Movie Reviews: The Interview and The Memoirs of a Geisha

For the last few weeks, I did not feel like writing and even if I wanted to, I couldn’t muster enough will to actually do it. Was it a writer’s block? I don’t know.. Writer’s blocks are for actual writers and I am your ordinary blogger. Whatever it was, the end result was an ignored blog and I have had to brush away the dust and sweep away the cobwebs on the walls (and this is not the only wall with cobwebs insert sly grin but I digress) before I could begin writing.

I will review two movies that I have had the pleasure of eyeballing in the last few weeks that I have been on holiday. A lot has happened, including a heartbreak (sob sob but they say better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all, no further details to be divulged though), new friendships, I finally got my Japanese driving license (I have to do a separate post for this!), an English test (sometimes I get a flare of anger because they made me prove my English proficiency, after receiving at least 18 years (8 primary-4 secondary-4 undergraduate-2 master’s) of education in the language, people should learn how the world works. Half of Africa speaks English, the other half speaks French with a few exceptions like Ethiopia, Angola etc (deep breath, namaste,deep breath namaste) Okay I have calmed down..  But let us get on with the movies, shall we? Enough segue, sexy as it was.

The Interview

The Interview

The Interview

I wouldn’t have watched this movie had it not caused such uproar among some people; who seriously threatened to blow up theaters if the movie was shown in the said theaters; and who were possibly so offended that they hacked into the Sony network revealing emails among executives, movie plans, costs and such other information. I must confess I don’t understand their outrage, unless they view Kim Jong Un as their god which they perhaps they do.

An American journalist finally gets an interview with the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. (By the way Kim Jong Un if you are reading this, you can hack my blog but please stop firing test missiles into the Japan sea; I quite live near the said sea.) This could be the great interview that makes the journalist’s career, a break from interviewing celebrities like Eminem who confesses that he is gay which explains his homophobic lyrics. So off he goes to North Korea but of course the CIA uses this chance to give him poison with which to kill the dictator and save the people of North Korea. What follows is a tragic comedy of events, the interview finally happens.. but does he kill the dictator like planned? Things go wrong horribly but in a stupid and comical way, if you have 112 minutes to spare, please yourself. But if you don’t have time, you will not have missed anything if you never watch this movie. Trust me.

The Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha

I am living in Japan and had never watched this movie until 3 or so weeks ago. I have seen some women dressed in kimono and with powdered faces and guessed they were Geishas but I had no insight into the culture. According to Wikipedia, Geisha (芸者 ?), geiko (芸子) or geigi (芸妓) are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance, games and conversation, mainly to entertain male customers. Everything entertainment except anything sexual.

Memoirs of a Geisha follows the pre-world war II story of a young girl in Japan whose family has “sold her off” together with her sister because the family is unable to take care of them. Sayuri is trained as a Geisha and joins this admired yet lonely profession; a Geisha is not permitted to marry. She falls in love with a man whom she cannot marry but carries on her life, becoming the most sought after Geisha in the city. This happy setting does not last, the war soon sets in and everything changes.

With American soldiers full in the city streets, and with the harshness of war, many women claim to be Geishas but sleep with the soldiers for favours, money.. in short prostitutes. The Geisha profession is no longer respected. Sayuri has to do manual labour during the war; until the man she’s in love with finally comes looking for her, he needs a favour from her. Would she take up the shamisen (traditional musical instrument) once more, wear the kimono and make up once again, and be a hostess to one of the Americans who could possibly finance his business that had collapsed in the war?

It is an engrossing story, watch it if you have the time.

Nairobi Half Life: My Review

Would I watch it again? Definitely.

A scene in the movie Nairobi half-life

As my friends and I walked out of the theater at Westgate on Saturday night, we felt the movie was worth every shilling of the Ksh 450 ticket that we paid for. The movie is about a young man from the village called Mwas, who comes to Nairobi to try and live his dream of becoming an actor. He ends up in the wrong side of town and has to lead some sort of double life as things go wrong and we are left wondering if there will be a happy ending.

This is a movie that will hold your attention from the beginning to the very end. The script is very well written and the conversations are gripping, hilarious at times and intense in others. Each character is just so real you cannot believe it’s all an act. Everyone in the movie has their own struggles, ambitions of becoming something better while they survive the current times, doing whatever it is they do.

The scenes in the movie are familiar and portray the reality of Nairobi that some of us may have seen, experienced or imagined. Scenes that show you what happens when your car’s side mirrors and headlights are removed and then later re-sold to you along the spare parts shops of Kirinyaga Road, or exactly who lives in those apartments downtown and how gangs pay protection fee to the cops. How easily crime can escalate from small time robberies to carjackings.

