By Vitalis Kimutai
The Nobel Literature Prize, 1986, winner Professor Soyinka, will on Wednesday grace the Kenya International Film Festivals. Soyinka is expected to facilitate a forum for literature scholars to forge the way forward on film syllabus and curriculum in Kenya.
Nigerian Film and Video Censorship Board are facilitating Soyinka’s trip to Kenya, says the KIFF director Charles Asia.
Soyinka is a playwright, poet, film writer, novelist and literary critic. He has written 21 plays, two novels, five memoirs, 10 poetry collections, six essays, and three movies.
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"We are delighted to have a personality of the stature of Soyinka, who is an authority in the African film industry, to grace the event," Asiba said.
A movie based on the life of the late Mzee Kimani Maruge, who at the age of 84 enrolled in primary school, was screened during the opening of the 10-day festivals at the weekend.
The award winning film, The First Grader, was simultaneously screened in Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Eldoret, and Kisumu.
"The Kenya International Film Festivals Trust chose the film for the opening session because of its relevance and stature among the Kenyan films that have been produced this year," Asiba said.
The film, produced by Richard Harding of Sixth Sense Production has received ten awards from film festivals across the world.
It features actor Oliver Litondo starring as Maruge and the cast includes award winning actress Naomi Hariss, acting as the octogenarian’s teacher. Other actors are Vusi Kunene and Tony Njoroge.
The film depicts Maruge as an 86-year-old man with desire to read a letter from the Office of the President addressed to him. He is, however, unable to do so because he had never been to school for formal education.
As a result of the predicament, Maruge enrols in school following introduction of free Primary Education Programme. Maruge was born in 1920 and died in August 14, 2009, of stomach cancer.