‘A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim’ – We Speak To Frank ‘Ed Accura’ Awuah About His Latest Project

Many of you will remember we wrote about Ed Accura’s incredible ‘Bear A Witness’ project to shine a light on the issue of homelessness during last year’s savage winter conditions here in the UK. It was one of our most popular articles, and we hope that by drawing attention to it, we were able to in some way help with his cause.



Now he’s is back, with, ‘A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim’, which highlights the frightening reality of just how many Black, Asian, and Minority Ethinc (BAME) people in the UK are unable to swim. We asked Frank ‘Ed Accura’ Awuah about the project.

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken to you, and we’re intrigued about your latest project, ‘A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim’. Could you tell us a bit about it?

‘A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim’ is about my personal journey, fears and anxiety with swimming. The film depicts the effects of the stigma, stereotypes and myths and also highlights the views of various people in my community.

The aim of the film is to help eradicate the negative views associated with black people and swimming as well as encouraging more to learn to swim thus reducing the number of deaths by drowning.

The Plot

Ed Accura (Frank Awuah) is a black British man who after watching an upsetting news report on bad weather and flooding, develops an acute phobia with water. His anxiety with not being able to swim and irrational fears of drowning pushes him into buying a life jacket which he wears everywhere he goes. Ed is torn between his friends who try and encourage him to learn how to swim and society who dramatically dampen his confidence with stereotypes on black people and their inability to swim.  The film combines acting with real interview footage of various members of the community voicing their thoughts on the subject.

Why do you think it is that so many people in the UK black community of minorities are unable to swim?
The project originally started with the soundtrack of the film which asked whether it’s a cultural or physical thing?
Personally my views is that it is a priority issue.
Maybe the reason is it doesn’t feature that high on many BAMEs priority list.
What do you feel can be done to fix this?
This is an issue that has been transcending  over a number of generations and I strongly believe awareness and education is the best fix.
The objective is:

• Confronting our fears (more swimming and less drowning)

• Addressing the stereotypes

• Dispelling the myths.

Together with Kush Films and SpaceDNA my production company, we are not going to stop until every one that can learn from this has seen it. We are not trying to change the world just the mindsets of people that just like myself didn’t see the importance of swimming as a life skill amongst other benefits.

What is your own experience of not being able to swim? 
Statistics quotes that if the parents do not swim, the child has only 13% chance of learning how to swim. I am a victim of that statistic.
I then spent most of my adult life hiding behind the comfort of the stereotype that blacks can’t swim.
Where can people watch the film? 

The film is only available by private online viewing and can be requested from www.blackscantswim.com

We will send you a private secure link to watch it.

This is a Self Funded project so we are asking people who see the benefit in this to please help us help the world by clicking below and supporting our campaign by pledging any amount. Be a part of this revolution.

If someone wishes to learn how to swim – whether in the UK black community or otherwise – who should they contact?
We are currently updating a list of Swimming specialist for this purpose on www.blackscantswim.com
What’s next for you?
My aim is to continue creating awareness through Film and Music. My creative partnership with the film Director Mysterex allows us to focus on important issues and convey them through a simple medium.
As you know, I started with the Bear A Witness campaign, which is the homeless project encouraging the world to show an act of kindness when they see a homeless person on their daily travels.
At the moment let’s get more ethnic minorities swimming and less drowning but also watch this space as this is only the beginning.
You can find out more about ‘A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim’ on their official website. Email Frank ‘Ed Accura’ Awuah here.
Listen to the soundtrack for ‘A Film Called Black’s Can’t Swim’ here:

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