Cyprian Is Nyakundi

PLAN B — 60 minutes of cringeworthy, stale Kenyan content

CAPTION: Plan B’s main cast Daniel Etim Effiong, Sarah Hassan and Catherine Kamau

Same old faces, same old stale storylines, same old poorly made content; the sad story of the Kenyan film industry.

Earlier this month, news hit social media that Nigerian film maker Dolapo Adeleke popularly known as Lowla Dee was working on a project with some of Kenya’s top actors and actresses.

The news was followed by a short teaser of what was supposed to be one of the finest Kenyan romantic films ever made. From the trailer, one would easily be duped into thinking the film would be the epitome of quality and class with the experienced duo of Sarah Hassan and Catherine Kamau who have graced Kenyan screens for the last ten years as part of the main cast.

So on the eve of Valentine’s day, Dolapo Adeleke dropped the full 60 minute romantic movie on her official YouTube channel. Word spread faster than a raging wildfire; the film we had all been waiting for was here!

I, personally, took 60 of my very precious minutes to watch the whole thing on YouTube and just 20 minutes into it, I already felt cheated. It was the same old thing; a storyline that has been acted out in more than ten Kenyan movies. The only obvious difference from this specific one and all those other similar Riverwood movies, was the quality in sound and picture.

This movie gives you one of the reasons why the Kenyan film industry is stagnated. Same old faces that have been on TV since 2006 acting out the same roles of the same storylines in different movies. This is what Kenyans have been treated to for more than ten years apart from a few exceptions like film production company Machawood who have mastered the art of short films endowed with creativity and exceptionally quality picture and sound.

Mediocre shows like Inspekta Mwala, Mother-In-Law, Tahidi High, Papa Shirandula and Machachari have been on TV for so many years that they lost touch with their audience. TV stations insist on airing these same old shows yet there is a new crop of Kenyan film makers that have been putting in effort and producing fantastic shows that are incomparable to the current garbage we see everyday on air everyday.

One Kenyan was quoted saying that watching Pan B was like watching an extended version of Instagram stories, and with all honesty, they were right.

Before the “Support Kenyan Content” troops come at me with their guns blazing, I wasn’t the only one who felt that Plan B was a completely underwhelming film. I’m also certain that I’m not the only one who feels there are hundreds of Hollywood-esque Kenyan actors and actresses out there who who deserve these chances instead.

The truth of the matter is the Kenyan film industry is currently suffocating, and unless given an urgent breath of fresh air, it will soon meet its eventual, slow and painful death.

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