I love love stories, and most people do- even men, if the story is told in the right way. In the African context, expression of romantic love is restricted and public display of romantic feelings is pretty much disallowed. I’m sure that in the traditional African society people did ‘fall in love’- it was just not shown in the same way that the modern cosmopolitan society dictates.
I’ve always wanted to do a Kenyan romantic comedy/drama but every time I tell the idea to someone in the industry, they give me that skeptical look- exactly the one I get when I tell them my action/thriller idea about a guy that gets shot while proclaiming the Kenyan loyalty pledge in a live on-air radio broadcast.
Most Kenyan movies and television productions are drama- most likely because this is one of the cheapest genres to produce. Romance is creeping into the storylines now, and we’re no longer watching the awkward kissing scenes that made African romantic moments seem gauche (There’s a time in Tausi that some guy was snogging a chic’s cheek instead of her lips… It was hard to watch). Last night I watched a Kenyan love story, live and in living color! At a poetry event in Daystar University, a guy, introduced as 'Anonymous', took the stage and dedicated a piece to his girl. By the end of the night, he had all the women screaming, half the men applauding and the other men cringing!
I was a screamer (I could hardly hold still long enough to take the footage!), and as soon as I left the venue, I went to my archives and revisited my ‘Romantic Movies Idea Collection’ folder! Check out A Kenyan Love Story: