'An African City' Web series generates buzz, dismantles stereotypes

"An African City" tells the  story of five accomplished women who've returned to their native Ghana after living overseas.

Story highlights

  • Creator Nicole Amarteifio sets her story in Accra, Ghana
  • She says she wanted to create a narrative "of beauty, glamor and intelligence"
  • Amarteifio says she was inspired as she watched re-runs of "Sex and the City"
  • She wanted the show to tell the stories of not just Ghana, but Africa as well

(CNN)The new Web series "An African City" is fun, trendy and over the top.

It's also breaking taboos, dismantling stereotypes and creating major buzz in the continent.
    Set in Ghana, the series focuses on five glamorous young women who've returned to Accra after living abroad for years. They navigate the chaotic world of love, adventure and careers -- all while trying to reconnect with their bustling capital in spiky heels and fabulous clothes.
      Fans describe it as the African version of "Sex and the City," a comparison that show creator Nicole Amarteifio readily welcomes.
      CNN caught up with Amarteifio to find out more about the series and what inspired the former expatriate to do it. And the story closely mirrors hers.
      Nana Mensah (left) plays a Harvard graduate who returns to Accra to work at a prominent bank. She's good friends with MaameYaa Boafo.
      Born in Ghana, her family fled to London in the 1980s to escape a coup. They later relocated to the United States, where she grew up before packing up her bags recently and returning home.
        "I always dreamed of Ghana; Ghana was where I wanted to be," she says. "Ghana had color, it had potential, it had opportunity."
        MaameYaa Boafo's character is a Columbia University graduate who returns to Ghana after years in New York.
        CNN: How did the show come about?
        Nicole Amarteifio: I wanted something for African women, something for us and by us. I was tired of the sole narrative of the African woman being about poverty and disease. I wanted to see another narrative -- one of beauty, glamor and intelligence. I knew I had to do something about it. I couldn't keep complaining about the problem.
        Why did you decide on this particular theme?
        After returning to Ghana from the United States, I was sitting in my living room watching re-runs of "Sex and the City," and that sparked a solution to the problem: "An African City." I was first inspired by its model -- a Carrie, a Samantha, a Charlotte and, well, two Mirandas. Leading ladies being completely vulnerable and open in the discovery of themselves -- whether sensually or professionally.
        Women are raving about the fashion and makeup ...
        Ghanaian designers graciously loaned us clothes to use during production. I wanted this show to be a platform for all creatives -- fashion designers, musicians, interior designers, painters, etc.
        African culture tends to be conservative, and sex conversations can be a taboo. But you went there ...
        Yes, African culture can be conservative. But you get enough African women in a room, and conservatism can easily give way to what is real, to what is intimate, to what is vulnerable. And I think as a continent we are ready to bring down the facade and just be real. For the sake of the next generation, there are too many societal issues that need to be addressed in a real and authentic way.
        Critics have said a lot of African women can't relate to the show. Thoughts?