If you have ever found yourself complaining that there are no Kenyan films to watch, you need to find the nearest police station and ask the big guys over there to arrest you. For whatever charges. I’m sure they’ll find charges for you. No, seriously, there is more Kenyan content available online than you can consume. Especially on YouTube. And what’s great is that these films on YouTube are free of charge! Well, only if you do not factor in the internet cost, electricity cost, the cost of your phone, laptop or whatever device you are using. Okay, that’s taking it too far. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that there are so many Kenyan films available on YouTube for free. To begin with, I compiled 5 of those for you. You’ll find a link below the description of each. You are welcome.
1. The Roadside; 2009 by Big Ideas Entertainment
Writer: Angelo Kinyua
Director: Willie Owuso
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Ndungi Githuku and Angelo Kinyua
Length: 31.55 minutes
The Roadside is a short film about conflict resolution in a relationship and what other possibilities it can bring in a love triangle. The story revolves around a slowly disconnecting young couple played by Lupita Nyong’o and Ndungi Githuku plus a ‘stranger’ played by Angelo Kinyua. Bored of the day to day lifestyle in the city and the normalcy in the relationship, the lady (Lupita Nyong’o) ‘forces’ her man (Ndungi Githuku) who’d rather be doing something beneficial, to take a road trip to the jungle for a weekend getaway. What unfolds is a comical interaction between the characters who I must admit make a very strong cast. I enjoyed watching this film and can guarantee you at least a smile if not an LOL moment.
Writer: Jennifer Gatero
Director: Jennifer Gatero
Starring: Pascal Tokodi, Lizz Njagah
Length: 8.53 minutes
When you bring together two of Kenya’s greatest acts, Lizz Njagah and Pascal Tokodi, Granted is what you get. This Kenyan short film by Jennifer Gatero tells the story of a lady (Lizz Njagah) who took everything she had for granted, just to get a tweet that will forever change her life. It is a story that will take you through an emotional rollercoaster and move you to tears, well if you are like me.
3. Deadly Wahala
Genre: Dark Humour, Satire
Writer: Robert Munuku
Director: Robert Munuku
Starring: Maina Olwenya, Esther Masaa Ruth
Length: 6 minutes
If you love a story with an unexpected ending, you will enjoy watching ‘Deadly Wahala’. This Kenyan short film by Robert Munuku stars Maina Olwenya who plays the role of a deadly gangster and Esther Masaa Ruth, the girlfriend of a wealthy man, Mr. X. Well, if I say more about this short, I’ll basically be revealing the whole story since it’s a 6-minute film. Just watch it and see the twist for yourself.
4. Flight Path by Big Ideas Entertainment
Director: Willie Owusu
Starring: Telley Savalas Otieno
Length: 29.34 minutes
This one is for those who love and enjoy monologues. Or anyone who loves well told stories, basically. The “Flight Path” is a monologue about the human condition and explores issues of existence and the false illusion of the west from an immigrant’s point of view. The monologue by Telley Savalas Otieno will keep you captivated from the moment he says the first word until the end. In this short, a Kenyan (Telly Savalas Otieno) goes abroad in search of greener pastures. He narrates his thrilling and hard to believe experience abroad including how he lived in a hooker’s house and had to hide in the bathroom any time she had a client. Expect a lot of smoking.
5. Jongo Love; 2015
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Writer: Damaris Irungu
Director: Emma Bodger
Length: 1 hr 39 min.
Well, I’ve watched short films captured on phone but a feature film? Never before until I watched Jongo Love. Shot entirely on a mobile phone (Nokia Lumia 1020), this Kenyan feature film tells the story of Bea, a young lady who is sold to prostitution with a powerful and evil politician by her desperate mother. Bea escapes her home in Kisumu and flees to Jongo, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. During her escape, Bea grabs a mobile phone that carries a secret; a video that exposes a conspiracy. This makes her a person of interest for many people including the politician from whom she escapes.
This 2015 film by Shujaaz features Kenyan actors like Stella Situma, Samuel Njenga, Anne Mitu and Ainea Ojiambo among others.