Pronunciation and Style Guide
Ma ŋaye ka Masaala a se ka Wɔmɛti
[mang - ga - EH ka ma - sa - la a SE ka WO me tih] [Hear the title spoken]
When writing the title, please use the Limba title and include the English translation after as shown:
Ma ŋaye ka Masaala a se ka Wɔmɛti (From God To Man)
Taylor Hensel, Adam Mazo, Kavita Pillay, and Tracy Rector.
On the day that Lansana Mansaray was born, a tree was planted in his name in his father’s Limba village. Now an Emmy and Peabody nominated filmmaker, Mansaray returns to the same village to better understand the essential relationship that Limbas share with the trees that define every aspect of community life.
As the smooth highways of Freetown give way to vermillion dirt roads, the car becomes just one means of transport; there’s the scent of chuk chuk plums, a memory of the Matorma sound (a singular rhythm associated with sacred Limba rituals), as well as jokes and poignant moments of connection arising from Mansaray’s diligent efforts to speak Limba. For a “city Limba man” like Mansaray, returning to his deceased father’s homeland becomes a journey of Indigenous reclamation.
Amidst celebratory, humorous, and quotidian moments of village life, Mansaray interweaves reflections from a community that has endured more than its share of hardship — colonization, a civil war, and growing threats to the forests that the Limbas treasure. As with pouring out a little palm wine for the ancestors, Ma ŋaye ka Masaala a se ka Wɔmɛti is an offering to those who came before and to those who are still here. But as Mansaray playfully lets the viewer know, some things should not be shared with the rest of the world.
What does ‘return’ mean? Filmmaker Lansana Mansaray goes back to his ancestral village in this first-ever documentary about the Limba people of Sierra Leone.
About Reciprocity Project
Reciprocity Project is a global storytelling movement supporting Indigenous creatives telling stories of hope, made within their communities, via film, photography, and podcasts.
TRT | 15 minutes
Aspect Ratio | 16:9
Format | Digital
Audio | 5.1
Language | Limba, Krio
Location | Ma ŋaye ka Masaala a se ka Wɔmɛti was filmed in the Limba lands of the Northern Province in what is now Sierra Leone.
Lansana Mansaray (Barmmy Boy) is a Freetown-based director of photography, musician, and Emmy and Peabody Award nominated filmmaker.
His feature documentary, THE NEW BOATS, debuted on ARTE in 2022 and explores the lives of Freetown Peninsula fisherman whose livelihoods and family legacies are threatened by industrial Asian trawlers that overfish the waters off West Africa. In 2018, Mansaray co-directed and co-produced SURVIVORS, which explored the complexity of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. SURVIVORS became the first West African film to receive an Emmy nomination.
Mansaray is a founder and production manager of WeOwnTV at the Freetown Media Center, which provides local filmmakers with intensive media production training and professional development. His work as a filmmaker has garnered grant support from numerous international agencies, including ITVS, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Doc Society, Catapult Film Fund, the Bertha Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
My film was born from my father’s wish that I always remember my ancestral land, my roots, the foundation of my existence. Though my father is no longer with us, in returning to his village, I’m also reminded to respect the environment and the abundance that Kanu-masala (God) has provided for us. I hope that this film sheds light on the importance of protecting Indigenous lands from rampant deforestation by logging companies — in West Africa and around the world. The forest provides all that we need as well as our treasures, such as palm wine. Like the air we breathe, our trees are essential to every aspect of Limba life.
About Reciprocity Project
In Season Two of this multimedia project, storytellers and community partners created films in response to a question: What does a 'return' to land, language, and reciprocal relationships mean to you and your community? Facing a climate crisis, the Reciprocity Project embraces Indigenous value systems that have bolstered communities since time immemorial. Reciprocity Project invites global Indigenous filmmakers to center Indigenous perspectives about the reciprocal relationship between all beings — seen and unseen — and the lands we inhabit.
Nia Tero is a US-based non-profit working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide with a mission of securing Indigenous guardianship of vital ecosystems. Nia Tero is committed to an antiracist and inclusive culture centering Indigenous rights, wisdom, practices, worldviews, and protocols.
Upstander Project is a Boston-based non-profit that uses storytelling to amplify silenced narratives, develop upstander skills to challenge systemic injustice, and nurture compassionate, courageous relationships that honor the interconnection of all beings and the Earth. Upstander Project envisions a world rooted in responsibility and respect for all where upstanders confront injustice and repair harm to ensure all beings thrive together.
REI Co-op Studios develops and produces stories that entertain, enrich and explore the power of time spent outside, while complementing the co-op’s broader climate and racial equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments.
For Series Credits please see the Season Two Press Kit
Zipped downloadable full press kit with photos will be available soon.
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