If you have read my blog before then you must know that I love to highlight visionary African women. Visionary Kenyan women are even more exciting to feature. Wanuri Kahiu definitely falls into this category.
As an accomplished film maker and the director of Pumzi, Kenya’s first science-fiction film, she is setting the cinema scene abuzz with one of three African films showing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (film and art enthusiasts also check out African Digital Art and Sci-Cultura for Pumzi and more). The 23 minute film:
…imagines a dystopian future 35 years after water wars have torn the world apart. East African survivors of the ecological devastation remain locked away in contained communities, but a young woman in possession of a germinating seed struggles against the governing council to bring the plant to Earth’s ruined surface.
As the Executive Director of Dada Productions, she has also been involved in writing and directing other productions. Her film From a Whisper, based on the 1998 Kenyan and Tanzanian bombings, won her 5 African Movie Academy Awards in 2009. In Ras Star, the story of a young Kenyan girl aspiring to be a musician, she was able to explore issues around women’s freedom and participation in African society.
Of her own work, she says:
I write and direct films that challenge and inspire the human spirit to re-unite and remember. I believe that the union of people and the integration of cultures through stories are beneficial to all.
Wanuri lives to tell “to tell modern African stories with a fresh sense of style and meaning,” and we hope that she continues to have amazing opportunities to express and document Kenyan imagination, innovation, narratives and artistry for both local and international audiences. Her work is also featured at the (very cool) International Museum of Women.