By Benjamin Njoku
A top rated Kenyan film maker and script writer, Njoki Muhoho, recently took a swipe at the sorry state of the East African film industry, blaming the woes on the inability of the policy makers in the region to recognize the economic potentials of the industry.
Muhoho, who was appointed the head judge for the 2016 edition of the prestigious Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, AMVCAs, made this strong observation while in a chat with HVP, in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to her, ‘’the issue is not that we can’t make many films, or that we are not capable of many good films, but the problem lies on our policy makers. Our legislators need to decide on the policies that should be made to make the environment more conducive for film makers. There are many things that need to be done to make the film industry in East Africa much more conducive. This is part of the things we are trying to do in Kenya, using the parliament to be able to pass certain policies like the film policy. We are not saying every country that is doing well is because they have fantastic film industry. Some have done it without a policy but it looks like in East Africa, we need government support.”
Muhoho, who has a dual career in Management Consultancy and TV/Film Production also cited lack of training centres as another major challenge facing the growth of the film industry in the region. While commending Nigerian film makers for their storytelling abilities, Muhoho, however, frowned at some of the unusual occurrences in the country’s films. She wondered why Nigerian actors scream loudly on screen.
‘’Why your actors always scream loudly? She queried, adding ‘’Your films lack sequence. That’s why Nigerian films can be more than one and half hour. I find that very odd. In East Africa, we see it as shouting, but probably, in West Africa, it is not. Again, Nigerian films are always lengthy. That’s what we don’t like about Nigerian movies, ’’ she said.