The man that helped me discover my passion for filmmaking

In 2019, I was part of Tunapanda Institute’s training program. It’s during those times that I met Mortinno Morton, and fell in love with what he was doing as a career — filmmaking. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fully interact with him; this is because I left the training bootcamp halfway due to financial instability. I had only one option — to make ends meet by hustling in the streets of Kibera. By hustling, I mean working on low paying informal jobs — such as selling blended juice.

This year was one of those I saw myself burning down to ashes because I had lost hope. Really, I didn’t see myself being anywhere in this world. I felt the darkness of the world and my relationship with light had drifted apart. In February 2021, light did cast its brightness on me — Wikonnect Film Apprenticeship Program was commencing. Although the program was only meant for Tunapanda Institute members, I promised myself to join the workshop no matter the circumstances.

One day, I decided to take a walk to Tunapanda Institute’s facility just to hang around with my friends who are working there, and fortunately heard Mortinno’s voice. He was teaching storytelling via Zoom. I later learned that the other group that was joining the call was the Learning Lions team (from Turkana — Northern Kenya). In my head, I knew I couldn’t let that opportunity pass. So I decided to request my friend to send me the meeting link so I could join the call.

That’s how I joined my first film training session with Mortinno! Illegally. Just by attending that one session, I could clearly see myself taking this path as a career.

On my first one-on-one interaction with Mortinno, his sentiments inspired me so much. They actually rekindled my hope and changed my perspective on a couple of areas of life, including the dynamics of the film industry.

Jay Larson, Mortinno, and I. I was helping Mortinno shoot educational video series at Jay’s place.

As time progressed and I continued to attend Mortinno’s film workshops at Tunapanda Institute, I learnt more about him. One of the outstanding Mortinno’s features is his ability to practically involve learners in the lessons, making sure that everybody understands what he is teaching.

During our first encounter, as mentioned above, Mortinno saw something special in me that I never knew I had — a hidden talent in digital storytelling.

Prior to joining Tunapanda Institute and meeting Mortinno, I tried many things to survive, and music was among them. Through numerous conversations with Mortinno, I realized that I can integrate storytelling in music to touch lives as opposed to just rhyming words over beats.

I thank Wikonnect and Tunapanda Institute for bringing Mortinno Morton for this year’s workshop. They unearthed another phase in my life. Through the apprenticeship program, I learnt different fields in filmmaking and decided to focus on editing and directing. I chose the two because I found myself at ease when directing or editing.

As a result of Mortinno’s film workshops, a couple of my friends and I came up with a YouTube show targeting young people from urban communities.

The workshop has changed me for the better. The knowledge and skills I have acquired have improved my confidence, and I’m now looking forward to exploring more and using my skills to tell stories that will educate and bring change to my community and the world at large.

I believe in storytelling.




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