An African Journey With Jonathan Dimbleby

Africa consists of more than 50 countries; each one unique. With its population of more than a billion, Africa – where homo sapiens originated at least 100,000 years ago – is the most culturally and ethnically diverse continent on the planet.

But the peoples of Africa are widely regarded as victims of hunger, disease, poverty and conflict and the vast continent in which they live as one unmitigated disaster.

With the insight of one of the U.K.’s most respected journalists and the bold high-definition viewing experience of Discovery World HD, comes AN AFRICAN JOURNEY WITH JONATHAN DIMBLEBY which challenges a host of prevailing misconceptions and paints the continent of Africa in an entirely new and refreshing light.

Premiering Tuesday, September 7 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, this three-part series reveals Africa as it is: vibrant with energy, imagination, innovation, and populated by a wide range of individuals and communities who face great challenges but approach them with optimism and resolve. Of course there are victims and there are disasters, but to view Africa exclusively through that narrow prism is to short-change the truth and to miss the point.

Travelling from the Sahara to Nigeria, Dimbleby meets Africans who, far from being victims of circumstance, have taken control of their own destinies. Using 21st century technologies they are shaping the world in which they live while managing to preserve their unique cultures dating back before the colonial era.

Then it’s southwards from the Horn of Africa, through Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania – where he discovers the peoples of these countries do not sit back with begging bowls at the ready waiting for western aid; that they are resourceful and self-reliant. On the final leg of his epic journey, Dimbleby travels through Democratic Republic of Congo to Zambia and South Africa – the continent’s richest and most powerful nation and host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.





Tuesday, September 7 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

Beginning his journey in the fastest-growing African city of Mali, Barnako, Dimbleby follows the course of the Niger river, where he gets his hands dirty as the apprentice of a 74-year-old mud mason in Djenne – a town built entirely of mud. In Ghana, one of Africa’s freest and most stable countries, Dimbleby sees a spectacular festival before playing a game of golf with the King of the Ashanti. In Lagos, Nigeria’s business capital, he sees a different take on a city that is often depicted as a hotbed of violence, crime and corruption. He is taken on a private jet by Africa’s richest man, then savours the creative talents of two of African music’s rising stars who are helping to cement Lagos’s place as the continent’s cultural hub.



Tuesday, September 14 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

On the second leg of his illuminating journey across Africa, Dimbleby travels over 3,200 kilometres through East Africa’s Rift Valley. Starting in Ethiopia, where he was the first journalist to report the 1973 famine, Dimbleby discovers the great strides being made to safeguard the country from future catastrophes. In Kenya he finds out how mobile phones are revolutionizing small businesses and even the lives of Masai tribes. In Tanzania he joins in a football match with the judges and guards of Africa’s own Human Rights Commission and meets the street kids in Dar-es-Salaam who are building an international profile for their music.



Tuesday, September 21 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

On the final leg of his 11,200 kilometre odyssey, Dimbleby travels from Congo to Durban in search of the stories revealing contemporary Africa. He learns how China’s billion-dollar deals have rebooted African economies, once dependent on Western aid and investment.

Passing through Zambia, he survives a training session with boxing world champion Esther Phiri and meets Hugh Masekela, who shares with him his view of Africa’s emerging revival.


About Jonathan Dimbleby

Jonathan Dimbleby is a distinguished broadcaster and author, who first reported from Africa over 30 years ago, bringing the threat of famine on the continent to the world’s attention. He has written several bestselling books, including a biography of his father Richard Dimbleby, The Palestinians, The Prince of Wales and The Last Governor. For many years he has presented flagship political programmes for ITV, and he is well known as the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s popular show ANY QUESTIONS?