A DAY WITH... is a series of eight short documentary portraits of African children, each made by a different African filmmaker. The children are between seven and twelve years old. They live in Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Each short film tells the story of an ordinary day—at school, at home—from a different child’s point of view. Each day has its ups and downs, its routine and surprises. The collection offers an insight into different types of education and questions the influence of culture in the shaping of daily life.
Every day, nine-year-old Abdoul gets into his father's dugout canoe, and crosses the Niger River to reach his island school. The trip is an opportunity for him to sing with his friends, to review his lessons - and, if he is lucky, to get a look at the hippos that live on this part of the river.
Alhousseni lives in a small village in Agadez province, Niger. At 11 years old, he is a schoolboy with one obsession: buying his own bicycle. After school, he sells small toys and talc pendants he makes himself, saving up the money to reach his goal.
ATO (Burkina Faso)
At age 10, Ato already knows he is not cut out for school. He likes walking the streets of his hometown of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, playing soccer with his best friends, and, above all, spending his afternoons learning how to repair cars so that he can one day open his own garage.
Ten-year-old Fousseyni's days are jam-packed. Like many of the children in his village in the Zone Office du Niger region of Mali, he divides his time between school, household chores, and working in the rice fields with his father. Despite the demands on his time, Fousseyni is at the top of his class—as long as the teacher will let him be.
At age 12, Mara, a Senegalese schoolboy, has all the trappings of an adult life: He has a job, takes care of his brothers, works around the house, and helps his mother with the household bookkeeping. But when we find him in conversation with his best friend, "Little Kane", we realize he is still full of childhood dreams.
Twelve-year-old Moussa is the son of a Fulani shepherd who lives in the savanna in eastern Niger. Every Friday, he accompanies his father to the livestock market, where he learns about animals in hopes of one day becoming a veterinarian. In the meantime, he and his brothers go to school in the village and do whatever they can to ensure their sisters can also attend school come fall.
Ngoné is a seven-and-a-half-year-old who is bursting with energy. She lives in a residential district of Dakar, Senegal, and attends a French school, where she is a model student. Ngoné may be receiving a modern, urban education, but her grandmother, Mama Boye, ensures that she also learns traditional West African values.
SITAN FOUNÈ (Mali)
Sitan Founè is seven years old. Her family lives right by the river in a small fishing community in Bamako, Mali. The river is central to her life: she washes herself in it each morning and plays in it with friends in the evening. It also provides the fish her father catches to feed the family. The only time she finds herself away from it is when she goes to school.