Dec 9, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Baby Pendo’s brutal killing depicted in poll chaos movie

It was the height of the post-election violence in August 2017 and the baby who was fighting for her life was Samantha Pendo, a six-month-old victim of the election chaos in Kisumu County.

As Odongo – at that time one of the assistants – reported back to work the next day, he was greeted with an empty bed.

“The baby was dead. This picture lives with me to this day,” he tells The Nation.

A multi-award-winning screenwriter, the father of two, who then worked as a janitor, used his emotions and got down to writing.

Bangarang – Jamaican slang for chaos – is the name of von Odongo written and directed a film inspired by true events before the death of Baby Pendo, depicting the culture of post-election violence in Kenya.

A February 2019 judgment by Magistrate Beryl Omollo at the end of an investigation on the death of baby Pendo had senior police chiefs on duty during the mess na ch involved in the 2017 elections and recommended murder charges after the investigation found them guilty and demanded that they be prosecuted Parents in an area on Kilo Junction had besieged of Kisumu’s low-income Nyalenda settlement. “

The officers have yet to be charged.

Apart from the victims of police brutality across Nyanza, their lives are different Due to the police brutality that has changed in the last election, there are thousands of internally displaced persons (IDP) who have yet to recover and be relocated.

Human rights violations

The parents of Baby Pendo are struggling done to come to them four years later to face their deaths.

The 88-minute film, which was shot exclusively in Kisumu, shows how society has made deep human rights violations politis Missing reasons.

It won Best Human Rights Education Film at the Lake International Pan-African Film Festival (LIPAFF).

However, there was a problem when Odongo started production. Leqwood Production, had previously made four films – all on almost a shillings budget.

He wondered how he’d bring his newest store y to life; it should cost a staggering 12 million Shillings.

“I put the idea on hold and the script continued to gather dust for almost three years until the KenyaFilm Commission (KFC) ran its first cycle of the Film Empowerment Program, shortlisted our application for funding, ”says Odongo.

In the film, Otile, a poor Boda Boda driver, is unemployed 10 years after graduating with a second-rate honors degree in automotive engineering. < / p>

When electoral violence erupts in Kenya after the controversial presidential elections, Otile leads other rioters onto the streets of Kisumu. It is an opportunity for him to vent his anger at the bad government leadership that he blames for his unemployment.

On a fateful day when he was out in front of the anti-riot police Life runs, runs, he finds himself in Dan’s house. The police track him down and beat everyone in the house, including Dan’s six-month-old Baby Joy.

Otile runs into exile for fear of being falsely implicated in Baby Joy’s death.

Riot

Of 72 applicants, KFC has 12 filmmakers a total of 25 million Shillings. for the development of their concepts and production.

“We were lucky enough to receive 4 million Sh. for production and had to revise our budget to fit the existing money as there were no other sources of funding, ”says Odongo.

With the help of the Kisumu County Government, Odongo and his production team managed to cut costs that included the logistics of the cast and crew such as transportation, meals, and location.

“In some scenes, we had to block a road for several hours, given the cost of more than Sh100,000 an hour, the county government came to our rescue to make that dream come true, “he says.

Kisumu Governor Anyang ‘Nyong’o even made a cameo in the film.

“My mantra of producing local stories in local languages ​​with local (sic) actors and crews” turned out to be useful as I was working with a team that was understanding, “he says.

The script was intentionally written in Swahili, with the exception of a few scenes featuring the cast was in English.

David ‘Dawe’ Weda, 30, who played the role of Otile, shares how he didn’t have to strain to adjust as he experienced the emotions and violence firsthand.

“I live in Kondele, the epicenter of the uprising during the chaos in Kisumu, so it wasn’t far-fetched for me to fit into the role,” says Weda.

Weda , a nurse, was nominated for Most Promising Young Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in Nigeria.

Multiple nominations ns

Odongo is also a victim of electoral violence. When violence broke out in 2013, a commuter bus ran over a motorcycle he had gotten on and had to be hospitalized for six months.

“The madness that marks Kenyans in every election cycle where they stop arguing and stop arguing Withdrawal Tribal and party cocoons should stop, “he says.

The film could not have come at a better time as the campaigns for the next general election in August 2022 are picking up steam.

Odongo’s wish is that his film, which calls for cohesion, is shown across the country in order to arouse the emotions of Kenyans so that they never use violence again.

Even before its official premiere, Bangarang has Attracted attention and received multiple selections for film festivals and nominations.

These include nominations in various categories at the Rustenburg Film Festival 2021 (South Africa), Africa Movies Academy Awards 2021 (Nigeria), Lake International Pan-African Film F estival (LIPAFF) and the Kalasha International Film and TV Awards 2021.

Other awards include Best Director Indigenous Film – ZAFAA Global Award 2021 (London) and the official selection for the African International Film Festival (Nigeria), the African Film for Impact Festival (Nigeria) and the Ecrans Noirs Festival (Cameroon).

The premiere of the film, which was produced over nine months by 178 cast and crew members and was originally scheduled for April 2020, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film will now premiere on December 11th at Kisumus Anga Cinema and in Nairobi on December 12th at Anga Diamond, Parklands. This will be preceded by an invitation-only pre-screening early next month for actors, crew and sponsors.

Other films produced by Leqwood Production and shot in the local Luo dialect include Dhing go Jawa Jawa ( 2014), Seredo (2017), its sequel Seredo 2 in 2018 and Ja Narobi (2019).

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