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Karatina University student braves film sector hurdles, releases movie

By Jacinta Mutura | August 15th 2019

The entertainment industry is one of the most lucrative in the world yet only a handful of pictures are produced locally as Hollywood and Nollywood products continue to dominate the Kenyan market.

Benson Mwanza, a third-year student at Karatina University has braved the challenges in the film industry to produce several movies.

Hashtag caught up with the 26-year-old political science and public administration student at Karatina who recently released his latest picture.

In the one and a half-hour movie, Clouds of Love, launched in Kikuyu Town, Mwanza illustrates the huge economic gap between the rich and the poor in the country that has led many youths to a life of despair.

The main characters Truvenna and Benover, from wealthy and poor families respectively, paint a picture of love triumphing over the obsession for material gain.

The dominant theme discourages youth from setting money up as motivation to intimate relationships.

At some point, Benover risks losing the love of his life to a wealthy politician but Truvenna remains loyal, attacking the perception that girls are only after wealth when choosing relationships.

Speaking to Hashtag, Mwanza explains that he is a self-trained film-maker driven by passion.

“The idea of producing the movie came after I joined university. I thought of my talent beyond participating in music festivals and in churches. I wanted to do more to exploit my creativity,” said Mwanza.

However, hesays it has not been a bed of roses as financial setbacks frustrated every step he made since 2016.

First movie

Clouds of Love was born out of another movie called Arise and Shine, which Mwanza says was not well received mostly due to innumerable hurdles, including novice mistakes.

The frustrations are, however, not new in Mwanza’s filming journey.

Movie production is expensive and few corporates in Kenya are willing to take the risk of investing in the industry.

 “I have been turned down so many times when I approach companies for financial help but it, ironically, motivates me me want to do better,” he said.

 Mwanza saidd that the two weeks of filming Clouds of Love cost him over Sh200,000 in savings that he supplemented with cash from friends.

He hopes that through his Benover Entertainments Company, talents will be nurtured to contribute to the sector by building a movie consumption culture.

“My objective is to encourage young people with talents to come out and be recognised.

“I also intend to speak to the society to support the youth who are wasting in drug abuse, alcoholism, unregulated betting due to unemployment. I mostly work with student and former university students interested in entertainment industry.

“I believe many talents will be nurtured because they have shown commitment in the movie. We are planning to shoot another film,” said Mwanza.


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