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All posts by Derrick Kinyanjui

‘ECHOES’ the anticipated 2023 stage kick off

‘ECHOES’ the anticipated 2023 stage kick off

Kenyan theatre markers, Esther Kamba, Wanjiku Mwawuganga, Martin Kigondu, Beril Oondo, and Joseph Obel have announced their first 2023 production, ECHOES.

What if the universe was sound and every time it echoed another universe similar to this but parallel was born? That is the basis of the play ECHOES. It is about sounds that reverberate and affect both chance and choice. It allows us the space to explore theatrically, this complexity of the human condition that everything is fleeting and yet nothing ends.

ECHOES stars one of the best actors in Kenya Martin Kigondu (Supernova, Ngaahika Ndeenda) and the most well rounded artist in Kenya Wanjiku Mwawuganga (Roots).

Wanjiku Mwawuganga
Wanjiku Mwawuganga

Wanjiku Mwawuganga is a Kenyan Multidisciplinary Artist, mostly known for her work as a theatre director. Among the shows she has worked on are her directorial debut; ‘We Won’t Forget‘ which toured East Africa and was featured in the Jalada Literally Mobile Festival, 2017. And Sitawa Namwalie’s; “Taking My Father Home“, 2020. She is an Alumni of the DAH Theatre International Summer School; class of 2019 and a scholarship holder of the Zürcher Theater Spektakel 2020 Watch and Talk. Her current work in progress,Roots; a multidisciplinary one woman show, opened in Nairobi and was also showcased at the Spielart Festival Müchen, 2021 and the Zürcher Theater Spektakel 2022. ‘Roots‘ is currently doing its East African Tour.

Martin Kigondu
Martin Kigondu

Martin Kigondu is a Kenyan theatre and film maker that stands tall with an impressive background in theatre. He is notable for his works as a playwright and director but is also celebrated as an adept actor, with honours such as leading in John Sibi Okumu’s play ‘Kaggia’ (2019) and playing the iconic Gicaamba in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s play ‘I will Marry when I want’ (2022). Described in the papers as ‘arguably one of Kenya’s finest theatre brains‘ (2017) among other remarkable reviews of his work; Kigondu is an alumnus of the Canadian Directors Lab and a product of the Phoenix Players, Nairobi. With a career that spans over fifteen years in theatre thus far, Kigondu is also a producer, podcaster and screenwriter. He is the founder and producing artistic director of Prevail Presents – a film and theatre company and is a co-founder and co-host of the Busy Being Born podcast, a growth and development podcast that spotlights African excellence. He is also active in the performing arts teaching and training spaces, handling both novice and professional talent.

The two-hander is directed by the award winning experimental theatre maker, Esther Kamba (The Dying Need No Shoes, Dilation). Joseph Obel (Kenya Theatre Awards nominee) is the team’s production manager, and Beril Oondo (Lady in Red) is the stage manager for the production.

ECHOES will be opening on Friday, February 10th, at 7:00 pm. The subsequent shows are scheduled on Saturday, February 11th, at 6:00 pm and Sunday, February 12th at 3:00 pm & 6:00 pm, at the Cheche Gallery, Kenya Cultural Center in Nairobi, Kenya.

The production team of ECHOES hold live talks, Q&As, games and interactive sessions with the audience on Instagram and Facebook every Monday and Friday. Everyone planning to come watch the play is urged to follow these live shows on the Instagram handles of Martin Kigondu, Wanjiku Mwawuganga, Esther Kamba, Beril Oondo, and Joseph Obel, to dive deeper into the ECHOES world, as the actors explain different elements of the play in a playful and engaging manner.

Regular tickets are Ksh 1499 while couple tickets advance go for Ksh 2800. The sales for both regular and advance couple tickets end on February 5th, 2023. Gate tickets are Ksh 2000.

You can purchase your tickets via the MPESA TILL No.9584367.

