It is super exciting to present this book in the context of other queer anthologies and documentary work that have been authored by Kenyans in the recent past. It is also thrilling to imagine the conversations this book may hopefully start. While it is often a difficult experience living an open and free queer life, there are still many queer Kenyans attempting to negotiate their identities, sexuality, gender, belonging, faith, family life, political involvement, work, school and life in society within the ephemeral spheres of safety and acceptance.
This anthology acknowledges these individual decisions to overcome fear and begin deeply personal, and very political life journeys…The film which is a series of five vignettes based on true stories collected for the Stories Of Our Lives project.
- ASK ME NICELY
Kate, a rebellious young high school student, meets first-love Faith, a fellow student. When school authorities separate the two, Kate impulsively has a sexual encounter with a boy in her neighborhood. Two weeks later, Kate and Faith have an awkward reunion.
After negotiating a business deal, Patrick stumbles upon a local gay bar with his homophobic best friend, Kama. Patrick later returns to the club for a night out, hoping no one will find out.
Farm workers Ray and Athman have been close friends for years. Hurt by Athman’s flirtatious relationship with newcomer Fiona, Ray has to make a difficult choice.
Jeff is waiting in a hotel room far away from home. He has been saving for months to fulfill his ultimate fantasy of having sex with a white guy. Finally, there is a knock at the door.
- EACH NIGHT I DREAM
When local legislators threaten to enforce anti-gay laws, mobs gather to evict people suspected of being homosexuals. As tension in their neighborhood increases, Liz visualizes dramatic escape plans for herself and partner Achi.
Music From and Inspired by Stories Of Our Lives.
On 30th September 2014, The Nest (Publishers) applied for a classification of Stories Of Our
Lives from the Kenya Film Classification Board in line with legislation regarding the public screening of films in Kenya an sadly the screening of “Stories Of Our Lives” was declined in Kenya due to its explicit scenes of sexual activities.
Does the film include obscenity? Yes. In one scene, an angry young man
hurls insults at his best friend who he saw visiting a gay bar. Does the
film include explicit scenes of sexual activities? That depends on your
definition of “explicit”. Let’s just say the average viewer of Kenyan music
videos would find the one depiction of sex in Stories Of Our Lives, very,
very not explicit.
Does the film promote homosexuality? How exactly does one “promote
homosexuality”? Pink leaflets handed out to unsuspecting passers-by? Is
homosexuality some kind of fad, or like a cold you can catch from greeting
someone in the bus? It is clear that the board thinks that Kenyan adults
are unable to safely watch this film without turning into a horde of
virulent, flaming homosexuals (one hopes members of the Board were not
afflicted by “gayism” after watching the film).
Does the film transgress “national norms and values”? Stories Of Our Lives
is a film about people, it’s about co-existence, it’s about finding love
and belonging. We made this film to open dialogue about identities, what it
means to be Kenyan, and what it means to be different. By placing a
restriction on this film, the Board has chosen to delay this inevitable
We hope Kenyans will get to see this film one day, because we made it for
Kenyans. The Nest explained in a post.
Directed by Jim Chuchu. Screenplay by Jim Chuchu and Njoki Ngumi. Produced by Wangechi Ngugi. Starring Kelly Gichohi, Paul Ogola, Tim Mutungi, Mugambi Nthiga, Rose Njenga, Janice Mugo, Allan Weku, Maina Olwenya, Louis Brooke and Judy Gichohi. Executive Produced by George Gachara and Steven Markovitz. Cinematography and Edit by Dan Muchina and Jim Chuchu. Production Design and Wardrobe by Sunny Dolat. Sound by Mars Maasai and Noel Kasyoka.
This might be an old movie but its definitely a must watch, I believe we cannot promote homosexuality as that is an individual’s decision to make but this fil is definitely made for Kenyans and every grown up Kenyan should watch if they haven’t already.
Watch the official trailer below and share with us your thoughts.