Mayor on the Frontline: Democracy in Crisis

60 minute observational documentary for the BBC

The Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, has won international plaudits for addressing many of the issues facing the capital of one of Africa’s poorest countries. 

But as she bids for re-election for a second term, she finds herself on the frontline of a democratic crisis.

With unique access to Aki-Sawyerr, her team and her family, this BBC Africa Eye documentary offers unique insight into not only the highs and lows of Sierra Leonean politics, but also the personal cost of a life in the political limelight.   

Filmed over the course of a year, this documentary follows Aki-Sawyerr through the toughest period of her political career as she fights to win a second term in the midst of one of Sierra Leone’s most fiercely contested elections.

Watch the full film on Youtube (below) or on iPlayer (UK only)


This film was broadcast worldwide on the BBC World News channel and distributed to over 30 African broadcasters. It was shared by influential political figures, including the former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The film was featured in an article for the BBC News homepage and Aki-Sawyerr was interviewed on BBC Woman’s Hour, Focus on Africa and Africa Daily. Producer Abdul Brima also spoke to the BBC World Service about the process behind the making of the documentary.

Opposition party rally in Freetown