Q&A with Yajaira De La Espada

Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense is a documentary that gives voice to the growing trend of Afro-descendants moving back to the continent of Africa to live. It highlights the life of a professional educator and their journey through the Texas school system to find freedom amid issues surrounding school equity, racism, and miseducation. This is juxtaposed against the life and legacy of the founding father of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who enacted empowering policies such as Ujamaa and Education for Self-Reliance, and the life and times of Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, the president who denounced COVID-19. While the American education system has left more to be desired in teaching about African leaders such as Nyerere and Magufuli, this documentary dissects the issues of culturally unresponsive curricula and harmful teaching practices in the U.S., providing solutions centered on the history of independence and contemporary political policies of Tanzania. Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense helps viewers to imagine a society governed by teachers and the positive impact they bring.

Co-presented with Cinema Tropical