About the film
Soka Afrika documents the lives of two young African men, Kermit from South Africa and Ndomo from Cameroon, each taking very different paths in pursuit of their dreams: success in professional football on the world stage. The story that unfolds reveals the struggle that is life in much of Africa and demonstrates how football is a vital lifeline to which many will desperately cling.
Born in a township in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Kermit Romeo Erasmus, 19, has risen from humble beginnings to a great height, signing a professional contract at 18 with Feyenoord in the Dutch league. His example is one of success brought about through the stable domestic system that exists in the World Cup host country. Just as important has been the support of a strong family, a hard working and dedicated agent, Kermit’s own mental strength and, as always, no small amount of luck.
For every Kermit, there are a thousand others who slip through the cracks. Their path is not paved with gold but riddled with exploitation. No-one knows this better than Jean Claude Mbvoumin, a former Cameroon international who forged a career in the 90’s in France. Having witnessed many examples of corruption, Jean Claude founded NGO, Culture Foot Solidaire. He and the CFS team strive to address the plight of young Africans trafficked to Europe intent on pursuing a career in professional football. One such person CFS encountered, now 18 years old, is Ndomo.
Born and raised in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Ndomo’s life has been scarred by exploitation and mistreatment at the hands of those who would ride on the coat-tails of his talent. Trafficked to France as a teenager with promises to him and his family of riches beyond their imaginations, he was promptly abandoned in the streets of Paris. Despite this, Ndomo’s story is one of inspiration as, fighting against all the odds, he manages to find a light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.
Director : Suridh Hassan
Producer: Simon Laub
Exec Producer: Sam Potter
Associate Producer and Art Director : Ryo Sanada
Editor: Tim Grabham
Story Editor: John Gutierrez
Cinematographers: Clare Richards and Naor Elimelech
“Soka Afrika beautifully captures the harsh reality that can turn colourful dreams into dark nightmares"
“Vibrant and heavy -hitting... a film I would recommend to everyone."
“Stylish, Eye opening....Hoop Dreams with studs on”