She was barely 10 when she made her fist animated film. At 11, she made her second film. Now 14 and in a leading national secondary school, Adede Hawi Nyodero of Nairobi is calling upon policymakers in Kenya to introduce filmmaking in the school curriculum in the East African nation. This, explains Nyodero of The Kenya high School, is because filmmaking has the potential of transforming the lives of children.
And Adede Hawi Nyodero should know better, her films having been shown virtually all over the world where they have won”and continue to win”awards and accolades.
MARY’S BAD LUCK, her first film, was part of the FILMS BY CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN compilation that won the Grand Prize at the 5th World Summit on Media for Children/Kids For Kids Africa Competition in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2007. LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS, her second film made in 2007, won the Most Creative Project prize at Lola Kenya Screen in Nairobi, Kenya (2007); the Grand Prize at the 2nd Kids For Kids Africa in Nairobi, Kenya (2008); the Special Jury Prize at 17th Jugend Medien Festival Berlin, Germany (2008); represented Africa at the global Kids For Kids Festival Competition in Montreal, Canada (2008); and was nominated for the Best Animation Film at the 5th Africa Movie Awards in Lagos, Nigeria (2009). Hers are among the films made by children and youth at the Nairobi-based Lola Kenya Screen audiovisual media initiative for children and youth in eastern Africa that are currently being shown on television besides festival screenings in Taiwan, Australia and Nigeria.
LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS, a film in Kiswahili and English that shows that ignorance is no bliss, revolves around Jinga (Fool), Juha (Idiot), and Mwehu (Lunatic) who, in their attempt to shock everyone with their clever-by-half antics, end up frying themselves in their own oil.
MARY’S BAD LUCK is about a girl whose hopes are dashed when something goes terribly wrong at the eleventh hour in the most important moment in her life.
So how did Adede Hawi Nyodero journey into filmmaking begin?
“I got to learn of the Lola Kenya Screen audiovisual media initiative through my parents in 2006 while I was a standard six pupil,” Nyodero says. “It drew my interest because it involved filmmaking by children. This had always been something I wanted to do, with inspiration from my father. So, I enrolled as a participant for the inaugural event.”
Exuding enthusiasm, Nyodero continues: “That month, after learning the basic skills of filmmaking, I managed to make my first animated film titled MARY’S BAD LUCK with help from Adima Mesa Nyodero, my elder sister. Antonia Ringbom from Finland facilitated the workshop. That being a success, I was determined to make more films.
“Come 2007,” she says, “I joined the festival again and made another film, LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS. I worked with Samora Michelle Oundo and Karama Kilibwa Ogova in realising this film that continues to be shown and to win awards around the world.”
Unlike many children at Lola Kenya Screen who rotate in the various skill-development programmes�filmmaking, creative journalism, critical appreciation of creativity, and event organisation and presentation–at the recommendation of directorate of the initiative, Nyodero has stuck to filmmaking. And it appears to be bearing dividends for her.
She not only refers to filmmaking as an adventure “it gave her the chance to acquire a passport and to enter an aeroplane for the first time in her life” but has also granted her the privilege to speak about the rights and welfare of children on international radio and television networks that broadcast around the world.
“I have also been featured in newspapers, magazines and several online publications,” she says. “I feel that filmmaking can make a great difference in the lives of children. That is why I’d appeal to the authorities to introduce it in all Kenyan schools.”
Talented in visual arts, public speaking, creative writing and drama, Nyodero captured national attention in January 2010 when she was ranked second in Nairobi and 9th nationwide in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations. Her excellent performance handed her the key to The Kenya High School, a top performing and most prestigious girls’ school in Kenya. A national school, Kenya High School admits only the best brains from all over Kenya. It may be located in Nairobi, but pupils in schools the Kenya’s capital city must perform exceptionally well to gain a foothold in this school with a long history.
Adede Hawi Nyodero is the second born in a family of three siblings “an elder sister and a younger brother” born to Nancy Anyika and Aghan Odero Agan. Her father is a keen artist and consultant in the creative and cultural sector in Kenya.