3RD CYCLE FILM EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME AWARDEES

3RD CYCLE FILM EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME AWARDEES

In April 2020, The Kenya Film Commission in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German development agency that provides tailor-made, cost-efficient and effective services for sustainable development launched THE FILM EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME set out to provide film and video-related funding in the broad categories of;

  • Development funding (of feature films, documentaries and TV concepts)
  • Production funding (of feature films and documentaries)
  • Marketing and distribution funding
  • Emerging filmmaker funding 

   This year’s 3rd CYCLE FILM EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME has awarded the following the following upcoming projects;

PRODUCTION FUNDING

1.Limo on the Run (Documentary) Ksh 4,235,500.00

2.Otis Janam (Feature Film) Ksh 6,880,000.00

3.2 Asunder (Feature Film) Ksh 5,248,000.00

4.Family Vacation (Feature Film) Ksh 4,202,500.00

5.Punchline (Feature Film) Ksh 4,440,000.00

6.Kileo (Feature Film) Ksh 3,161,500.00

7.Kahawa Black (Feature Film) Ksh 3,255,000.00

DEVELOPMENT FUNDING

1.Valley of Gold (TV Series) Ksh 1,090,000.00

2.Finish Line (Feature Film) Ksh 1,655,000.00

3.Buzzy (Animation) Ksh 357,000.00

EMERGING FILMMAKERS

1.Bromance Central (Feature Film) Ksh 447,102.00

2.Love and Betrayal (Short Film) Ksh 353,663.00

3.The Chasm (Short Film) Ksh 437,000.00

4.Nyakio (Animation) Ksh 469,500.00

5.Ipo Siku (Short Film) Ksh 483,000.00

6.Barua la Uhamisho (Short Film) Ksh 397,000.00

7.The Dare Devil (Short Film) Ksh 467,000.00

8.Say (Short Film) Ksh 349,500.00

9.Beyond Passion (Documentary) Ksh 451,000.00

10.Hell or Highwater (Short Film) Ksh 500,000.00

11.Kayombo Ksh 500,000.00

12.Chapati: Strange Woman and the Kitchen (Short Film) Ksh 236,000.00

Congratulations to all the 3rd Cycle Film Empowerment Programme Awardees.

ANOTHER BREATHTAKING CINEMATIC SHORT FROM LORNA LEMI

ANOTHER BREATHTAKING CINEMATIC SHORT FROM LORNA LEMI

Known for her captivating theatrical performances and her acclaimed screen presence in projects such as NairoberryCrime and Justice and The Hummingbird (a short film of which she produced and directed) among others, LORNA LEMI has yet again released another captivating cinematic short titled BRAIN STORM

In collaboration with Director Sanchez Marley, Godfrey Hinga (Location,Sound), Show Pictures’ Sheldon Owinya (DOP and Editor), Ngigi Stitch (Art Director and Set Designer) and See me Studios’ Lozh Pictures (DOP and Gaffer), Lorna Lemi wrote,produced and starred in the Cinematic, Thriller, Comedy Monologue BRAIN STORM

BRAIN STORM is centered on a mentally ill character in a juvenile asylum

In the monologue, Lorna does an accurate and stunning portrayal of a mentally ill character and the film has admirable attention to detail from the costuming to the location and captivating shots

BRAIN STORM is available to watch on Lorna Lemi’s Instagram via the link below

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cm-5WrDsCHR/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

 LORNA LEMI Sanaa Post Profile

BIGGEST 2022 MOMENTS IN THE KENYAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

BIGGEST 2022 MOMENTS IN THE KENYAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

2022,a year of which the Kenyan Film, TV, and Theatre industry has been filled with achievements that put the Entertainment sector on the spotlight like never before

Here are some of the biggest 2022 moments in the Kenyan Entertainment industry of 2022

1.THREE KENYAN FILMS PREMIER AT THE TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The TIFF is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world, attracting over 480,000 people annually.

This year three Kenyan Films premiered at the festival

  • SHIMONI

A film about a teacher newly released from prison renegotiates the confines of the physical world while forced to face his nightmares in the flesh

  • BABA

‘BABA’ follows a six year old boy living in the outskirts of Nairobi uses an unusual ability to escape a harsh reality

  • FREE MONEY

‘FREE MONEY’ follows an experimental funded by the charity GiveDirectly in which residents of the Kenyan village of Kogutu over the age of 18 can opt to receive a universal basic income of $22 per month for the test period of 12 years

2.THE LAUNCH OF KENYA’S FIRST NETFLIX SERIES ‘COUNTRY QUEEN’

Released on July 15, Country Queen created quite a buzz as the first Kenyan series on Netflix with a star studded cast consisting of; Melissa Kiplagat, Melvin Alusa, Nini Wacera and many more.

