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PIRACY:THE NUMBER ONE VILLIAN IN OUR INDUSTRY

Gerald Langiri
January 19 / 2012

During the festive season, I happened to be shopping for new attire (yes, it was Christmas time and I needed brand new clothes to rock on and it has always been a tradition since we were all siblings and I am still holding to that) in one of the stalls in Nairobi of which I barely do cause I am always loyal to my Gikomba peeps. The place I was shopping at was directly opposite to a stall that was selling movies that we all buy for a friendly 50 shillings per movie. The movie stall drew my attention when I saw a huge poster being displayed with the writings engraved FIRST GRADER: THE MOVIE NOW AVAILABLE. I paused for a while and thoughts raced through my mind as I tried to realize a vast intuitive understanding of the poster and I was like “Wait a minute, is this for real?” I was puzzled and I decided to be inquisitive about the matter and I humbly approached the lady at the counter selling the movies and asked her if she really had the movie. Of course that was dumb of me to impose such a query considering the fact that the poster was written in Bold, Caps, Underlined and Colored in red the term “NOW AVAILABLE.”

“Wewe unaonaje? Kwani hujui kusoma?” that was the response I got from the lady. I presumed that she responded coldly because of how I asked naively or if not, that lady needs to get manners or let us just assume that is a trademark Kenyans have by giving such responses to stupid questions. I tried to make small talk with her or rather peep talk and I could see how she reacted as if I was hitting on her or trying to make a move. I had no intentions whatsoever of doing that, (although she was gorgeous and wouldn’t mind) but that was the least of my concern as I was on a mission to know how she got hold of the movie. I also asked if by any chance they had African Based movies and within a split a second, she handed me a litany of latest African Based movies which also included VIVA RIVA that was still been screened on Theatres alongside other local Kenyan films. I tried to put her to test and asked her if she had the movie SHATTERED and she quickly responded “Give me one week and I willl get it for you.”

Yes, there you have it my friends, straight from my retrospect. For far too long, pirates have brought down our film industry by indulging in this atrocious activity making producers not to invest more in the industry due to the high rate of piracy in the country. Have you ever asked yourself why Kenya has very few big budget movies? The answer is PIRATES. Let us try and be vigilantes by trying to kick pirates out of business. I know I am starting to sound like those annoying kids back in school who always reminded the teacher to give out assignments when the teacher had already forgotten about it, but I am saying out loud as a member or stake holder in the industry.

P.S: I am not saying all those in the movie business are participating in Local piracy but I am pin pointing those who are doing so. I know for sure that the movie selling business has created employment in our country helping people make ends meet (I’m saying this cause I was also once in the business) and I would not want them to be victimized, but piracy should STOP!

Piracy of local films has been a key issue in our industry since the very beginning and it has been revolutionized from sneaking in a camcorder in Theatres to making bootleg videos to the use of Torrents and Lime wire to get local movies. How can we curb piracy of local movies?

Suggestions and ideas concerning the matter have been pitched and some have been executed and some have drastically failed. So are we just going to sit down and do nothing about it? Or are we just going to say “There is nothing we can do about it?” We should all reflect on the matter at hand and try to come with ways to defeat the number one villain causing harm to our industry.

Written by:Mark Kaiyare

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