By Ogova Ondego
Published July 13, 2015
A film that appears to be a ‘revealing glimpse into Kenyan life and politics’, premieres on Al Jazeera’s observational documentary strand on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 20h00 GMT.
with a focus on three Kenyan youngsters as they compete against one another in their quest to be elected President of the Student Council of their local school, the documentary, A GOAT FOR A VOTE, appears to live up to the Kiswahili saying, ‘Siku njema huonekana asubuhi’ (The signs of a promising day are manifested at dawn).
The movie focuses on Majaoni Secondary School, an institution gripped by election fever. While one contestant has to prove herself in a boy-dominated school and another who comes from a poorer family is competing against those from materially better off backgrounds, yet another is capitalising on his ‘born leader’ and popularity traits. But perhaps leadership calls for much more than just ‘gender’, ‘under-dog’ or ‘born leader’ perceptions and tags? Thus each of the three candidates employs a different strategy to win the presidency: sex, music, goat meat.
Jeroen van Velzen, director of A GOAT FOR A VOTE that is set in Kenya and revolves around the young secondary school ‘politicians’ and has screened at various documentary festivals–One World, DokLeipzig–says, “The best way to understand our society is to look at our children.”
According to Kevin Kriedemann and Joy Sapieka, Al Jazeera Media Network’s Africa publicists, A GOAT FOR A VOTE “is Van Velzen’s second film set in Kenya, where he spent part of his childhood. The first, WAVUMBA, earned him Best New Director at Tribeca in 2012.”