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UWEC Grad’s documentary reflects the experiences of three …


Iman Dikko – one of the three UW-Eau Claire students featured in Ndani Eau-Claire – is from Nigeria and last May obtained a major in Management, Operations and Supply Chain.

On November 6, a documentary that shares experiences of three African students living in the Chippewa Valley while studying at UW-Eau Claire will premiere at 2:30 p.m. at the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire.

The force behind the film, Kehinde Olu Famule – graduated from UW-Eau Claire in May – directed and filmed Ndani Eau Claire while he was still a student. He spent the months following graduation editing the documentary, which he describes as a “story that must be told.”

“As an American of Nigerian descent, I see opportunities every day to tell stories that show the nuances, beauty and complexity of black stories,” says Famule. “I saw that a story about our small African community in Eau Claire had never been told before.”

“My goal is that this… will ultimately create a more empathetic and socially aware Eau Claire. “

–Khinde Olu Famule

director of Ndani Eau-Claire

Ndani Eau Claire – which means “Inside Eau-Claire” in Swahili – revolves around three Blugolds, highlighting the lives of a small group of African students who live in the Chippewa Valley.

“Through the documentary, we follow these three students through the ups and downs of their semester,” Famule said. “The story includes themes of activism, black experiences, the impact of COVID-19, personal growth, police brutality and community. “

The Blugold’s featured include Paul Agbashi, a major in pre-professional biology and medicine with a minor in pre-professional health sciences who moved to the United States a year ago from Nigeria; Iman Dikko, an international student from Nigeria who graduated in May with a major in management, operations and supply chain; and Christabel Araba (Bella) Sackey, a Ghanaian American from Middleton who has a major in public health and a minor in psychology.

“We are following these students through the chaos of 2020 as they face the challenges of being black in a predominantly white institution and also the impact of the coronavirus,” Famule said. “Later, we focus on the EndSARS movement, the youth-led social unrest created to combat police brutality and oppressive systems occurring in Nigeria. The Nigerian diaspora around the world witnessed helplessly the government’s violent reaction and subsequently experienced mental and emotional turmoil for their family and loved ones back home. Our protagonists and their community of Eau Claire are also affected by these social unrest, which occurs more than 6,000 kilometers away.

Through the documentary, viewers will see the students grow up, find their voice and work to create a better future, says Famule.

In addition to the three students featured, the documentary also includes UWEC students, faculty and staff who are involved in the African Students Association, which is made up of students interested in celebrating and educating others about the African cultures.

Famule shot his documentary from October to December 2020. Since January, he has been editing the film, with much of the editing work done during his last semester at university. It was difficult to juggle the project with the responsibilities of college and life, but it was worth it, he says.

“My goal is to promote cultural understanding and provide insight into the life of communities of color in Eau Claire, ultimately creating a more empathetic and socially aware Eau Claire,” said Famule. “As a visual artist, I want my art to make a difference in the world. I believe that art can be a tool for social justice and cinema can be a medium that transcends societal barriers.

Check out the movie trailer and learn more about the project on ndanieauclaire.com.

CLEAR WATER NDANI SCREENING • 2:30 p.m. • November 6 • Micon Downtown Budget Cinema •
Eau Claire • tickets available on miconcinemas.com

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