KABI GETHAIGA AND ERNEST NAPOLEON TALK ABOUT THEIR GOING BONGO EXPERIENCE
In 2012, we broke the exciting news that Kenyan actress and model Kabi Gethaiga was selected to participate in an international indie full feature film titled “Going Bongo”. After a rigorous auditioning process that took place at the Kenya National Theatre, it was down to 5 talented actors and Kabi fit the bill to play the character Tina in this collaborative film produced by Ronald’s Brothers, Rogue Tanzania and busy bee production.
Going bongo follows an American doctor from Beverly Hills Medical Center. He is also about to start a new life with his charismatic fiancé who is a Social Climber. To get in good books with his bosses, he mistakenly volunteers to work in a hospital in Tanzania for one month. Finding himself in enchanted territories and an experience he was not equipped for.
This is a story of the challenges he faces, interactions and eventually the bonds he creates on his journey that provides for meaningful life lessons.
The movie which is currently available on iTunes was largely shot on location in both California and Tanzania.
The film was Directed by Dean Matthew Ronalds and it stars Ernest Napoleon (also producer and writer), Emanuela Galliussi (Who has also featured in the Hollywood movie Placebo and “Is this thing On” tv series), Ashley Olds ( who has also featured in ABC’s the Neighbors, Tabloid).
Kabi Gethaiga plays the role of Tina who is a nurse and an aspiring actress and is purely fascinated by anything and anyone from Hollywood and this is further emphasized during the arrival of "Dr. B". Tina has a very caring and fun loving disposition. She loves fashion and glamour and a strong affinity for the spotlight.
“Being on the set of Going Bongo was an amazing experience. We had quite a diverse team on set; people from Los Angeles, an actress from Italy, others from Tanzania and Kenya of course. Gladly, it was not my first time working on an international film project, My first being "I Am Slave" which had a good number of people on set from the UK. It is however always a new experience working with such a diverse team. You definitely learn a lot more about acting and film in general, more specifically the work ethic in entertainment industry compared to some sets in Kenya where things are a bit haphazard and not planned well.” Kabi told actors.co.ke
Audiences should expect many laughs from Going bongo. It is a highly character driven movie with many diverse but enjoyable characters and moments throughout. It’s also a great movie for the whole family.
This being the 1st full feature film by Ernest Napoleon, it was more of a learning curve for the young producer whose had mostly done short films and a tv pilots.
“I think working with people from different parts of the world in a 3rd world country and "1st world country" was very unique. There were a lot of culture to be shared but at the end we all became one big family. We had actors and crews from Kenya, Tanzania and United States in majority. Others came from UK, Turkey, Iran, Malawi, South Africa, Serbia and a few others that I am probably forgetting.” Ernest told Actors.co.ke.
“I think the talent exceeded everyone's expectation. We lacked the budget of going after big name actors but we took our time to do casting in a proper way. It took more than 5 months in total to cast the film. We did casting in Kenya, Dar es salaam, Los Angeles and Bagamoyo. We even auditioned actors from Skype which was crazy (don't do it) as the internet in other countries causes delays in scene reading. Especially between Italy and US. Kabi in particular was very impressive.” He adds.
“The world is changing very quickly. People are less keen going to the cinema and the cinema owners are failing to strike deals that are favorable to independent films. We therefore need to look for alternative methods of distribution. We are open to local distribution. They just need to make financial sense” remarked the producer.
You can check out the trailer of the film below:
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