On Thursday, February 13, MultiChoice Namibia in Windhoek hosted the first screening of the film Kukuri in order to celebrate its nomination for Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) 2020.
This film is a 48 minute long documentary and was directed and produced by Philippe Talavera. It was filmed in Namibia’s Kavango and Zambezi regions. It confronts the damaging effect and injustice of child marriages.
Families in rural areas often adapt a tradition where they marry their daughters to older men at a juvenile age. This is mostly because of the economic problems in their homes. The mothers of these girls dismiss any relationship their daughters have with someone of appropriate age because they want to ‘preserve’ their daughters for someone who will look after the whole family.
Over the years the Namibian government has not condemned the hugely negative aspects of child marriages because the customary law allows for children under the age of 18 to venture into organised traditional marriages in certain circumstances.
In June 2015, statistics revealed that there are an estimated 5,400 child marriages in Namibia. Many of these girls have been married off in traditional ceremonies. An estimated of 26 percent of Namibian girls have children before they reach the age of 18. These statistics prompted Philippe Talavera, the producer and director of the film to dispatch his staff to the Kavango and Zambezi regions to look for these hidden child brides.
Talavera’s team found numbers of these children trapped in marriages whether they wanted it or not. They were interviewed. The children shared their stories with a group of writers who taped the interviews and used them to write the movie script.
Kukuri has earned its nomination into the AMVCA because it is deeply rooted in the genuine stories of people who have been victims of forced child marriage. It is the only Namibian film among the four films that were nominated in the Best Movie-Southern Africa category this year. The awards show will be televised on DSTV.
Kukuri has the distinction of being nominated, but will win based on votes from the public. Namibians are encouraged to register and vote for this home grown film. More information about voting can be attained at africamagic.dstc.com.