By Ogova Ondego
Published September 25, 2013
A man may support a woman during adversity. Yes. Because that is expected. Men have since time immemorial been expected to play the roles of providers and protectors to women as the latter take care of domestic matters. From home. But times have changed. Men no longer have to hunt wild animals or gather roots, leaves and fruits for food in today’s cash economy. What happens in Kenya of 2013 when men and women are forced to switch roles so the woman becomes the primary provider as the man plays the ancillary role? Can their relationship thrive?
Mwendwa Mutua, a new independent filmmaker in Kenya, seeks to provide answers to those questions in a 57-minute fictional film called TAMED. The film, that has Martin Moori Njogu (as Mike Simiyu who has been declared redundant at work and sent home) and Jackline Wanjiku Kaboi (as Joyce Nyawira, a lawyer), is set for screening and discussion during the 69th monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi on September 30, 2013 at 6.00PM.
The lead female actor, Jackline Wanjiku Kaboi, lists acting, singing and TV news anchoring as her interests. She says she has been acting since 2010 and the acting credits of the 1991-born include roles in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s The River Between and Said Ahmed Mohamed’s Utengano literature set books that were recorded on video.
Maureen Muthoni Thiong’o who co-wrote the script and worked as Assistant Director during production, plays the role of Angel Ndambuki, a musician who lives with Mike Simiyu and his girl friend, Joyce Nyawira.
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Thiong’o, who says her interests include acting, reading, writing and travelling, features in Love 101 series on KTN TV as Nicki and appeared as Joan in Mabeste on Citizen TV. She has appeared in two other films by Artskills Filmsâ€”ON EDGE, SIDE-TRACKED and A MAN ABOUT.
“I have done extras in Mashtaka on citizen TV, Lies that Bind on KTN TV, Block D on M-Net and a Kamba film called MWAITU MUSYINDU,” says the 22-year-old actor.
Claude Judah, 30, plays the role of Albert Nzivo, the client who is let off the hook of a tough case by Simiyu’s lawyer girl-friend with whom he later has an affair.
The actor who stands six feet above the ground says his talents include singing, dancing, swimming, body-building, modelling and public speaking, has appeared in television programmesâ€”Changes season 3, Tabasamu, Papa Shirandulaâ€”and films such as THE DISTANT BOAT, THE FIFTH ESTATE besides TAMED. He also appears in Avril Nyambura’s music video, Kitu Kimoja.
Other members of the cast of TAMED are Julian Valentine Lewis and Caroline Cheche.
Mwendwa Mutua, the man who co-wrote, shot, directed and produced TAMED, was born Born Daniel Mwendwa Mutua 34 years ago in Machakos county. He founded Artskills Theatre in 2009 and went on to stage examinable set books–The River Between, An enemy of the People, Kifo Kisimani, Utengano–in secondary schoolsÂ across Kenya.
After four years doing school set books, Mutua switched to filmmaking, renaming his theatre group Artskills Theatre & Film.
Mutua says one of the greatest challenges he faces in his film career is finding the market for his films.
“However, with my business attitude, I have managed to sell my work to some television stations in Kenya as I also distribute it on DVD,” he says.