The series ended up becoming the most watched Netflix show in Kenya 3 weeks in a row acquiring Three nominations at the Zikomo Awards and Six nominations at the Kalasha Awards

3.’NGAAHIKA NDEENDA’ (I WILL MARRY WHEN I WANT) MAKES A STAGE COMEBACK AFTER MORE THAN 40 YEARS 

Written by Ngūgī wa Thiong’o and Ngūgī wa Miiri,the then banned play ‘Ngaahika Ndeenda’ covers post-colonial themes of class struggle, poverty, gender, culture, religion, modernity vs tradition, marriage and family

The play was staged at the Kenya National Theatre on May and October directed by the award winning Director Stuart Nash

4.NAIROBI HALF LIFE CELEBRATES 10 YEARS 

Released on the 19th of July 2012 at the Durban Film Festival, Nairobi Half Life stood out to become a massive success

Directed by Tosh Gitonga, the film won several accolades at the Durban International Film Festival, African Movie Academy Awards and the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

5.’CLICK CLICK BANG’ MAKES 2.5 MILLION IN IT’S OPENING WEEKEND

Directed by Philip Karanja alongside Michael Munyoki and written by Abel Mutua, Click Click Bang was released on July 15 to a groundbreaking opening weekend gathering a sum of 2.5 million ksh starring Basil Mungai, Nyakundi Isaboke, Shigwan Shiqo, Amina Hussein, Jacky Vike, Idah Alisha.

6. ‘THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NAIROBI’ ANNOUNCED TO PREMIER IN 2023

African streaming service Showmax, in partnership with NBCUniversal Formats, is bringing The Real Housewives to Nairobi. The Real Housewives of Nairobi, which will debut in 2023 as a Showmax Original, is the 22nd international version of The Real Housewives format and the sixth to be adapted in Africa.

7. ‘DISCONNECT 2’ AND MUSIC SERIES ‘VOLUME’ COMMISSIONED BY NETFLIX

Both directed by Tosh Gitonga, ‘Disconnect 2’ and the now in production ‘Volume’ series were commissioned by Netflix this year

Starring Pascal Tokodi and Catherine Kamau-Karanja, ‘Disconnect: The Wedding Planner’ is to be released on the 13th of January 2023

8. SHOWMAX POLITICAL THRILLER ‘COUNTY 49’ BREAKS STREAMING RECORD ON THE PLATFORM

The critically acclaimed Showmax TV show COUNTY 49 broke a record of the most viewed series on the first day of it’s release

Directed by Likarion Wainaina and starring Peter Kawa, Nyokabi Macharia and Wakio Mzenge, the series acquired Five nominations at the Kalasha Awards

9. ‘MPAKANI’, KENYA’S FIRST MILITARY SERIES LAUNCHED

From the creators of the highly acclaimed film ‘Mission to Rescue’,Foxton Media and KBC Kenya launched the first military series on the 28th of November

10. ‘TERASTORM’ KENYA’S FIRST SUPERHERO ANIMATION FILM SUBMITTED FOR THE OSCARS

Directed by Andrew Kaggia and featuring voice artists; Ali Mwangola, Arabron Nyyneque, Melvin Alusa, Mungai Kiroga, Sarah Muhoho and Peter Mudamba, TERASTORM premiered in theaters on the 24th of November

The animated film was later submitted for the Oscars making it the first superhero animation to ever be submitted to the awards

11. KENYA’S FIRST CHRISTMAS FEATURE FILM RELEASED

On December 15, the streaming platform Showmax released Kenya’s first Christmas Feature Film ‘A FAMILIAR CHRISTMAS’ 

Directed by Reuben Odanga and starring Maureen Kunga and Pascal Tokodi, the film follows a family spending Christmas together for the first time in three years but plans for a loving holiday are disrupted when secrets and a meddling mother wreaks havoc on her household

12. ‘TOO EARLY FOR BIRDS’ MAKES A MUCH ANTICIPATED COMEBACK

Too Early for Birds is a series of Kenyan theatre shows that stages diverse stories from Kenyan history. Founded in early 2017 by Kenyan performers Abu Sense and Ngartia, the show and its title were inspired by the work of historian and blogger Owaahh.

