Documentary/Kenya and USA/English/55:35/2012

Another Premiere Event in Nairobi

Brother Time was again featured at a prominent meeting where Kenyan academics, policymakers, civil society groups and journalists came together to discuss peacemaking and the 2013 election.  Senior Producer, Paul Mbatia describes the event:

Hi All.  I wish to update you on the screening of Brother Time yesterday.

As I have shared you earlier, a few of us from our department have come up with a peace making project during the 2013 general elections.  The core idea is to engage our students to go out to their respective counties to act as agents of transformation/change.  In this context, they are expected to promote peace during the 2013 general elections.  To ‘sell’ the project, our first activity was to invite Vice Chancellors (Provosts) of all Kenyan Universities — Public and Private — to participate in a conference where we were presenting the project (which we call Wajibu Wetu Project).  The conference was strongly supported by the University of Nairobi (UON) which was hosting the event.  Overall, our group invited relevant govt ministries (Basic and Higher Education), about 40 universities, representatives of the Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, Development Partners (including FORD Foundation & UNESCO), and Media houses.  The venue was Intercontinental Hotel.

The event started at 12:00 with entertainment from two local youth bands that we had hired to grace the event.  They performed very well and made the event very colorful.  The program for the day included: speeches from Govt Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, Representation of Development Partners, Selected University Vice Chancellors, Presentation of the Proposed Project focusing on Creation of a Culture of Peace through University Students and Screening of Brother Time.

By 12:00 Noon, we had a house full — around 120 participants.  Even though not all Vice Chancellors attended, we had representation from about 15 universities.  There were several NGOs represented as well as the private sector and almost all major media houses — Citizen, Nation, KTN, K24 ….

Due to the on-going elections (party primaries), none of the Ministers and Permanent Secretaries attended!  That was our disappointment.  But we had representation from government.

After the speeches and presentation of the proposed project, I was given time to introduce the Movie and link it to the proposed project — focusing on Creating Culture of Peace.  I did my best even though we had very limited time.  Then with a UON expert in ICT (who had watched the Movie with me several times in my office), we screened the Movie.  We did it for about 32 minutes and were able to go through to the end.

After the Movie, there was dead silence!!!!  It reminded Kenyans of the horrific even of Post Election Violence.  Earlier on, one of the VC’s (from the United State International University) in her speech had made the point that Kenyans should stand up and say: NEVER AGAIN WILL IT EVER HAPPEN!  I took up this point and expounded on it in my post-screening comments.  I also endorsed the last comment of Pastor Peter Ngure: NOBODY WILL COME FROM OUTSIDE TO HELP MAKE PEACE; IT IS A DUTY FOR US KENYANS.  And our proposed project is focused on the same point that: IT IS THE DUTY OF ALL KENYANS TO CREATE A CULTURE OF PEACE — IN KISWAHILI: NI WAJIBU WETU (IT IS OUR PATRIOTIC DUTY) TO MAKE KENYA A PEACEFUL COUNTRY.

I made an announcement that I would be willing to give free copies of the Movie to organizations represented in the Conference.

After the Screening — which appeared like it had stolen the entire show — a few comments were made.  The Movie was well taken and some even commented and said it should have been in the marked three years ago!  Our noble job of shooting the Movie as Academicians/Researchers was really appreciated — as a way of connecting Universities with the needs of Communities.  The Movie was seen as an attempt of demystifying Universities as being theoretical institutions — Ivory Towers — that are delinked from the common people …. It was appreciated that the Movie is an effective tool of spreading the gospel of “Creating a Culture of Peace” particularly during the 2013 elections.

Last, many people requested for a copy of the Movie.  I had carried 50 DVDs.  The media guys really liked the Movie and picked DVDs as they dashed to back to their stations to write the story about the conference.  I gave them my business cards and requested them to call me to explore the possibility of screening the entire movie through their channels ….  In all, I sparingly gave out around 30 DVDs — the emphasis was to give to Institutions represented but NOT to individuals.

I think we did well and the spirit of Brother Time was taken up and will be spread out more aggressively …

As a follow up, one of our students has approached me to explore the possibility of screening the Movie coming Thursday.  The students, through the Organization of Students Volunteer (OSV) are meant to review the historical event of Holocaust in the context of the coming general elections in Kenya.  The guests of honor for the event are coming from the UN office in Kenya.  After learning of Brother Time, one of the student leaders came to get a copy of the Movie which they wish to screen and discuss.  I have graciously given two copies of the Movie to the student plus the write-up summary of the Movie (that we did in Summer for the launch) to guide their discussions. I had also distributed the same to all the participants during yesterday’s conference.

The student leader was very excited to get the DVD and we have agreed that he will give me feedback from students after screening and discussing the same.  I think Brother Time is selling …. and is likely to sell even more in the next few days before the general elections.  I need to make many more copies.

Thanks for your moral support!!!!

Paul Mbatia

That’s the latest update on Brother Time.

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