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Parasites invade TV screens

By - | May 19th 2013

By Shirley Genga

NAIROBI, KENYA:  A parasite is described as something or someone that sponges on another. And let us face it, in today’s society there are people among us who act like parasites.

But apparently something good might come out of a parasite – that is, if the new hit series that is currently showing on Swahili Africa Magic (on DSTV) is anything to go by.

Ezekiel Motong’wa, the name behind the series, is a producer, director and scriptwriter, who has been in the industry for the past six years.

His previous works include Waridi, Poesha and Rosa where he took on the role of co-producer. 

“Parasites is a Swahili series based on the Swahili saying Kikulacho ki nguoni mwako (whose literal translation is: ‘That which eats at you is within your clothes’). It is my baby and first solo project as producer. When deciding on a theme for the series, I decided to pick something that was very rampant in the Kenyan society today,” says Ezekiel.

Why such a bold theme? “We are living in a man-eat-man society. What is most intriguing about this parasitic phenomenal is that it is people who are closest to us who often fall into this category and yet nothing on television had been done on the topic before. I felt it was time to enlighten people,” says Ezekiel.

The new series revolves around con artists, but not of the average kind. On the contrary, these parasites are remarkably presentable. These are people, who live very comfortable lives, but choose to feed off unsuspecting victims, often relatives and friends, instead of working hard.

The series tells the story of a couple, who live together as a man and wife, but do not trust each other because of the voices around them. They have let outside forces dictate the nature of their marriage, never realising that friends and family are not always to be trusted.

Parasites is set to have 169 episodes, but so far 26 episodes are complete. Ezekiel has finished shooting two seasons and is currently on location shooting the third season.

“The idea for the series was born on August of 2011. Together with my team, we took two months to write the script. We then sent out the scripts to different stations and once we got funding we began shooting in October. I wanted things to move quickly without delays. We did not just want to give out scripts then take forever to start. We began shooting in October 2011 and by May last year, we had finished shooting Season II. We are currently shooting Season III,” says Ezekiel

The series, however, does not have the usual big names in the television and film industry and instead has a Kenyan films, Nairobi Half Life, and The Return of Lazarus have been nominated for the 2013 Zanzibar International Film Festival. The festival, to be held in June in Stone town, saw 14 Kenyan films making an entry. The festival also received 23 films from Tanzania and many from Uganda out of the total 257 films submitted early this year.

Additional submissions have been received from Nigeria, Cameroon, Trinidad, Angola, US, UK and Asian countries.

The final list will be released this week.



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