The much anticipated sixth edition took place on the weekend of 4th, 5th and 6th November 2022 after a two year hiatus with a total of five shows at the Jain Bhavan Auditorium in Loresho

With these and more having been archieved in 2022, fans around the country hope for more record breaking contents next year 

Sources; Sinema focus ke, IMDB, Wikipedia

BACK TO BASICS BACK WITH A BANG!

BACK TO BASICS BACK WITH A BANG!

Bringing the stage back to life

From the makers of; Strangers by Blood (2018), Mutual Misery (2018), Legally Insane (2018), Breathe I(2018),II(2019),III(2021), Free fall (2019) and many more, BACK TO BASICS is back with another riveting play.

Created by Mbeki Mwalimu,

Mbeki Mwalimu
Mbeki Mwalimu

MARKET PRICE explores the stark reality of children and young adults in low income areas whose only choice is to survive.

“We all have things we consider priceless, Family, Love, Innocence and Children. Now, consider someone ripping these away from you and there was nothing you could do about it and this became your forever life…

brace yourselves for another riveting play that will linger in your mind long after the curtains fall.” Back to Basics via Instagram.

Directed by Wakio Mzenge (County 49)

Wakio Mzenge
Wakio Mzenge

in her directorial debut, produced by Masuti Mwalimu and written by Saumu Kombo (Breathe III), MARKET PRICE features a renowned cast consisting of; Mwikali Mary (Breathe III),Vivian Gichuhi (Tapeli), Cosmas Kirui (Son of Agich), Wendy Jebet (Simba Bazenga), Chadota Sandra (Flash Squad), Mkamzee Mwatele (Mali), Basil Mungai (Click Click Bang), Nick Ndeda (18 Hours), Shiviske Shivisi (Disconnect), Nyokabi Macharia (Maempress) and Charles Stephen in charge of lighting.

Nick Ndeda
Nick Ndeda

MARKET PRICE will be staged at the Jain Bhavan (Loresho Ridge next to Loresho Primary School) on December 3rd and 4th at 3pm and 6pm.

Tickets are available now on http://ticketsasa.com

Be There

NOMINEES KALASHA AWARDS 2022

NOMINEES KALASHA AWARDS 2022

Set to reward exceptional talent in various spheres in the TV and Film Industry, the Kalasha International Film and TV awards is back this year in it’s 12th Edition

The Kalasha International Film and TV awards 2022 12th edition begins with the announcing of nominations of productions done throughout the year in various categories

FILM 

BEST LEAD ACTOR

  • Basil Mungai – Click Click Bang
  • Elyas Muhamud – Gacal
  • Morris Mwangi – Baba Twins
  • Tim King’oo – Last Supper
  • Barkhad Abdi – Ayaanle

BEST LEAD ACTRESS

  • Nyokabi Macharia – Chaguo
  • Joyce Musoke – Wise Woman
  • Marianne Nungo – Last Supper
  • Mwanatunu Imam – Jaramandia
  • Violetta Ngina – Baba Twins 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Ian Nyakundi – Click Click Bang
  • Brian Ogola – Chaguo
  • Andrew Muthure – Bargain Bride
  • Zubeir Mohammed – Gacal
  • Sammy Ukavi – Medicine Man

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Auudi Rowa – Chaguo
  • Annstella Karimi – Baba Twins 
  • Amina Moha – Ayaanle
  • Sahara Mohammed – Zuena
  • Basro Dahir – Gacal

BEST SHORT FILM

  • Christmas Love
  • Last Supper
  • Mirror Mirror
  • Undugu
  • It Rained Again

BEST FEATURE FILM

  • Click Click Bang
  • Chaguo
  • Anti Social
  • Baba Twins
  • Ayaanle

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • Unwrapped
  • Stori Yangu
  • The Elephants of Selenkay
  • Tales from the Pandemic

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

  • Black Shines Brightest Stories
  • Kiswahili Kitukuzwe
  • Inyumba yu Mulogooli
  • Almost Somali
  • International Women’s Day Documentary for Malaria No More UK

TELEVISION

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA

  • Peter Kawa – County 49
  • Joe Kinyua – Njoro wa Uba
  • Melvin Alusa – Country Queen
  • Alfred Munyua – Crime and Justice