Mwas on the day he arrived in Nairobi to pursue his acting dreams

But this is not the story of a gang, this is the story of people and their dreams, and their lives pursuing those dreams in this city. At the end of the movie, is the question of whether you choose to look, or to look away. The characters are memorable, such as Oti played by Wilfred Olwenya and of course the main character Mwas, played by James Wairimu.

So on Saturday night some of the cast of Nairobi half-life were at Westgate to (sign autographs, take pictures) interact with the audience and we got a picture with Oti, who looked smaller and so un-rugged compared to the character on the screen!

A guy in Oti’s gang, me, Oti and a friend of mine posing for photos

Nairobi Half Life is showing at Planet Media Westgate everyday at 3:20 pm and 7:30 pm. Charges: 450/= weekend, 350/= weekdays. It’s also showing at the Junction. See trailer below, watch the movie then come thank me!

Quick Hits: Here and There

First of all, I want to apologize for not having blogged for the past two weeks. These two weeks have just been a blur, had to do exams, settle down at a new job (get your deals at and focus on getting the proposal for master’s thesis ready to be approved which is not as easy as it sounds.

Okay, here are some things I may have wanted to write about but haven’t had time yet:

Mobile Entertainment Africa

Mobile Entertainment Africa is a conference takes takes place on the 29th and 30th of August at the 5-star One&Only Hotel in Cape Town and will give attendees the opportunity to gain and exchange knowledge surrounding maximising the entertainment opportunities on handheld devices in Africa.

The event is organized by All Amber, the same guys who organized Mobile Web East Africa that was held in Nairobi some time in February.

Check out the website for more.

AFC Leopards’s Match to Glory

After we stumbled towards the end of the first leg of the Kenya Premier League, we recovered our form and we are currently on top of the KPL table with 41 points although Tusker FC are second at 36 points with two games in hand. I however, firmly believe this league cup is ours for the taking, that is why we snobbed side tournaments like the Top 8, handing our enemies, Gor Mahia, a walkover. However, the reason we didn’t attend the match is because the security of fans wasn’t assured (so I’m told, let’s not debate this).

We acquired Paul Were from Tusker FC and Floribert Ndayisaba, a Burundian, to boost our midfield and so far we can’t complain. We set a new record for KPL transfer when we bought (I always feel this buying players thing sounds like human trafficking) Ndayisaba for Ksh 1.3 million.

Paul Were at a game in Kisii town where we played SoNy sugar and we won 1-0. He set up the goal for Mang’oli to score.

Our next game is against Thika United on Sunday 12th August, 2012 at Nyayo at 3pm. You are invited. And yes, I’m still attending matches, for those who thought this is just a temporary phase 😉 Football is forever.

Lastly, I leave you with a comic to make your evening. Looks like I’m back from my hiatus.

Comic: How To Take Care of Your Baby- From FB.

Someone might need this

WordCamp Kenya, 2011

How would you like to spend the weekend of November 12-13th? How about at Crayfish Camp in Naivasha, hanging out with the coolest WordPress friends and users, learning about WordPress the blogging platform (which this blog runs on) from experienced bloggers, users and developers. Including transport to and from Nairobi, accommodation, food, a t-shirt (what’s a function without a tshirt!), 500 bob worth of airtime from Safaricom, and the 2-day conference. Still not convinced?

WordCamp Kenya is a conference about the world’s most popular blogging software WordPress. Developers, designers and users will come together for talks and workshops related to WordPress and to publishing on the web, and to network. WordCamp Kenya 2011 is happening on 12th and 13th November 2011 at Crayfish Camp

Crayfish camp in Naivasha

Learn more about wordcamp here. It’s a conference that focuses on anything WordPress. It’s the first time it is being held in Kenya.

Tickets for only Kshs.3,000 for early birds! Normal tickets go for Kshs. 4,000. You can pay by mpesa. Get your ticket here.

Kachwanya has blogged about the 8 reasons why you should not miss this: I will copy paste some under the Creative Commons License: as long as I acknowledge the source, and I’m not use this material for profit etc etc I can copy..

Local Content creation

WordCamp Kenya 2011 has great speakers, who will be putting into perspective what it means to be a content creator, going into details on on the benefits of using wordpress as the platform, Making money though Bake and other channels. It is going to be a great weekend of learning in a relaxed environment. You can’t miss that!


