When the news broke this past weekend that Supa Modo not Rafiki would represent Kenya at the upcoming 91st Academy Awards, Kenyans had to be elated for Likarion Wainaina and his Supa Modo cast and crew.
But many of us also wish that the Kenya Film Commission’s Oscar Selection Committee could have submitted two, not just one outstanding film in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.
That’s because we loved Rafiki and hoped its seven-day screening would ensure it was going all the way to Tinsel town. It may seem a small consolation that Rafiki broke box office records during the past week when it was shown not just in Nairobi as was the original plan. But due to popular demand, it was also screened in Kisumu and Mombasa. In all it showed in six cinemas.
But what’s most gratifying to see is the way filmmakers Wanuri and Likarion have praised and congratulated one another. Each has confirmed their feeling of unity as Kenyans and both want the best for their films. Their spirit of unity as award-winning Kenyan filmmakers stands in sharp contrast to Ezekiel Mutua’s glee expressed on his Facebook page over Rafiki not being the pick of the Oscar Selection Committee — Kenya.
The irony of Mr Mutua’s caustic comments is that social media has been actively contending that September 26 was his last day as Kenya Film Classification Board CEO. That is to say his three-year contract is to have expired then. The story is unconfirmed, but Kenyans know “where there’s smoke there is fire”.
In any case, Kenyans should be thrilled that they have another opportunity to see Supa Modo from Friday through next Thursday, October 11 when the multiple award-winning film will be shown every day at Prestige Plaza. The film, which Likarion says has currently won 21 film awards across 30 film festivals thus far, is a must-see for all Kenyans.