Racism should not exist, and I want to reinforce that idea: Namaste Wahala director, Hamisha Daryani Ahuja

With her debut Nollywood film, Namaste Wahala, director and producer of the film, Hamisha Daryani Ahuja, touched upon the similarity between Indian and African culture. It also showed why, in a progressive society, any form of discrimination based on the colour of skin and race should be redundant for positive change. The film features Ruslaan Mumtaz and Nigerian actress Ini Dima-Okojie along with Richard Mofe-Damijo and Joke Silva.

It is interesting the way Hamisha subtly addresses the topic of racism in her film. In the eyes of a European, both the communities — Indians and Africans — are ‘brown’. However, even then, there is a prevalent racist attitude that the Indians have towards Africans because of their skin colour, as evident in one of the dialogues in the film where an Indian family expects a ‘gori bahu’. Highlighting the matter, Hamisha said, “We must not forget that both the communities are brown people, but there is a difference. If we believe in living in a world that’s united and one, then discrimination based on the colour of the skin and race should be redundant. Through my film, I raised the specific topic of racism and made sure, that it does not encouraged in any form. Also, the film has generated curiosity because of the fact that it is a love story of an Indian man and an African girl! In the world that we are living in, I see a ray of hope, where the conversation is changing, and conversations around racism are more inclusive."

In 2020, the world was shaken by the George Floyd incident and the campaign #blacklivesmatter was reinforced. It didn’t go unnoticed how the western world reacted to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex who got married to American actress Meghan Markle. Few tabloids wrote articles on Meghan's ethnicity as her mother is an African-American.

Referring to those incidents, Hamisha urged, “I know racism is still prevalent, but I also know that it should not be existing all and I want to reinforce that idea.” Before signing off she adds, “It may sound like wishful thinking, but the more we put out our thoughts in the open, stereotypes on 'interracial relationship or judgments based on ethnicity will cease to exist. I know a few close-minded people who would get at us. However, we have to keep them aside and move forward to create a ‘singular world', devoid of racism.”

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Free Press Journal