Archive for August, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Miracle in Dar es Salaam

I’m finally out of Africa and well ensconced now in Paris’ 6th Arrondissement. It’s frankly a welcome change, as I am able at last to recharge my batteries and recover a bit from the sheer exhaustion of the last two months in the trenches of East Africa.

Thinking back over my time in Tanzania and Zanzibar the stories and ideas that are bounding around in my students’ heads never cease to amaze me. One of my students, a modern young Tanzanian woman, reserved and outwardly modest at least, runs her own consulting company in the Tanzanian capital. But put a camera in Suma’s hands and give her several hours of training and you better watch out.  She’ll produce a nifty wild-eyed little short film called MONEY HONEYS about two wannabe prostitutes, one from the city, the other from the country, coming to literal fisticuffs in the dirty dusty streets of DSM.

Then there was the quiet guy who works for the famed talk show host Hamza Kosongo at a TV station downtown. For sure I didn’t expect much from Kim. After all I had seen first hand and even participated some rather dreadful local TV programming. But then wow. Kim goes to work and in little more than an hour shooting time produces a veritable comic tour de force beautifully conceived and executed, replete with his own troupe of enormously talented comic actors.

And then there was the young Irish kid, an ex-pat living in this strange and distant country, looking perhaps to find his way in the cinema, and entirely unsure of his abilities as a storyteller. Yannick’s skills needed some direction and discipline but with a little focus they litterally exploded across the screen in his short film A New Pair of Shoes.  I love offering my workshops in distant and remote places for this very reason: the surprises that emerge at every turn and twist in the road enthrall and enchant me.

Second Aid by Kim aka Geofrey S. Magawa

Money Honeys by Ngasuma Kanyeka

A New Pair of Shoes by Yannick Mac Mahon