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV DRAMA

  • Melissa Kiplagat – Country Queen
  • Sanaipei Tande – Kina
  • Gathoni Mutua – Single Kiasi
  • Aisha Mwajumlah – Pete
  • Ivy Wanjiku – Sanura

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA

  • James Webbo – County 49 
  • Bryan Kabugi – Salem
  • Blessing Lung’aho – Country Queen
  • Maqbull Mohammed – Crime and Justice
  • Moses Kiema – Kina

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV DRAMA

  • Nyokabi Macharia – County 49
  • Foi Wambui – Salem
  • Nini Wacera – Country Queen
  • Jane Wambui – Njoro wa Uba 
  • Julie Brenda Nyambura – Kina

BEST TV SHOW

  • This Love
  • Best Of
  • Foods of Kenya
  • Kyallo Kulture
  • Date my Family-Kenya

BEST TV DRAMA

  • County 49
  • Crime and Justice
  • Country Queen
  • Kina
  • Pete

BEST TV ADVERTISEMENT

  • Nice and Lovely TVC
  • Pata Chanjo
  • Acnes TVC
  • When You Smile
  • CPF TVC 2

BEST TV COMEDY

  • Roast House
  • Varshita
  • Too Much Information with TY (TMI)

SPECIAL AWARDS

BEST ANIMATION

  • Health Care Workers Appreciation
  • REV
  • Donji Donji
  • En Okumba
  • I am the Problem

BEST INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

  • Joyce’s Dream
  • Nimpende Nani?
  • Still Okay To Date?
  • Namuddu
  • Malaika

BEST STUDENT FILM

  • Lost
  • Plain Sight
  • Stinger
  • Cheza
  • The Weak-End

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY A STUDENT

  • My Little Warrior
  • The Scourge (Chira)
  • Ogiek at Crossroads
  • Divine of Elevation (Kipsigis)
  • Prepation of “Mursik”

BEST KIDS PRODUCTION

  • Pre-School Kids Learning
  • Good Hygiene Practices
  • H is for Hand washing
  • Toonaweza Tales
  • Tochi and Jose Fire Safety Show

BEST VIEWERS CHOICE (FEATURE)

  • Chaguo
  • Click Click Bang
  • Jaramandia
  • Wrong Number
  • Gacal
  • Zuena
  • Mwanga
  • Ayaanle
  • Anti Social
  • The Message

BEST VIEWERS CHOICE (TV DRAMA)

  • County 49
  • Njoro wa Uba
  • Salem
  • Single Kiasi
  • Nanyorrai
  • Crime and Justice
  • Country Queen
  • Paa Born to Fly
  • Kina
  • Famous

To vote, click the link below

https://m.startimestv.com/hybrid/vote/filmkenya?fbclid=IwAR3ISwr0kEDGFECDZHb9GWq6H3ok1a4FhDWssFMRrRWYp_mv5Tp1kUFUdZg

 

 

 

Kenya International Theatre Festivals 2022 7th Edition

Kenya International Theatre Festivals 2022 7th Edition

In the year 2014,a program investing in and enabling theatre artists and projects by providing platforms, systems and resources for the growth of the theatre industry and the performing arts in general was born and was named the KENYA INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL (KITFest)

Spearheaded by Kevin Kimani (Founder)

Kevin Kimani
Kevin Kimani

Fedari Oyagi (Festival Director)

Fedari Oyagi
Fedari Oyagi

and Michael Pundo (CEO Kenya Cultural Center)

Michael Pundo
Michael Pundo

, KITFest provides a platform to showcase Kenyan theatre to the world and stimulate artists and audiences by bringing International theatrical performances to Kenya. The Festival is also geared towards a celebration of outstanding performances and productions while promoting diverse cultural practices. Theatre artists, practitioners and professionals have an ample opportunity to interact and show their skills and experiences of the industry in the festival.

This year’s 7th edition is held in celebration of the life of Donwill Odhiambo,

Donwill Odhiambo
Donwill Odhiambo

a versatile artist whose last performance was at KITFest 2021 and was best known for his performances at Millaz Productions with shows like Black Out.

As the Kenya Cultural Center celebrates 70 years since it’s inception, what better way to celebrate other than showcase performances from all over the country and the world at large, that is why the festival has organised performances from the following countries; Kenya, South Africa, Egypt,USA, and Spain and also Masterclasses supported and facilitated by artists from Czech Republic, Switzerland and a theme night experience by China.

