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Agency crew: We want our money now!

Moi Cabinets

Stevens Muendo

Two months after the M-Net-sponsored TV drama series ‘The Agency’ went under, cremembers are demanding their unpaid dues. The crew members, who included the producer, transport manager, art director, sound director, editors and the catering department, held a Press conference on Thursday afternoon at Wasanii (Kenya National Theatre) where they threatened to take drastic measures if their dues — about Sh3 million — are not paid. Saying that they had no issues with M-Net, the group accused the series directors for ‘conning’ them.

Meanwhile, M-Net recently held a special six-day screenwriters’ workshop in Nairobi, which saw writers, producers and industry professionals from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda attend lectures and complete writing exercises as part of the channel’s commitment to fostering African filmmaking talent.

Hollywood-based writer and director Nathan Marshall hosted the workshop.

TV’s Safran crucified in Easter ritual

John Safran who identified himself to reporters as Michael, 33, from Melbourne, joined three local men and a woman in being nailed to a wooden cross in Kapitangan town, just outside Manila on Easter Friday.

Another 25 men were crucified in Cutud town, north of the capital. Photographs clearly identify the man as TV personality John Safran, who co-hosts a weekly comedy talk show Sunday Night Safran on ABC Radio’s Triple J youth network with Catholic priest Bob Maguire.

Safran, who was half-naked and wearing a long-haired wig with an improvised crown of thorns, joined the Filipinos in a procession carrying a huge wooden cross to a crucifixion site, flanked by men in Roman centurion costumes.

He was heard moaning loudly as the nails were driven into his palms and as his cross was hoisted up, allowing him to hang for about five minutes. When he was taken down, the centurions rushed him to a medical tent for treatment.

Safran would not say why he had joined the ceremony but an Australian companion merely said "this is a personal thing for him".

He has a history of going to extremes in TV documentaries and an interest in obscure religious practices. The crucifixions, although not formally endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church, are carried out as part of religious vows in return for favours granted or in penance for sins.

Singer caught in the act

Talk of being caught pants down — literally speaking! A popular female singer was caught in the act in a Westlands’ club a few weeks ago. An eyewitness told MondayBlues that the club’s bouncers busted the neo-soul (afro-soul) star and her male lover after a cleaner on duty informed them that the two had entered a male toilet. A bouncer who sought anonymity confirmed the grapevine: "We found them in one of the toilets having sex. We were shocked at how such a leading celebrity can do such a disgraceful act inside the toilet."

He added: "It was an embarrassing thing since there were many people in the club most of them her fans."

The flirtatious singer had been at the club with fellow singers. According to the eyewitness, the bouncers tried to solicit a Sh4,000 bribe from her to keep the matter under wraps. But she pleaded with them saying she only had Sh400. By then, word had gone round and curious fans together with fellow singers, milled around the private room where the two had been detained forcing the bouncers to whisk them away. When we contacted her, the singer said: "No comment." The act took place on March 19 at 1:30am. The club is situated at Museum Hill.

Oliech’s dollars and new Cadillac on the way

There is no questioning the lavish high life associated with celebrity footballer Dennis Oliech. Profits or losses didn’t seem to bother the star when he hosted the Morgan Heritage in Kenya for fellow reggae fans to enjoy a great Easter extravaganza. On Friday night, Oliech, awash with dollar bills, treated his friends to a Jonnie Walker, Famous Grouse show at Carnivore restaurant. The stocks ran out before Oliech could feel the pinch of the expensive drinks. "I want to give you an exclusive," he told MondayBlues. "My Cadillac is in the high seas. It will be here mid-next month. And not just the Candillac, a Bentley will soon follow," he said.


Media celebrity in bizarre Easter gay party

A media personality known for his controversial big dreams was among hundreds of same sex mates who held a bizarre gay party on Easter Friday. The all night private celebration of the gay community movement in Kenya was held at an uptown club. Critics saw the controversial outing as a mockery to the Christian faith as it was held on one of the most popular Christian religious holidays. "This is not the first time he has attended such a party. We hold such meetings every month and I can tell you that he is one of our devoted members. He is gay of course. What’s funny with that?" asked a self-proclaimed gay who attended the party. "Does he have a permanent partner in such parties?" this writer enquired. "Yes, a very beautiful man," said the source. Same sex relationships are fast growing in Kenya. The movement is said to be receiving huge financial backing from the Western world.

Maathai’s Sh56 million film to air in America

Taking Root, an award-winning documentary on Nobel Peace award winner Prof Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement, will be showing on the US Public Broadcasting System (PBS) tomorrow. The 80-minute documentary has been screened at a number of film festivals in North America since its release last year. The film was shot by American filmmakers Lisa Merton and Alan Deter at the cost of Sh56 million. Maathai is currently on city-to-city American tour promoting her new book, The Challenge for Africa.

Ex-child soldier for big Nairobi charity concert

Former SPLA child soldier Emmanuel Jal will perform in Nairobi on May 1. The charity event has been organised by mobile telephone service provider Zain. Jal has won worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation borne out of his experiences as a child soldier in Sudan. His music can be heard alongside Coldplay, Gorillaz, and Radiohead on the fundraising Warchild - Help a Day in the Life album, as well as in three ER episodes, the National Geographic documentary God Grew Tired of Us, and more recently in the feature film, Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

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