Democracy... illusion or reality?
It is the eve of a General Election and disturbing happenings have given the nation cause to question the system. Amidst very uncertain circumstances, the incumbent Head of State grapples with the burden of leadership, that ultimately requires him to make some tough decisions.

KURA, which is a Swahili word for VOTE, is an animated short film about some of the issues we Kenyans have had to consider regarding our Electoral Process and the Democracy it is supposed to serve.

  • Gatumia Gatumia
    The Greedy Lords of The Jungle, Domestic Disturbance
  • Gatumia Gatumia
    The Greedy Lords of The Jungle, Domestic Disturbance
  • RECON-Digital
    The Greedy Lords of The Jungle, Domestic Disturbance
  • Stephen Katingima
    Key Cast
    Domestic Disturbance
  • Michael Karanja
    Key Cast
  • Sheila Waithaka
    Key Cast
  • Boniface Mutunga Muli aka MACJ TheArtistHimself
    Key Cast
  • Chito Ndhlovu
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 19, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Gatumia Gatumia

Hello. My name is Gatumia Gatumia, a Kenyan Animator who trained in Canada and I have been working as an animator in Kenya for over 15 years.

In the past I worked with various Advertising Agency account teams to produce animated commercials for television. Currently I work at RECON-Digital, a local animation outfit, actively engaged in developing quality, original animation products for both the Kenyan and the International markets.

Under the RECON-Digital banner, I have completed a couple of short films and also conducted an Animation Apprentice programme where we provided a 9 month in house training course to a promising group of aspiring young animators. There is more information about our work at our website www.recon-digital.com

Growing up I was heavily influenced by the great work from studios such as Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, Rankin Bass and Tatsunoko Productions. Later on, I also became a huge fan of the early seasons of The Simpsons and then the awesome work from Pixar and Studio Ghibli. I never imagined that I would actually get to become an animator and I am very grateful to God and my parents who were not only accepting, but eventually supportive of my pursuit of a career in animation.

There is still far too little African animation out there and though it is an uphill task, I hope to play a part in bringing more animation with a contemporary African sensibility to the world.

I am happily married and my wife and I are blessed with two children. I currently reside in Nairobi - Kenya.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The KURA Question
The idea for KURA came about in late 2016. I was trying to deal with a nagging sense of frustration about issues to do with the perceived, and probably real, state of Kenya’s leadership over time. I also felt very unprepared and ill equipped to perform my duty to vote in the 2017 General Election which was fast approaching.

At the same time, I needed to do a test on some new animation processes and this subject seemed a good story to build the project around. The short film is the core idea behind what is actually a much bigger action thriller story, which we did not have the resources to produce. But rather than shelve the idea altogether, we undertook to do what we could within the limitations of what we had and began production in January 2017.

I wondered, to myself, what is this “democracy” thing? Am I qualified and equipped to make a rational informed choice? What is our track record on elections? What are the vested interests? Are we using the vote to effectively install leadership that is a good fit for the job of delivering good governance and desperately needed development?

It quickly became apparent that I was quite ignorant about Kenya’s history. How has our country conducted itself in the pre-colonial, transitional, and post-colonial eras? After reading a variety of books and articles, it seemed (sadly) that we had not done well at all. Since the 1960’s, available information seems to indicate that our electoral process has been questionable at best and a complete sham at worst. As such, as a population, are we citizens under consensual government from a popularly elected leadership, are we subjects under imposed government from cliques of influential rulers, or are we something altogether different?

I don’t yet have all the answers I’d like, but by at least engaging with the issues, some answers have begun to distil in my mind. I firmly believe that WE CAN DO BETTER! We can get better informed; we can deliberately break away from the tribal approach to politics; we can make better use of information technology to deliver efficient and reliable electoral processes; we should be able to think of our country almost like a business and seek to install a critical mass of highly competent managers of integrity who will deliver the best performance and return to the citizens of Kenya i.e. the shareholders.

Kenya, we can do better. Each one of us has a role to play in making our country better. What is your role? How will you respond to this question?

Verily Kenyan,