By Emmanuel Koro
Johannesburg, South Africa
21 May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has rewritten the script for 2020. Many scheduled exciting and important events have either been cancelled or postponed.
However, for 10-year-old African twins, Lily and Lara Vincent the show goes on. Their exciting African wilderness and culture story-telling television project has survived the COVID-19 pandemic events chop.
South Africa-based Lily and Lara, together with their parents and a television crew were ready to escape everyday life and start exploring Southern African countries to interact with its rich and exciting wildlife, sprawling landscapes, vegetation, and culture but the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.
The good news is that the economically destructive COVID-19 that has seen millions worldwide lose their jobs and thousands lose their lives has not quenched the thirst and hunger of the adventurous twins to pursue their dream of exploring Africa through their own eyes. It has only delayed their unprecedented and personal African story-telling adventures.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought radical changes. Getting used to wearing face masks and maintaining social distance are the new norms. Instead of handshaking and hugging we are now encouraged to use greeting methods such as the elbow bump, Namaste hand prayer, or the Wuhan shake (foot-tapping greeting). Magazines that once told the African story are closing down. Who will tell the story of Africa and how will it be told? Perhaps, this is where the fresh way of telling African stories by the twins fills the yawning gap left by the closure of some tourism magazines.
We welcome Lily and Lara Vincent’s groundbreaking African adventures story-telling. It’s the dawn of a new era in which soon they shall refreshingly appear on television screens, sharing their exhilarating experience of the African beauty and mysteries. They will bring Africa, teeming with its incredible wildlife and vibrant flora as well as its varied cultures into the public eye.
African stories have traditionally been told to the world by old people. Told orally without uniformity and visual evidence. Sometimes distorted. Grandfathers and grandmothers have had their own say. So did missionaries such as David Livingstone, the first European man to discover the Victoria Falls and named it after the queen of England, Queen Victoria have all told the African story. Portuguese explorer, Bartolomeu Dias told his own story when he discovered the Cape of Good Hope on 12 March 1488.
But more excitingly, what stories can African 10-year-old twins tell in a television series, when they personally observe Africa’s wilderness and cultural beauty is what each one of us is waiting to experience.
It will not be mere television entertainment but educational content for both the young and old. One wonders whether these young and exciting twins will tell the story of a young and poor boy from a village neighbouring Zimbabwe’s elephant overpopulated Hwange National Park, who survived a crocodile attack while fishing; only to be followed to his homestead by the same crocodile at 7pm to finish him off?
Yes, Hwange wildlife experts tell us it’s scientifically possible for a crocodile to follow its victim because it can smell the victim’s blood and can follow it up for a long distance. Without science, most people would be left forever wondering how a crocodile could trek its victim for such a long distance. Ten kilometres! If these great young storytellers pass through Hwange, they can also bring to us the story of the people who survived elephant attacks but are still living in fear of being attacked and killed at the next encounter because elephants also don’t forget their victims. We can’t wait to experience the twins’ thrilling adventures.
“The Adventures of the Twins In Africa” has been created for two simple reasons, education and conservation,” said Roland Vincent, the brains behind the initiative and father of the twins who is also the director of the television company driving the project, Africa Cries Films.
He said the aim of the Africa Cries Films is to ensure that children from communities in the very remote corners of Africa benefit from their heritage.
“Africa Cries Films productions will help to educate the community and the world – before all is lost,” said Mr. Vincent. “Education is the key, through media, to save our world heritage. This is where the twins – Lily and Lara’s personal storytelling – will be so crucial to the success of the project.”
Focus on Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe
Lily and Lara will start their Africa-story-telling journey in South Africa. Their next destination will be Namibia, where they will travel extensively through exciting places such as the Fish River Canyon, the Skeleton Coast, and the majestic Brandberg Mountains. Thereafter, they will proceed to Botswana and then Zimbabwe, filming as they go. The Adventures of The Twins In Africa trips are expected to take about nine months. They will do home schooling as they go. The twins have a full-time teacher, Amanda Mubobo, who will travel with them.
“Amanda is the most amazing Zimbabwean lady and she has very quickly become part of the family,” Mr. Vincent.
The nine-month adventure filming period will give the twins time to experience the untamed wilderness and cultures of the Southern African countries. From nature reserves, local communities, and game parks to camping sites and lodges, the twins will explore the wilderness of these countries in new and exciting ways. Every episode will be completely different from the last, keeping the viewers engaged, educated and entertained.
“I was motivated to begin this production by the way my twins Lily and Lara have such a love for Africa, the wild fauna and flora to show the children of the world that there is a lot more to life than drugs, alcohol and there is a real-life out there,” said Mr. Vincent.
Lily and Lara aim to reach the children, the future leaders of the world and give them a voice in the protection of their heritage. They have already filmed the first episode of The Adventures of The Twins In Africa.
“Our experience with being the stars of Adventures of The Twins In Africa was incredible,” said Lily and Lara. “This is because we get to be on television and we get to see and learn about the beauty of Africa’s animals like the impala, duiker, spurwing, fish eagle and the Egyptian geese as well as all the other animals we have seen. During our adventure, we also get to have fun with our teacher Amanda Mubobo. We also have fun with the camera crew – Callum, Caleb, and Chris. We are are so excited to be going on this adventure to see some more amazing and beautiful animals.”