The opening ceremony which happened on the 1st of November at the Kenya National Theatre was met with outstanding performances. A modern dance choreographed by Collo Blue

Collo Blue
Collo Blue

curtain raised the event electrifying the stage and had the audience ready for what’s to come.

Mufasa the Poet also known as the ‘Kenyan Shakespeare’, delivered a piece titled The Climb with the theme, The Journey of beginning, what it takes, what it took, what is still taking,

Mufasa the Poet performing
Mufasa the Poet performing

spotlighting the process of embracing your gifts and percevering beyond stereotypes.

Writter, Actor and Director Martin Kigondu

Martin Kigondu on stage
Martin Kigondu on stage

 delivered a one person performance titled Supernova. The play follows a man sieving through a love that was, could have been and is, while chasing the highs that come with a busy career and the lows that are survived often in silence. Exploring themes around ambition, love, grief, solitude, family and mental fortitude with both heart and wit and the headspace of man in particular urban isolation.

Gracing the event were the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, Hon. Ababu Namwamba and the Australian High Commissioner to Kenya Mr. Luke Williams as guests of honour.

Hon. Ababu Namwamba and Australian ambassador to Kenya, Mr. Luke Williams
Hon. Ababu Namwamba and Australian ambassador to Kenya, Mr. Luke Williams

“The Kenya International Theatre Festivals is a platform that showcases Kenya and tells Kenya’s story. It is important to know the story for us to tell the story, this is where we learn the story.”

Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, Hon. Ababu Namwamba
Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, Hon. Ababu Namwamba

a statement by Hon. Ababu Namwamba while affirming that the government is ready to make reforms in the art sector one of them being renovating the Kenya National Theatre and for artists to hold him accountable to the promises made.

The Kenya International Theatre Festivals is currently ongoing from the 1st to the 13th of November with a total of 22 shows lined up. Visit http://www.kitfest.co.ke to learn about the shows and ticket purchasing.

    Kenya International Theatre Festivals 2022Kenya International Theatre Festivals 2022

Tukutane KITFest 2022

SMASHING STIGMA SURROUNDING MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH THEATRE

SMASHING STIGMA SURROUNDING MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH THEATRE

“We are holistic beings, and a broken mind leads to a broken body which leads to a broken spirit. And the cycle continues.” Shalini Bhalla-Lucas 

Through the power of storytelling, executive producers Shalini Bhalla-Lucas and Amar Vidyarthi have been vocal about mental well-being by sharing true stories of struggle and pain as well as joy and triumph, whilst also raising awareness and disrupting stigma through theatre hence bringing The Manic Monologues to Kenya.

Having a history with Mental Illness herself, Shalini Bhalla-Lucas shares how art saved her life,

Shalini Bhalla-Lucas
Shalini Bhalla-Lucas

One of the many ways to bring mental well-being to people is through the arts. Dance, music, theatre and art can be healing, transformative and lifesaving. I know this first hand because dance quite literally saved my life.”

Directed by Mugambi Nthiga (Lusala) and featuring a stellar cast consisting of; Nyokabi Macharia (County 49),Wakio Mzenge (My Two Wives), Nick Ndeda (18 hours), Elsaphan Njora (Kati Kati), Charles J Ouda (Mali), Vikash Pattni (Crime and Justice), Auudi Rowa (Salem), and Julissa Rowe (Night, Mother), the show was for one,an emotional journey.

The cast

Staged at the Signature Auditorium, Westlands from the 5th to the 8th of October, the show not only unpacked real life mental illness experiences of Depression,Stress, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Suicidal ideation but also Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder and Obsessive compulsive disorder which don’t have much recognition in Kenya.

Stellar performances were delivered from the cast who lived up to the emotive real life scenarios.

Wakio Mzenge, Vikash Pattni and Elsaphan Njora

Due to the deeply emotional nature of the monologues,free therapy spearheaded by Olive Ndiang’ui (therapist) was offered by the production for any of the audience members who may have felt triggered.

One particular performance by Charles J Ouda left me fascinated,

Charles J Ouda

a monologue entitled African in New York,a story of a young man who was studying at the United States and although considered lucky by his fellow Africans back home,he went through tremendous challenges from being violently assaulted to sleeping in the subway, but he didn’t share any of these experiences since his friends and family were miles away.

