A Ghanaian-Canadian poet and musician is hoping his short film, which premiered this month on the American version of Sesame Street, will serve as a “tiny, little” seed toward better Black representation in children’s media.
Ian Keteku, 36, wrote and directed C is for Counting, which was re-released on HBO Max on Feb 11 The short clip stars Nyamekye, a Black girl who sings while counting and planting “tiny little carrot seeds” with her mom.
Keteku says it was a chance to showcase under-represented children in the media, namely those with an African background.
“The shows I liked the most when I was a kid were the ones I saw myself represented, that had a Black character, but there weren’t many of them,” Keteku said.
“As little kids, we would pretend to be the characters we see on TV.
Born and raised in Calgary, Keteku spent a few years in the West African country of Ghana when he was a child, an experience he says has inspired much of his work..
“It was definitely a culture shock … We missed our friends … but once we got there, we gained a deeper appreciation for our country, the continent, its people, and its culture,” Keteku said.
Toronto-based work team
With the help of illustrator Tracy Lam, animator Andrew Foerster and Toronto production company TOGETHER, Keteku’s team gave life to Nyamekye.