My neighbour loves the Sussexes. He told me that since their Netflix deal was announced, his mind has been deeply considering that thing they said about “creating content that informs but also gives hope.” What if Harry and Meghan considered that Nigerian story that focuses on irrigating and transforming parts of the Sahara Desert with flooded waters, as part of their priority documentary in the recent deal? The transformational element of the story, especially the inspirational aspect in which the power of a natural disaster is harnessed to cancel out the perennial threat of another wonder of nature, in his view, raises the appeal of the project by many notches. I must say I was intrigued as he unpacked the idea for me. His premise was how we may turn some of our biggest challenges to symbols of hope and inspiration, in a very entertaining way. How we may convert the devastation of flooding to representations of beauty and certainty, in a world desperately looking for dependable anchors.
He did not know when the association first entered his mind. At first, he wondered if there was any connection at all between what Harry and Megan said and the devastation unfolding before him as flooded waters wreaked havoc on farmlands in parts of Nigeria recently. At the back of his mind was the statement he had been mulling over, in front of him were the disturbing pictures – the loss of lives, the destruction of farmlands, and the bigger threat of famine.
Is there any beauty in the moving monster? Or can any beauty be extracted out of the moving monster? Eventually, it dawned on him that there was an interesting connection between the two. Creatively channel flooded waters into the Sahara Desert, to check desert encroachment and its attendant challenges, irrigate parts of the desert and convert them to farmlands so that you convert nature’s destruction in one area to nature’s prosperity in another. Identify heroes from among families and communities at both ends, the Sahara Desert end and the flooding end; merge their experiences together to forge an entertaining tapestry laden with humor, suspense, courage, love, faith, resilience, education and the other elements that make for a compelling documentary.
I thought the idea was an interesting way of converting two perennial and intimidating ‘enemies’ to allies. The problem of the Sahara Desert and the problem of flooding have sort of compounded in recent decades. Why not use one to knock or cancel out the other? Can anyone fault the hope-enabling quotient in such an idea?