The mood changes throughout the show were creativity portrayed from the technical crew behind the lighting and costumes; Henry Wamai (Technical Director),Bryan Emry (Costume Designer).

Produced by Karishma Bhagani (Goddess: The Musical) and Essie Noella (Line Producer), The Manic Monologues for sure broadened my level of empathy towards mental health. I am looking forward to more initiatives of this nature being put to consideration in future productions and also hoping for a second edition.

The cast and crew of The Manic Monologues

Be a part of the conversation by following them on their social media platforms @justjhoom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHEMI CHEMI PLAYERS gives a heartwarming comeback

CHEMI CHEMI PLAYERS gives a heartwarming comeback

From Director and producer Julisa Rowe and a cast consisting of ; Nyokabi Macharia,Wambui Kyama, Sakina Mirichii, Joyce Musoke,Lucy Wache and Julisa Rowe the play SPREAD YOUR GARMENT OVER ME was an eyeopener showcasing the tales that are often not told about various women in the bible.

Staged at the Mamlaka Hill Chapel Ruaka on Sunday 25th of September, the piece uncovered stories from characters who haven’t been payed much attention to, from Deborah keeping up with Israel as the first female judge to Claudia, Pontius Pilate’s wife having a revelation about Christ’s crucifixion.

Let me ask,in the story of Saul, the first king of Israel, did you know that the Medium who Saul went to consult so as to bring up Samuel’s spirit was willing to help him even though mediums and witches were persecuted and killed in the most brutal ways imaginable, now I’m not trying to justify witchcraft but the point is, the piece gave a deeper perspective about these women other than what I’ve been taught throughout my christian life.

Julisa Rowe,Lucy Wache and Nyokabi Macharia
Julisa Rowe,Lucy Wache and Nyokabi Macharia

The actors gave a wonderful performance and I for one was impressed in how they shift characters with an actor playing at most three characters.

The writing saw to it that the story portrayed aspects of Joy, despair, grief,war and hope in the lives of the characters. I personally was touched by the narrative of the Samaritan woman’s experience with Christ which was performed in song form and also felt an emotional connection with the characters and the stories.

The set design, costumes, lighting and props really set the tone for the story

Chemi Chemi players for sure did put up a good show and I for one anticipate for their next production.

Follow them on their social media @chemichemiplayers on all platforms to know what they have in store.

A play on the LIFE IN THE BIBLE THROUGH WOMEN’S EYES

A play on the LIFE IN THE BIBLE THROUGH WOMEN’S EYES

In a mission to Transform lives for Christ one play at a time,CHEMI CHEMI PLAYERS made it their sole purpose to produce stage plays which shed light on the different perspectives of both men and women in the Bible.

This year, CHEMI CHEMI PLAYERS graced us with two outstanding productions; SPREAD YOUR GARMENT OVER ME and VOICES IN THE BIBLE: KINGS AND LEADERS EDITION which were highly appreciated but that is not all, since SPREAD YOUR GARMENT OVER ME is ready to make a comeback on the 25th of September at the Mamlaka Hill Chapel Ruaka.

With a renowned cast of actresses consisting of; Wambui Kyama (Kina), Nyokabi Macharia (County 49),Sakina Mirichii (Runaway Grandmother), Joyce Musoke (Better Days), Lucy Wache (Real househelps of Kawangware) and Julisa Rowe (Night, Mother), the piece brings forth stories of joy, despair, grief, war and hope in the lives of women in the Bible.

No longer silent and unnamed, the piece brings fully realized human beings onto the stage as they navigate heartbreak, bareness, abuse,war and longing for change.” Chemi Chemi.

Directed by Julisa Rowe, the first show held at the Kenya National Theatre on February this year was seen with positive remarks from audiences, with one sighting that, “ To watch individual acting powerhouses gel so effortlessly on stage is a treat you cannot miss. The cast masterfully took us through the inner workings of the minds of key female Bible figures in an unforgettable fashion. Strong recommendation.”

That said, I think you are convinced enough to go watch this highly anticipated come back of SPREAD YOUR GARMENT OVER ME this weekend on the 25th at the Mamlaka Hill Chapel.

Tickets are on sale via Mpesa paybill 700 238 ACC : PLAY

See you there.

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