Image: Tuko Macho trailer (Facebook)
There are many things that I like about Tuko Macho. I like that it was made by the same people who created Stories of Our Lives. I like the visual quality, even as I lack the words to describe why exactly. I like the scene in the trailer and the starting credits of the first episode where a parade of askaris are sitting together and one of them breaks the unison of the group to stare directly and dramatically into the camera. And I like that in the closing credits of every episode of Tuko Macho, the phrase “events, people depicted in this series are entirely fictional” appears. Because this disclaimer is not true and it is also not false. Here’s the thing: Tuko Macho delights in taking binaries– fiction/nonfiction, good guy/bad guy, right/ wrong– mixing them up with gorgeous cinematography and acting and then spitting them out so that they are no longer recognizable. This insistence on complexity and on blurring the lines of morality and of storytelling is highlighted even more when placed against the black and white version of justice spearheaded by Biko/Jonah, protagonist/anti-hero of the show.
“So, if there’s one thing that I’m hoping 2016 will be full of, it’s that feeling that anything could be possible. I hope that everything will feel possible, whether it’s in July or October, or even if it’s the 20th of December 2016.”
At the end of a long day at the Goethe/SSDA Flow Workshops, I feel like I’m back in secondary school. My hands– all of our hands– have been running across paper all day, responding to prompts that our facilitator, Muthoni Garland reads out from the front of the room. We read texts and respond to them. We break off for tea and lunch around our table and have the chance to speak with one another.
“I want to be a writer who can give you the illusion that you have two hearts. My tales are tragic, rather than sad, meaning they have a catastrophic force. Some writers can give you two heartbeats—one for the beauty of the words, another for the event. I want to be a writer who can give you the illusion that you have two hearts.”
– Yvonne Vera
Photo by Kevin Tosh
Things I’ve been thinking about in the time that I was away: how social media (and blogs) can give us only snippets of a person’s reality; how getting to know people as human beings humanizes them in ways that even the best literature or the best films or the best interviews cannot; how much knowing people– actually knowing them– takes them from a flat idea to something much more concrete, more nuanced and more complicated. And, how liberating it can be to not carry the burden of being a nice person.
Photos by Kevin Tosh.
“Where have I seen this painting before?”
I’m standing in one of the upstairs rooms of The Art Space gallery when this thought occurs to me. It’s the opening night of David Thuku’s and Michael Musyoka’s exhibition “This for That”. I’ve never met either of the artists before, so it completely blows my mind when I’m hit by a deeply intense feeling of deja vu the moment I walk up the stairs and into this room. While I’m standing there trying to figure it out, Tosh quickly places his finger on why it seems so familiar. Continue Reading
Featuring Elias Mung’ora; Photographs by Kevin Tosh.
Part I: The Meeting.
I first met Elias Mung’ora at January’s dusitD2 Nairobi Gallery Exhibition. I noticed his work as the evening was coming to an end, and the first painting that I saw evoked… something I can’t really explain… in me. It was a scene from the city, and I could almost imagine myself standing within the painting as I looked at it: waiting to cross Wabera Street and watching vehicles approach and people walk towards Steers and Trattoria on the other side. But then there was also a green haze hanging over the scene, making it feel like the whole thing would have been happening in a dream.