#OutFilmFestKE: The First OUT Film Festival in Kenya, A Review

I attended the first ever OUT FILM FESTIVAL in Kenya which was held at Goethe Institut, Maendeleo House. Here is a brief review of what was.

The event was held on Friday 2nd from 6pm to 8pm and Saturday 3rd the whole day. I only went on Friday and boy was it packed! See a (dark) pic I took:

I was standing at the back! Apparently, according to this story here, the organisers anticipated for a 60pax turnout but lo and behold, 200 came!

Its easy to assume that most peeps who showed up were just curious. I for one was indeed. But my main motivation was that it was the FIRST!

Just having such an event in Kenya for me is a great stride. It means we’re moving somewhere.

I only feel sad that the reporting on that Daily Nation story was done poorly. But that’s a story for another day.

Most of the films on the list I’d already watched. Such as, Kuchus of Uganda, Milk and Transformations. It was unfortunate some of the Kenyan productions wouldn’t be viewed because of stigma and discrimination but that was understandable.

Kuchus of Uganda is a film (not well shot) about the gay people in Uganda, and especially so in Kampala. It  highlights the issues they face day to day, their joys and pains, their ups and downs. It seems it was done by a hand held camcorder but at least it captures the views of the community.

Milk is a famous famous show and I’d only direct you to Wikipedia for more details and tell you that its a MUST WATCH. Seriously.

Milk is a 2008 American biographical film on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Dustin Lance Black, the film stars Sean Penn as Milk and Josh Brolin as Dan White, another city supervisor who was Milk’s assassin. The film was released to much acclaim and earned numerous accolades from film critics and guilds. Ultimately, it received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, winning two forBest Actor in a Leading Role for Penn and Best Original Screenplay for Black.

I recommend also, in case you’ll be looking for other films, to find “Getting Out” a film by Refugee Law Project in Uganda. Its better than Kuchus of Uganda.

Let me know what you think. Post a comment, visit the facebook page, tweet me…. I can even help you, start with: “Me I think…….” 🙂

#Wamathai911: A Review

I attended the much awaited Wamathai Spoken Word for September 2011 (hence the hashtag #Wamathai911, coined by yours truly;)) that was held on 4th this month at Secrets Lounge. Here is a few words about how the event went.

It was a Sunday. It was very cold and rainy. I almost refused to leave my house! But I braved the cold and went, I had promised to be there.

Secrets Lounge is a nice place. When you’re inside there, its very easy to forget what’s happening outside. Reminds me of Steps… but that’s a story for another day!

I went in late, the event had already started as I arrived an hour late. As usual, I did the needful and checked in via foursquare and started tweeting as I enjoyed the poetry and spoken word. I’m a poetry lover so it was very easy to keep me entertained. Sadly, I didn’t have a front row seat so I didn’t see much of what happened. Oh, and again, I didn’t keep track of the titles of the poems performers did but I can remember some of the emotions some of the pieces invoked within me.

The event was hosted by @ItsBUddhaBlaze and he did a stellar job. He kept reminding us to snap our fingers instead of clapping as is the way to applaud a performance in spoken word.

There was a nice funny performance by Nuru Bahati and I like the caption Reumac got here: “The truth is ugly even though you use Fair & Lovely”

Binti Mswahili aka @bintiM wowed us with two pieces. I particularly remember one of her pieces which was inspired by #tittytuesdays, where she poked and prodded at the demeaning nature of the said TT.

And who can forget the amazing piece by @ItsMugambi “Let It Never Be Said“. Powerful piece! He received many clicks during and after his performance. He also performed another piece called Never Let You Down.

I was elated to see @LarryMadowo in the house, and even more when he performed. It was funny to hear people make fun of him performing using his phone. But its still poetry, no? Hehehe!

And interestingly, other TV reporters/anchors were at the event. Apart from Larry, there was Henry Githaiga, who performed, and @bonneytunya.

