Whether you’ve secured you’re first full time job or just finished your studies the pressure to have a partner has never been more imminent.

Everywhere we look it seems as though people around us are falling in love, getting married and staring a family. But if your singleton – like me – this is not exactly what you want to see or hear.

For some a relationship can be daunting; the expectations, the commitment and not to mentioned the compromises, but it saying that doesn’t have challenging. Love and relationships are just like anything else in life, you have a choice – to love and to be loved.

Menelik Shabazz director of Looking for Love – a feature length documentary film – speaks to us about love in the Black community. We caught up with Menelik himself to find why he created the film and why this type of film is important


Menelik Shabazz, director of Lover Rock and Burning an Illusion

The Film

Looking for Love is funny but truthful at the same time. It takes a broad look at the different aspects of a relationships from dating, to settling down, baggage and self healing. Often, we are very limited in what we see on TV or what we experiences we have in our own lives in regards to love, so the film helps to bridge that gap.

Even a simple question like what is love? or Is love really like what we see in the movies or the media? Can be difficult to answer. But by being realistic with ourselves and others we can begin to find the answers to these questions. The film is important because it provides that space to open up a conversation about different ways of looking at relationships that we have not seen or heard in a documentary before.

Perceptions of Love

The journey of the film has certainly broaden my awareness. As men, I find that we rarely talk to each other about our hurt or intimate feelings. But in the film Capital XTRA DJ and Comedian Kojo breaks this mold, alongside other interviewees and opens about his painful experience of love, so in a way the film has also helped me – and I hope over men – to open up and express these feelings, rather than dismiss or bury them. Understandably, talking about negative emotions aren’t easy but the more we do it, the more comfortable we can become as a community.

Looking for love

What is love?

The central message of the documentary is really about looking for love inside of ourselves, rather than outwards – from others.

By looking at how our past relationships and early childhood shape us and our relationship in the present and future, we can begin to understand ourselves and what we want or expect in relationships.

The film also touches on theme such as sex, intimacy and healing, but at the core it’s about finding the jewel we all have within that allows us to truly love ourselves and others.

I hope the film will give people a chance to reflect on their lives and help people to understand their own baggage or addictions as we all to gain a better understanding in one form or another about where these traits comes from. From this I hope we can all live a better life enjoying the laws of attraction.

Generational Changes

For generations, our understanding of love has been warped by the movies, novels and the media. So we live our lives ‘looking for love ‘ waiting for our prince charming or princess to make our lives complete. When in reality it rarely happened. Nowadays prince charming has to come with the bling’ and love is covered with a bullet proof vest. People are afraid to show love and open their hearts.

Another difference is that women now have more control of their lives, they don’t need a man to look after them like previous generations, they have more choices – that is the biggest change. The challenge today and in the future is finding the balance in relationships that works for both men and women.

Have a sneak preview of Looking for Love below.

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Looking for Love will be released on DVD on Monday 23rd November 2015, if you like what you see, be sure to get your copy then!

About Rianna Raymond-Williams

I am the Founder and Managing Director of Shine ALOUD UK. I started the magazine in 2011 as a part time uni project and since then it has grown from strength to strength accumulated 40,000 readers, a host of contributors - both international and international - and financial backing from the likes of 02, Starbucks, The Alec Dickinson Trust and Lloyds Banking Group.