Gerald Langiri
November 07 / 2011

Ask any actor, (one who has a passion for what he does) what one of the most vital necessities in his career is and he will unflinchingly say, the fan. In the film industry, the fan is a treasured founding stone, the base that holds this industry and makes it stand or fall.

We can all verify that in the most thriving film industries in this world, the fan-actor relationship is a stable healthy one. There is a mutual understanding. Now, what about the Kenyan platform?

Since it is an established fact that our film industry is growing at a fast rate, it would help a lot if the fan-actor relationship was a healthy one too. In a country where, unfortunately, the number of unemployed youths is on the rise, a successful film industry would mean a lot.

If I may ask how many Kenyan films have you watched this week, this month or this year alone as a Kenyan? Few I suppose, and how many foreign ones? Am sure you have a stack of movies at home.

Do you take time to appreciate the immense talent of our actors or do you find yourself constantly looking for the negatives and comparing them to another actor? I hope this article is not turning into a survey but allow me to ask one last question, would you like to see as many Kenyan stories on the big screen?

If your answer is YES and by yes you mean you would like to see the love story of beautiful Achieng and handsome Salim, the emotional events of the struggles of our fore-fathers for independence, the legend of Luanda Magere then know that is something that can possibly happen (or not happen) depending on how we deal with our current situation. You are under-estimating yourself right now if you think that you do not have a huge effect on this industry. Truth be told, you have a big role to play, one that is very powerful.

If we as the fans in this scenario, rally behind this industry then a lot would change in this country. To emphasize on my point, go to the cinemas and watch these movies, go to the premieres and for our own sake, let us buy these movies. Thirst for more, give benefits of doubt and before you criticize the actor put in mind that some of our very own have talent Hollywood would scramble for. They are just as good.



Look at it this way if we really gave our film industry a chance and bought the films, then the great scripts lying in producers offices will be put to good use. The producers will have more courage to produce knowing that his investment will not be a bad one and get ridiculed from people who do not appreciate real value. Furthermore, the aspiring actor with great talent will have a chance to grace the screen and as the quantity of the movies increase so will the quality. The big film industries also started from somewhere.

So what is in for you? More job opportunities of course. Your positive attitude, motivation and confidence for this industry would create a lot of job opportunities. This industry survives with other industries help. From the film industry stems the director, producer, writer, actor, the fashion designer, the driver, director of photography, stunt man (if you can do wonders with your bike, that could earn you a shilling or two), there is the caterer…the list of stakeholders is endless including you the fan. My plea is really simple, let us try to help build this industry. If it succeeds then it is a win-win situation for both sides. If we are busy tearing it down then down we go together. Spread the message to your friends; make an effort of buying a Kenyan movie as more often as you can. Be it in a day, a week or a month, a lot would change. Since this is a serious issue, procrastination is a word that should seize existing in your dictionary.

It is the small things we do that matter; you buy a film, an original one for that matter (I do not support piracy and never will. Neither should you. As long as it is around it shows we are okay with impunity which knowingly or unknowingly will negatively affect us) An industry that definitely affects society so much should be taken more seriously, that is why we need to be initiators not spectators when it comes to our own industry. Let us one day tell our children, who will not believe us by then, that we took part in the growing of the big Riverwood known all over the world that time.

Let us be proud to be Kenyan and support what is Kenyan. That is the least we can do for this beautiful, diverse country that can be showcased in our films. It is about time we made that change. The super-power of the Kenyan fan is that he can change things in this industry for the better if he is willing and it is the power we ought to use starting now.

By Winfred Mukami


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