THE African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI) on Wednesday premiered a documentary dubbed Articulate: Filling The Gap in Harare focusing on mental health issues affecting Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ethiopia.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
With subsequent premieres expected to be done in the other African countries, the documentary will first be aired on internet platforms as well as public service broadcasting corporations.
The documentary features issues such as postpartum depression experienced by mothers, the uptake of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis(PrEP) among sex workers in Zimbabwe, a bipolar disorder patient, as well as the experiences of lay mental health workers among other issues.
In an interview with Biggie Dziro the communications focal person for AMARI on the sidelines of the launch, he said the Documentary is set to be aired on ZBC.
We intend to approach the public broadcasting corporation like here in Zimbabwe, we have the ZBC. Then in the other three countries involved in the documentary, we intend to give their public broadcasters the content for distribution. We intend to leverage on it being a free content. That’s part of our distribution,” he said.
The documentary has many heart wrenching, heartwarming and hilarious scenes which left the viewers that attended the premiere with mixed emotions. Dziro said they are looking to see the documentary go beyond Africa with people in the UK expected to watch the documentary through science cafes.
“As we speak, there is Oxford University where we have already sent the documentary. Hopefully we will have our partners showing the documentary in our institutions. We have Kings College in London. We are looking forward to Oxford being a partner as well. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicines, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. We intend for them to do the distribution for us at a global scale,” he said.
The documentary will be on YouTube in the coming fortnight or earlier.
“We intend for them to do the distribution for us at a global scale. We are uploading it on our YouTube channel that’s AMARI consortium. It will be available on our channel. This was our major premium so now we are putting it online in two weeks I think,” said Dziro.
Meanwhile, plans are in motion to expand the AMARI consortium beyond the existing four African countries where the documentary was set. Dziro said the documentary was a public engagement tool to be rolled out in schools as well.
“We want to pursue Amari 2. The documentary is the main component to our public engagement. We have a number of public engagement activities that we do but the documentary is the main component. We intend to use it as an educative and informative tool. We intend to take it to schools so that it starts dialogues. That’s our major plan for Amari 2.
We will use this documentary to start dialogues in schools and also we are going to pursue other documentaries,” he said adding, “As Amari 2 we will grow into more African countries. At the moment we are in four African countries. In AMARI 2 there will be six African countries. We intend to do another documentary for AMARI 2. The four that we have currently are Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia and South Africa. The other two we are looking at its Ghana and Zambia.”