Nairobi Half Life

Tosh Gitonga

Catchy comedy, filled with unlikely plot turns and the cultural realism of real African life. The trump card is Joseph Wairimu, who makes his stunning acting debut as Mwas, a character who would really like to be an actor.

Kenyan Oscar submission, about a young actor from a peasant village in Kenya who hopes to make it in Nairobi, but soon finds out why it is called Nairobbery. He accidentally ends up in the world of crime while he has just got a position at the popular Phoenix Theatre. His double life has its advantages. One day he manages to stay on his feet among the criminals thanks to his acting talent, and another day he can play his theatre role as a thief with even more conviction.

The well-oiled product of a training initiative by One Fine Day Films, DW Akademie and the Kenyan production company Ginger Ink, in which promising young African filmmakers were chosen to make a film under the supervision of Tom Tykwer and Soul Boy scriptwriter Billy Kahora. Gitonga is making his debut, and manages to capture the bustle and fury of downtown Kirinyaga Road very well. The incredibly filthy toilet in the prison is also portrayed very expressively.


Tosh Gitonga
Sarika Lakhani
Country of production
Kenya, Germany
96 minutes
Spoken language
English, Swahili
Production company
One Fine Day Films
World Sales
The Festival Agency