By Ummu-Salama Khamis Ibrahim, 12, Zanzibar, Tanzania
It was a sweet surprise when I learnt that my application for training in filmmaking in Kenya had been accepted and that I would be one of the three children selected to participate in an East African Community cinematography training in Nairobi.
The five-day workshop, offered by Lola Kenya Screen in collaboration with East African Film Network, East African Community and German Agency for International Development, targeted 11-16-year-olds in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
When my delegation of three children and a chaperone reached Nairobi on December 6, 2014 we were pleasantly surprised to find that everything, starting with our transport to our hotel, Nairobi Safari Club, had been so well organised.
The following day, after breakfast, we visited Nairobi National Museum which is a stone’s throw away from the hotel. We learned a lot about old Tippu-Tip the slave dealer, history of evolution, cultures and other things of general interest. The visit took about three hours before going back to the hotel for lunch and swimming.
We were divided into two groups for practical filmmaking projects after the initial introduction to film production lessons by trainers Akpor Otebele and Prof Emmanuel Emasealu. We were to come up with stories, write them down, rehearse, act, shoot and edit them. I was appointed a camera operator.
On December 9, we developed our stories into film scripts, did casting, costume-design and developed the scenes into episodes for shooting. We started shooting on December 10. We completed editing on December 11 and screened our work to everyone at the festival. We had a closing ceremony at which farewell speeches were made and certificates of participation presented.
I am proud to say that I gained a lot from other children from other countries in terms of values such as cooperation, unity, friendship, sharing of cultures, and eating nice food. I enjoyed working as a camera-woman, something I had never imagined I would ever do in my wildest dreams. I learnt how to develop ordinary stories into scripts and acting them out in a film.
I give my thanks to Lola Kenya Screen, East African Film Network, East African Community and GIZ for organising this training for children and to my parents for allowing me to participate in the workshop in Kenya.
I look forward to participating in another training next year.