Man On Ground 2011

Akin Omotoso / South Africa 2011 / 1h20m / English, Yoruba, Zulu with English subtitles

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Man On Ground


Ade (Hakeem kae-kazim) and Femi (Fabian Adeoye Lojede) are expatriate Nigerian brothers. Ade is a successful banker in London, while Femi, once a political dissident in his home country, has had to escape to South Africa, live in refugee tenements and work menial jobs. The brothers have not only been physically estranged, their relationship is ridden with unspoken betrayal, guilt and scorn, which they have carried since the early days of their youth.

During a short visit to Johannesburg, Ade discovers that his brother has been missing for a week. He sets out to investigate Femi’s mysterious disappearance, reconstructing the pieces of his everyday life and the cruel hardships he endured just to survive. A riot erupts while Ade is visiting Femi’s former boss (Fana Mokoena) in one of the townships. Ade is forced to take shelter with the employer. The mounting violence outside seeps into their exchanges and eventually prompts an explosion of revelation. Structured like a thriller, “Man On Ground” is a rare descent into the immigrant underworld of Africa’s urban centres, as well as a timely and unflinching indictment of the rise of xenophobia, not just in South Africa but worldwide.

Past Showings

Saturday 3rd October 2020 / 7pm for 48 hours / Online

This film will be available to view here for 48 hours from the listed date. It is free to watch but donations are welcomed. 

Akin Omotoso's latest film, THE GHOST AND THE HOUSE OF TRUTH, will be opening Film Africa 2020 on Friday, 30 October 2020, and will be streaming on the BFI Player for the 10 days of the festival. For more information, please visit

Q&A with director Akin Omotoso

Q&A with director Akin Omotoso chaired by Dr. Julie MacArthur, Professor of African History and Film and former director of the Cambridge African Film Festival.

Introduction from the TANO network

A photograph of Ernesto Nhamuave, a Mozambican immigrant living in the informal settlement of the East Rand outside Johannesburg, burned alive in 2008 while onlookers watched and cheered haunted director Akin Omotoso and inspired his exploration of xenophobic violence in South Africa in Man on Ground. For Omotoso, the film’s subject is intensely personal, himself an immigrant from Nigeria to South Africa, and continues to resonate today. A prolific actor, director, and producer, Omotoso has gone on to make several critically acclaimed films, including the romantic comedy Tell Me Sweet Something and Vaya, winner of the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Director. Most recently, Omotoso has been tapped to helm Netflix’s first Nigerian original series.