By Daki Mohamed, Nyonkopir Secondary School, Kajiado
My desire of joining the film industry was finally fulfilled by Lola Kenya Screen and I can say that being a participant at Lola Kenya Screen in 2008 and 2009 has been the best experience that life has given me so far.
I had the opportunity of interacting with different people from different parts of Kenya and other countries, for example Tanzania, Nigeria, Spain, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Holland, Germany and Norway. They shared with me their experiences concerning the festival. They told me that they were able to finish their work smoothly since the children did not give them any hard time.
Allow me to proudly say that they were very happy with my work as a programme organiser and presenter at Lola Kenya Screen 2008 and 2009.
I chose presentation because I thought that it is well related to my future career which is to be a psychologist. I was corrected on the areas that I made mistakes and believe me that made me to feel human as man is to error.
Albeit at first I was so afraid of many people, I finally managed to face quite a number of people which I call many. I can say confidently that at Lola Kenya Screen I built my confidence and courage of talking to many and different people.
As I introduced the films to my audience, I got the chance of expressing myself through my thoughts on matters concerning life to be precise. Some of the films targeted real life situations, for example racism, tribalism, and rape. Through this I could share my opinion with my audience. I can conclude that the few words that I uttered to them made an impact on their lives.
I also learnt how to appreciate what other people do in life. Many journalists came to interview me and I can say some of the questions they posed were irritating but I had to accept the fact that it is through this they earn their living.
The fact that children as young as nine and 12 years old could make films made me at times whisper to myself that even the young have got the potential and great opportunities in life.
Many of the films were very educative and I was impressed by a young girl I chose to give us the theme of a certain film on rape. The young girl finished by encouraging the girls, ladies and women not to walk in the dark alone.
The film, uGugu no Andile, from South Africa was also educative and to be particular on matters concerning tribalism that leads tragedy; loss of life and property. I once had a colleague of 8 years in 2008 and it was a bit hard to work with her but I can say that I learnt how to relate with people who were not my age mates. Though challenging, I can say that the festival ended with me having learnt something useful.
Above all the good experiences, I can say that I had some difficult moments. It reached a point where I had only two people as my audience, especially during the third screening session that took place from 5.00 till 8.00 o’clock in the evening, where I expected that the adults whom that particular session targeted would turn out in large numbers as that was the time they were all or if not all most were out of work.
Some of the visitors also wondered why some of the parents did not bring their children to enjoy the screening as they all understand that it was during the August school holidays.
My audience especially the children with whom I was impressed with because they turned out in a very good numbers during the first and second sessions also complained of the films (some) being short as one minute. But I managed to tell them that if we were to screen five films of 90 minutes consecutively they would get tired. I also told them that some films just targeted a certain simple message, for example Talisman from Nigeria.
During some of the screenings especially films with subtitles we had a problem as the audience who sat at the back of the auditorium could not clearly see the sub-titles. When it came to giving the audience a chance to ask the directors and producers some questions I was shocked because some of the audience criticised their work and at one point this led to a big argument and I had to intervene.
Though many would have concluded that a teenager is not supposed to interfere, hey I just had to because it was my work to also ensure that we had order in the auditorium. Some of the directors from different countries like Spain and Nigeria had an accent which gave me and some of the audience a hard time grasping what they were trying to say concerning their films.
Lola Kenya Screen is an organisation of immense benefits to the society. It has brought many people from all over the world together and this creates unity in diversity. It has also created peace among people. It has given children and youth the opportunity to explore and realise their talents for those who had not and helps them to boost it further.
Thanks to Lola Kenya Screen and all the staff, I have the focus that I needed in life. Thanks also to director Ogova Ondego, I have learnt that when doing something, do it to your best ability.
Thanks to Lola Kenya Screen I now can say confidently that I have earned the title, ‘Focused Lady’.