way of dealing us cards that will test our very core and Aisha's cards were waiting in the wings.
Set in Oakland, California, the themes explored in Sabar have resonated with audiences around the world. It is a beautifully shot and directed dramatic feature film about the triumph of the human spirit in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Sabar examines how we constantly negotiate and choreograph our way through the bigger and sometimes arrhythmic dance called LIFE.
"High powered ... Electrifying! DeRosario soars to new heights in her debut role as an actress"
Sabar was screened at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco on April 24th 2010; writer Joanna Bellamy and editor Erinn Davis attended the screening.
The film ‘Sabar’ directed by Nigerian filmmaker Chike Nwoffiah, was a
creative and historical lovely -fairytale that wrapped the audience with
suspense. It had many scenes that alluded to conflict among the evolving
relationships, keeping viewers intrigued until the absolute very end. The
film, based in the culturally relevant Oakland, California, unfolded with
the main character Aisha (played by Bunmi De Rosario) struggling to seek
the truth of her unknown African roots. In the beginning of the film, Aisha
chose to follow the energy within her soul and transition from being a
hip-hop dancer into a prolific and spiritual dancer in a Sabar African
In this coming-of-age story, we (the audience) are allowed an intimate look into Aisha’s inner struggle for self-discovery and truth through her relationship with dance. Sabar, a traditional West African dance derived from the country of Senegal, does not permit just any person to fully envelop its lessons and guidelines. As explained in the movie, “One does not choose Sabar, Sabar chooses you.”
This film also cleverly depicts the relatable love triangles of young adults whom, at a transitional time in their life, attempt to balance their ambitions with hectic status of relationships; dating, falling in love, and giving their soul mate a fair chance without losing themselves completely. This, as the movie concludes, is the biggest challenge of all It’s an empowering, theatrical work of art. Something that the San Francisco Bay Area has never seen before and needs to see more of. The overall message is about following the calling within one’s spirit and soul. It teaches the artist, dancer, writer, and filmmaker, etc. to be free and fearless, unafraid of the dream embedded within them. Through this powerful and spiritual film, we learn how to live, dream, dance, love and be free.
Be inspired world. I know I was.
Please check out ‘SABAR’ beautifully written, spoken, and acted. Be blessed World!
Written by: Jo-bell
Edited by: E. Davis
Starring: Bunmi DeRosario, Alassane Kane, Kenesha Mayfield, Curtis
Campbell. Naomi Diouf, David Ali
Also Featuring:Kathleen Rand Reed, Ellen Foster-Randle, La Donna Higgins, Tonya Powell, Delina Brooks
Guest Appearances by:Dr. Zak Diouf, Cheikh M'Baye, Babacar M'Baye, Dam Gueye
A Chike Nwoffiah Film
Director of photography- Jeff Wager
Screenplay- Cash Nwachukwu
Producer- O. A. Braddy
Associate Producer- Tumani Onabiyi