About the film
With nearly three million followers and several celebrity endorsements, rapper Akintoye is an internet sensation. Through his vulnerable art, he inspires young people to use their voices to bring awareness to mental health struggles.
Lisa Rideout, John Choi
About the Director
Ian Keteku is a writer and multimedia artist. He has directed projects for the NFB, TVO, CBC, PBS and Sesame Street. An award-winning poet, Keteku is the 2010 World Poetry Slam Champion. His work has been translated into French, Slovak, Russian, Danish, Arabic, ASL and others. Ian Keteku uses his voice to inspire messages of peace, action, and critical thought. With a heritage in Ghana, Ian’s work follows in the lineage of ancient African storytellers by paying homage to the past and revisiting themes and lessons from previous generations.
I began my artistic career as a slam poet. After some time, I realized being a poet is not just about writing poetry but being able to see the poetry in the world. I believe poetry is the universe’s way of showing us the beauty in emotion, the similarity in experiences and the art of living. When I ventured into filmmaking, I carried this mantra with me. I seek to showcase the stories, tribulations and triumphs of African peoples, on the continent and in the diaspora.
With a focus on producing African-centered content, my work showcases and highlights the lives and voices of immigrant, refugee and first-generation Canadians.
People of African descent have been underrepresented or misrepresented in popular media. What happens when we are given the agency and resources to tell our own stories, from our own perspectives? Akintoye’s story is just beginning, he’s a star on the rise with no limit to where his art can take him. Despite his celebrity status, he keeps to his mission, inspiring others to follow their dreams, to become changemakers in the world around them.
In this way, his music, this film, and the other films in the series are not just entertainment but an opportunity for insight, for connection, for poetry.