Private Project


Njillan is one of the top students in her class, and has just been awarded a government scholarship to pursue secondary education. Excited to share this achievement with her family, she is welcomed with bad news: her father has given her away in marriage to Sengan, despite the protests and pleas from her mother.
At her tender age, Njillan is forced to let go of her dreams and fulfil her marital duties. She falls pregnant and faces complications while giving birth to her son, Modi. She doesn’t survive.
Modi grows up and is initiated into manhood by his grandfather, Njillan’s father. Now a man, he has the opportunity to carry forward the culture of child marriage or reverse the trends and protect his future daughters. For the first time in his life, he has an encounter with the spirit of his mother, telling her story and pleading with him to break the cycle.
Mebet tells the story of one girl’s attempt to turn the tragedies of the past into lessons for the future. It is a conversation across generations to deliver positive change. The film showcases aspects of African culture to counter the negative narratives about the continent, and portray the reality of our journeys through stories of resilience and hope.

  • Ousman Jarju
    Calabash, Darkness Under The Sun
  • Muhammed H. Mahoney
    Calabash, Darkness Under The Sun
  • Ousman Jarju
  • Muhammed H. Mahoney
  • Mariama Colley
    Key Cast
  • Sheikh Tijan Sonko
    Key Cast
    "Bai Samba"
  • Rohey Camara
    Key Cast
  • Jainaba T. Sarr
    Key Cast
  • Sheikh Tijan Secka
  • Pa Manjai Sey
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    33 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 15, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ousman Jarju

Ousman Jarju is a director, editor and screenwriter, with almost two decades of experience in producing, directing and editing TV commercials, programs, music video and other material for TV. He developed a passion for film and storytelling at a very young age and started acting on stage and writing skits on issues that affect young people in his community. He collaborated with his friend Muhammed Hakeem Mahoney to produce their first feature film, Calabash (2005), which he directed and acted as the lead character. Ousman took filmmaking courses at the London Film Academy (LFA), after which he wrote and directed a short film – Darkness Under The Sun (2012).

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Director Statement

A sister and a dear friend of mine was forced into marriage as a child to someone she did not choose – in fact, she was too young to make a choice at all. She had to endure unimaginable pain and challenges during this period, but her resilience saw her triumph over all adversity.
Mebet deals with a serious subject matter that continues to be a challenge in the lives of many young girls. The motivation for child marriage in a lot of households and families may include economic challenges and/or a strong desire to uphold certain traditions and cultures. We present this film in a way that values the good aspects of our cultures and traditions, but going further to pose a crucial question: what happens to our community if all promising, ambitious and intelligent young girls are married off forcefully?
My sister and friend was lucky to come out of it alive and turned around her life to become an example of resounding success – many others are not so lucky!