The term networking and who is who are these days being used loosely, but in Naivasha you will meet developers led by the Founder of WordPress, leading Bloggers, Poets, designers, tweeps and MKZers. If you have ever wanted to meet some of these people in real life, here is your chance.

Fun Weekend

Ordinarily you might find yourself too busy to have a little bit of time for yourself. WordCamp Kenya 2011 give you a chance to learn, network and have fun. Swimming pool, lake, and trails, name it. In other words you can try your hand in fishing, swimming, canoeing, or biking.


For the nijnjas who are online 24/7, you are catered for too. Safaricom will provide great data connection right from the time you enter the bus to the time you come back in Nairobi. Yes, the bus will be wired and much better at the camp. On top of that Kshs. 500 Airtime from Safaricom Ltd for mobile data. You will truly have a working weekend

Love for Nature:

Do you love nature….If you are like me, then you can be assured that Naivasha has it all when comes to magnificent outdoors.. Yeah, i know you know, book your ticket now.. [My addition: Crayfish is located on the shores of Lake Naivasha]

Entertainment Galore

I can’t even describe this one..night camp with a fireside poetry session, it is entertainment in a unique way. Come, meet and interact with some the best poets we have around. And they are ready to entertain you on that day. You simply can’t make this one up…

Great Experience at affordable cost

As i have said before, only three days remaining for the early bird tickets.. Hurry up and pick your ticket. Ksh3000 for early birds and thereafter Ksh.4000. To pay by M-Pesa, use MPESA as a coupon then send the amount in Kenya Shillings to 0722334955 then drop an email at kenya (at) with the transaction code.

Journey to Rwanda: In Kampala

This post is continued from this one

I have enjoyed my time here, had enough adventures and misadventures, but you know there are a few things I may not write about even though they happened.


So anyway, since my accommodation in Kigali was not ready by Saturday night when I wanted to leave Kampala, I had to postpone my time of travel to Monday morning. Meanwhile, I met a few friends and hang out with them.

I played pool at Kampala rugby club…. And defeated this guy –> normzo though he says he let me win. At least am practicing on one of the things I said I’d do this year. They included:

i. become a pro in pool
ii. learn French since am going to be in a French speaking country
iii. learn to drive, and also ride a motorbike (I’ll be going for my graduation riding a motorbike, in leather pants, black jacket, sunglasses, the whole shebang. While everyone comes in a hired/borrowed car to impress, I’ll be standing out with my motorbike.)
iv. learn to play the piano. Since I can’t sing to save my life…. At least I can learn the piano so I can play SDA hymns. I love those songs.

Can’t remember what else was on my to-do list this year but this is enough for now.

So there are these guys in Kampala, who (think they) are pros in pool. They come into the place with swagger, sunglasses and carrying their own cue sticks! And to compliment the cue sticks, gloves. I lost to one of them…..but not badly. I only had like one ball left on the table! And he’s supposed to be a pro. Maybe luck was on my side. Perhaps I should get my own glove.

Something I noticed in Kampala, at the butchery, the meat is just sold in the open. You know the way in Kenya, even in remote villages, meat is stored in some glass casing. Here, it’s just open for display.

The people are definitely friendlier, the taxi (matatu) conductors are less rude. There are numerous boda bodas (motorcycles), waving in and out of traffic, it’s a dangerous business. But you take risks.

Elections in Uganda will be held next month, Feb 18, four days after Valentines Day. So the town is covered in campaign posters. Talk of the town is M7 will win again. He’s set to become president for life, is my prediction.

Talking to my Ugandan friends, I learned a few more things about Rwanda. They drive on the right, can you imagine that? At a roundabout, instead of turning left, you turn right, very confusing. One thing I found shocking: they do not allow polythene bags into the country!

What! No polythene bags? How do they survive?

Like when it starts to rain and your precious weave and water can’t mix, you throw a plastic paper bag on your head. Or when buying milk, half a loaf of bread, eggs, etc. storing frozen food in the fridge, plugging leaking containers….etc.

And then, packing. Whenever I pack, shoes go into polythene bags, little things into little polythene bags, and then the whole ensemble into the suitcase. Which means I have to repack and get rid of the plastic menace.

But… determined to sneak in a polythene bag. Just for kicks, am not going to use it, just want to see if I can get away with it. *taking a deep breath now….don’t panic. You won’t be arrested.*

Another thing I’ve learnt, you do not talk ill of Kagame. In fact, stay clear of any political discussions. That’s it, zip it. Shhhhh.

I might be coming back to Kampala to work here, who knows?

Now I have to go repack in readiness for the journey tomorrow morning.

Next up: from Kampala to Kigali.