So the screening of the highly anticipated yet controversial movie Rafiki came and went. Hardcore fans and those who showed up in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu just out of curiosity or because of what had been announced in the movie all showed up to watch. Now as the dust settles down, I find myself wondering what if the movie had not been controversial would it have attracted such a crowd? Do we celebrate some of the good Kenyan movies from our version of Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood that is Riverwood?
Apart from that, there are also creative movies that speak on themes of dealing with terminal conditions, philanthropy, family values, and fiction among others. If you have missed any of the below movies you should definitely go watch them
- Charles Mully
Charles Mully, the movie, is a tear-jerking story of a small boy abandoned by his family at the age of five. With no means to survive, he resorted to being a beggar and street boy. Years later, he arrived in Nairobi and things changed for the better and he started a business, got married, had children, and enjoyed all the trappings of being a millionaire.
One day, his car is vandalized by street boys and instead of going into a fit of rage like most of us would do, he started seeing himself through their eyes and his conscience would not let him rest as these children lived in the streets. Titled Mully, the 81-minute movie premiered in Los Angeles and follows his work as an entrepreneur and founder of Mully Children’s Family.
The first child was adopted in 1989 and the homes, spread across Yatta, Ndalani, Turkana, Mombasa and Kitale as well as in Mwanza and Dare Salaam, Tanzania, have so far helped over 13,000 children.
“After being abandoned, I found my family after 11 years. My father was abusive and addicted to alcohol. He was a violent man and whenever he would start fighting with my mother I would hide under the bed,” he told ActScene.
To start supporting the orphaned and needy children, Mulli sold everything and opted to forego all the wealth he had accumulated and instead use it to care for them. That, however, did not go down well with his family.
The film has so far won several awards including The Man in the Mirror award and has been screened in 80 cinemas across the United States of America.
The documentary feature has also been listed for an Oscar nomination. It will premiere in Kenya next year in January. It has been 29 years since Mulli began helping the less fortunate by educating and clothing them.
If the movie does not scream MUST WATCH then I don’t know which one will.
Directed by Mbithi Masya and starring Nyokabi Gethaiga, Elsaphan Njora, Paul Ogola among others,
the film is about a young woman, Kaleche who wakes up in a small village with no memory of her life or who she is for that matter. Aptly named, the village called Kati Kati, is home to dead people like her. Oozing spiritual vibe, the movie establishes this form of purgatory as a village that you cannot literally leave.
In this village, all you need is delivered to you as well after writing on a pad while your lunch can disappear right before your eyes. Kaleche si shocked that while some of the people there had died almost a decade ago, they only arrived in Kati Kati a few months or years back. They must have spent time elsewhere. Instantly, you realise there is a good reason why these individuals are there.
After some time, Kaleche’s past will dawn on her, intertwined with that of one of the residents at Kati Kati leading to an eruption of emotion as she learns why she died.
Kati Kati won Best Movie (East Africa) and Best Indigenous Language Movie Or Tv Series – Swahili respectively in the AMVCA 2017 awards (Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards) organized by MultiChoice Africa. It is definitely worth your time and you can find it on watch demand platforms.
- 18 hours
Do you remember the incident that occurred in Nairobi, where a road accident victim spent 18 hours in an ambulance because Kenyatta National Hospital did not have a vacant bed at ICU? Well, this film was inspired by the events of that day. Directed by Njue Kevin,18 hours features a rookie paramedic who spends 18 hours in an ambulance trying to save the life of a road crash victim who cannot be admitted into a hospital as all hospital beds are filled to the brim.
The story definitely hits home with many Kenyans and gives a glimpse of the struggles that Kenyan patients go through before they are admitted to hospital in case of an emergency. Also, it appreciates the role played by paramedics who are always trying their best to save lives. Coming at a time when the health sector is grappling with several challenges, the movie fits the bill and will make you think and want to have better because you never know.
Find Me Unafraid
We also can’t wait for the premiere of the movie on Kibera philanthropist Kennedy Odede. The story of lovebirds Kennedy and Jessica is almost a fairy tale. Kennedy is a man from Kibera, who married an American woman, Jessica.
Jessica and Kennedy are the founders of Shining Hope For Communities (Shofco), a community-based organisation that helps in large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services, community advocacy platforms and education.
The organisation is currently serving more than 250,000 Kenyans across the country’s slums. The movie will be based on the internally acclaimed best-selling book titled Find Me Unafraid. The movie will be directed and produced by Tony Goldwyn.