I missed seeing @Mawazo_Mengi at the event but was happy to see @WanjikuMwaurah there & even perform one of her pieces. I also missed seeing Kevin “Man Njoro” at the event. And I wouldn’t forget mentioning @DaddieMarto.

Another highlight of the afternoon was a performance by the one and only Ngwatilo! She apparently barely made it to the event and even so, was not as well prepared, but having her perform one or two of her own pieces was just as good and no one would complain. Kudos.

@Ngwatilo on stage

Dan Number 8 also made it to the event, in a cast & crutches! If that is not dedication to your passion then I don’t know what is! Did he perform? I can’t remember. I don’t think so, correct me if I’m wrong.

I particularly enjoyed the performance by @Jemedariflows, @Xhosie & the other guy, “the human beat box” Checkmate!

Some of the quotes on the twitter hash tag #Wamathai911:

Any girl can make a man come bt only a woman can make a man stay

All men are CHEETAHS cause all women are DEERS

With a banana,2 eggs and mayonnaise a man can keep a woman’s tummy full for 9 months

All in all, Wamathai September 2011 was really good. I was happy that there was less booze so less noise and more spoken word entertainment. I even enjoyed Pozi’s performance, despite peeps leaving while he performed. I like his music.

For a visual presentation, click away onto Reumac’s Blog. I love the way he’s done a slideshow of all the pics he took. Amazing work! Great clarity, well captured.

And that, was Wamathai911!

The Odd Young Bus Preacher

I use City Hoppas on my route. And one thing that’s not a surprise on our route is bus preachers. For me, they’re annoying. Very very annoying! I mean, if I want to hear the word of God I will go to church, right? Why do these preachers assume that everyone on the bus is a) interested in what he has to say and b) is a christian? Why? SMH!

Worst of all is that at the end of the sermon, they ask for an offering! This is the most annoying part of the whole annoyance! It is veeery easy to claim that this is their ultimate goal anyway.

But this particular bus preacher was different. He was a regular young man, probably in his mid-twenties and didn’t have that look that many bus preachers have. When he stood up, I immediately placed a mental block against him and started sleeping. Unfortunately I was seated in front and he was talking right above me so it was very difficult to ignore him. He was talking about the usual stuff about Jesus and being born again.

The odd things? He was young. The bus preachers I’ve seen aren’t young guys.

The striking thing: he never asked for cash! People did give him something here and there but that was it. He didn’t ask. I waited to hear “haya sasa tutoe sadaka tusaidie mtumishi wa mungu aeneze habari hii yake….” but nothing! That was what striked me the most. He asked listeners to pray a prayer for being born again, gave his number and name (Evans) and left!

I remember telling myself I can’t wait to see one bus preacher who only gives the word for the sake of giving it and doesn’t have a sadaka angle. He came. That was something!

#Wamathai911!!!

Wamathai.com presents #Wamathai911 A.K.A Wamathai Spoken Word September 2011. p.s. I coined the ‘Wamathai911’ hash tag 😉 😀

Wamathai Spoken Word – September [#Wamathai911] , 4th September @ Secrets Lounge

Posted on August 29, 2011 by Wamathai

Wamathai.com presents Wamathai Spoken Word – September on 4th September at Secrets Lounge, View Park Towers from 3pm t0 6pm.

The event will be Hosted By Buddha Blaze.

There shall be performances by: Ngwatilo MawiyooNumber 8Aisha AliAdelle,Wanjiku MwaurahLe ClericEl Poet, Kennet B, Kuni Mbichi, Fuse, Achieng OdhiamboDaddie MartoLarry MadowoMugambi Nthiga, Samir Dave, Gloria Moses, Sistah Lorna, Namatsi Lukoye, Nuru Bahati among others

Music by: Pozi & Jemedari

Gate Charges: Kshs. 300

For regular updates of the event check our twitter page and our Fan page on facebook.

*** Kindly Spread the word about the event by tweeting about it (use the hashtag #Wamathai911 when doing so) and by inviting your friends to the event page.

See you all there!

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