Manuscripts of Timbuktu

Director: Zola Maseko
Countries: South Africa, Mali and Morocco
Year: 2009
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: French and Arabic

Featuring knowledgeable commentary by African scholars, rich reenactments and an original musical score by Vieux Farka Toure, the essential documentary The Manuscripts of Timbuktu critiques the limited view about Timbuktu by firmly demonstrating that Timbuktu was a leading cultural, economic, scientific and religious center that made a  significant and lasting impact on Africa and the entire world. It also establishes the importance of preserving the thousands of manuscripts from long ago as an exciting and empowering legacy for African scholarship today.

About the Director

Zola Maseko

zolamasekoBiography: Swazi film director and screenwriter Zola Maseko was born in exile in 1967. Educated in Swaziland and Tanzania, he joined Umkhonto We Sizwe, the armed sector of the African National Congress, in 1987. After moving to the United Kingdom, he graduated from the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield in 1994. Maseko’s first film was the documentary Dear Sunshine, released in 1992. He fought apartheid in several countries. He moved to South Africa in 1994 and wrote The Foreigner, a short fiction film about xenophobia in this country. In 1998 Zola Maseko directed The Life and Times of Sara Baartman. Other short films by Maseko include The Return of Sara Baartman (2003), Children of the Revolution (2002), and A Drink in the Passage (2002). The latter won the Special Jury Award at FESPACO. His first feature film was Drum, released in 2004. Set in 1950s Johannesburg, it tells of the magazine of the same name and specifically focuses on Henry Nxumalo, a journalist fighting apartheid. The film received the top prize at FESPACO, the Golden Stallion of Yennenga.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Foreigner (1998);
A Drink in the Passage (2004);
Drum (2006).

Dear Sunshine (1992);
Scenes from Exile (1993);
Africa Dreaming (1997);
The Foreigner (1997);
The Life and Times of Sara Baartman (1998);
Children of the Revolution (2002);
A Drink in the Passage (2002);
The Return of Sara Baartman (2003);
The Goat (2004);
Drum (2004);
The Manuscripts of Timbuktu (2009).

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