kweliTV | Who Am I

WHO AM I \ 30 mins \ KENYA

Working with two primary schools in Nairobi and Mombasa, filmmakers Wanuri Kahiu and Nick Reding intimately explore issues surrounding national identity. Using games and interviews the filmmakers ask 8-11 year olds what they understand about discrimination, tribe and religion, and how, when they are discriminated against, do they feel about their own identity.

Inspired by Jane Elliot’s “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” experiment, the film delicately picks at the religious and tribal tensions that exist in Kenya, by creating an exercise in which the class is arbitrarily divided into groups. The children narrate the experiences and talk about the lessons they learn as they themselves experience the anger, frustration and powerlessness of prejudice.

Through the eyes and guided by the wisdom of children, “Who Am I?” gives an enlightened voice to the tribal and religious fissures that are growing in Kenyan society, providing a voice of wisdom and compassion, all with the inherent child’s understanding of fairness.

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Wanuri Kahiu

Wanuri’s first feature film FROM A WHISPER, based on the real events surrounding the 1998 twin bombings of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania won Best Narrative Feature in 2010 at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, as well as five awards at the African Movie Academy Award, including Best Director and Best Screenplay.   

In 2009 Wanuri produced TV documentary FOR OUR LAND about Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai for MNET, a Pan African cable station. 

In 2010, her short science fiction PUMZI premiered at SUNDANCE film festival and went on to win best short film at Cannes Independent Film Festival and the silver at Carthage Film Festival (Tunisia). PUMZI also earned Wanuri the ‘Citta di Venezia 2010’ award in Venice, Italy.

She is currently writing an Animation Film in conjunction with TriggerFish, South Africa. Wanuri is also in post production on a feature length documentary GER about UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ger Duany, WHO AM I, a short documentary about National Identity and a fractionally fictional documentary about an Nairobi based indie-pop group JUST A BAND.  

Wanuri is part of AFROBUBBLEGUM a collective of African artists whose ambition is to create fun, frivolous and fierce work.

All from this director.