The documentary on assasination of once popular Laikipa MP Josiah Mwangi premiered at the Alliance Francaise to a packed auditorium charged with emotions, writes KIUNDU WAWERU
Two related teary and emotional events happened this past week. On Friday, a documentary film on Josiah Mwangi Kariukiâs assassination premiered, and on Monday, JM Kariukiâs family narrated their ordeal to the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commision.
It was a coincidence of sorts, as if to show that the spirit of JM lived on. From the conception of the film 12 years ago to completion just in time for JMâs 37th anniversary since his murder. And two days later, the hearing that brought tears to commissioners and the public?
In search of my Father is directed by Ndungi Githuku and features Rosemary Machua, JMâs daughter.
The production includes various works on JM Kariuki earlier life and assassination, mostly from newspaper cut outs. The film traces his closest friends who paint a loving family man, an incorruptible politician, a loyal friend and a Pan-Africanist.
Life in photos
The film uses narrations from people who knew JM from family members, schoolmates, politicians; Newspaper articles, and also TV footages although Githuku says there is not much of it. Owing to JMâs popularity, Githuku wonders why there is no footage of JM at KBC, the only broadcaster then.
Family pictures come handy, and it seems JM just loved photos. Githuku says he was lost on which ones to use, as Rosemary had two suitcases of photographs. "Whenever JM went, he took pictures," says Githuku. Unknowingly he was documenting his soon to be cut short life. The Docu- film also features beautiful score composed by Mutinda and Abbi.
Githuku had met Rosemary in 2008 at one of her fatherâs anniversaries commemorated every year by human rights activists. It hit Githuku that Rosemary did not know much about her father.
She was only 11 when her father met his fate, and in the film, Rosemary only remembers him as a father who gave her children a lot of work around the home, and then rewarded them with trips to orphanages.
The interviews started in 2000, taking them to Kanyamwi Farm that houses a sprawling bungalow, JMâs family home in Gilgil. Here Rosemaryâs mother, Doris Nyambura and JMâs first wife, remembers meeting JM for the first time in Nyeri. She says he talked big, which made him proud. He also spoke a lot about his days in detention. Later, JM took Doris down the aisle in the "most beautiful wedding she has ever seen".
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