SHORT FILM: Poetry Film on the Beauty of Black Women, ‘GAMBA’ by Yelita Ali

Yelita Ali

GAMBA explores the growing discontent of Black women acting as political fodder, the poetry film takes us on a journey of appreciating the beauty of Black women and reconnecting to their divine feminine. In each scene we are shown a metaphorical burning of the cape with Black women choosing to explore themselves without being political pawns. The poem’s title meaning “hero” comes from Yelita’s mother tongue “Shona” a Zimbabwean language.

Directors Statement: “For me the main inspiration of this film came after the violent murder of Oluwatoyin Salau, a prominent Black woman activist. Her story was shocking to me as it came at the hands of those who she sought to defend. It made me re-examine the growing expectations that are piled on Black girls and women to spearhead political movements all while being tossed aside and discarded. I wanted to make a film that celebrates the strength of Black women but also their beauty, their tenderness, their joy. Too much of the media during the Black Lives Matter protests saw little dark skin girls used as political imagery —something I believe is not only irresponsible but incredibly limiting and unfair to do to children. No children-of any race should be on the front lines of any march. What frustrated me even more was that it was not Black women behind this imaging but instead quite literally everyone else. Its important to me that Black women’s image is at the hands of those who love us and appreciate us. So Gamba was then born and became my love letter to Black women.”

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