Documentary shares experiences of African UW-Eau Claire Students

Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 9:39 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 6, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A documentary put together by a recent UW-Eau Claire graduate playing at the Micon Budget Cinema in Eau Claire Saturday afternoon.

The documentary is titled Ndani Eau Claire, which is Swahili for Inside Eau Claire. Olu Famule filmed it during the fall semester of 2020.

“The thing about Ndani Eau Claire is that it centers around so many diverse topics. Global and Local,” Famule said.

Famule walks you through the lives of three of his friends as they navigate school and adjust to life in the Chippewa Valley.

“So, people like Paul Agbashi, it was his first year in the United States from Nigeria. He’s like a young 17-year-old so there is so much new, everything is new to him. Iman Dikko, that was last year, so she’s about to graduate and leave America to find new beginnings and new Horizons and Bella Sackey, she was the vice president of ASA, very influential on campus,” Famule said.

Paul Agbashi says Famule captures different aspects of his life.

“He did ask a bunch of questions to get to know how it was to be black in Eau Claire,” Agbashi said. “For me also being an international student from Nigeria, we all kind of experience the same things basically so we meet and talk about the same things and same experiences like when you walk down the hill when you sit in the café.”

Famule touched upon topics like COVID-19 and how it affected their campus and social lives.

“It felt really difficult, especially for we, students of color, because we socialize and interact with each other, but we had to do everything online and like the documentary was really awesome because it gave us an opportunity to speak up,” Agbashi said.

Famule mentioned other topics as well.

“Also, things such as more being black in Eau Claire, the black African experience, just being a predominantly white institution,” Famule said. “Lastly, just things happening in Nigeria like the End SARS movements where it’s similar to the black lives matter movement in America.”

Agbashi says it’s exciting to share his lived experience.

“It gives it a larger sense. Makes it better for everyone. Makes it better for people like me and them to feel represented,” Agbashi said.

He hopes others will be able to have their voices heard.

“I really hope that they get to give more local artists, more underrepresented groups opportunities like this because I feel like it’s a great moment,” Agbashi said.

Ndani Eau Claire was only in theaters Saturday, but the documentary will be available sometime this month on the film’s website.

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