Video of disheveled ‘Nairobi Half Life’ scriptwriter on the streets sparks emotion


Video of disheveled ‘Nairobi Half Life’ scriptwriter on the streets sparks emotion
Charles Matathia, the man who co-wrote the script for the 2012 blockbuster Kenyan film ‘Nairobi Half Life’, leaning on a motorist's window in an undated video.

In Summary

  • Matathia, in the video posted by Twitter user @MrJemedari, appears disheveled in an old-looking jacket, leaning on a motorist's car in traffic presumably in Wangige, Kiambu County, while carrying a dirty sack.

An undated video of Charles Matathia, the man who co-wrote the script for the 2012 blockbuster Kenyan film ‘Nairobi Half Life’, has emerged online and evoked the emotions of Kenyans on Twitter (KOT).

Matathia, in the video posted by Twitter user @MrJemedari, appears disheveled in an old-looking jacket, leaning on a motorist’s car in traffic presumably in Wangige, Kiambu County, while carrying a dirty sack.

“My name is Charles Antony Matathia, I was born on July 23, 1979. I grew up here around Wangige market in the Kiambu County of Kenya. I’m 40 years old. I’m an aspiring screenwriter; my project which you’re familiar with is a feature film called Nairobi Half Life,” he says in the 43-second video.

The video has since captured the attention of many, with Mr Jemedari – who posted it – seeking information about his whereabouts.

He said: “This is Potash Charles Matathia, who wrote the script for Nairobi Half Life. If you know how to reach him, please share. He needs help.”

Matathia, in an interview from two years ago with the Nation, narrated how he got the opportunity to co-write the film ‘Nairobi Half Life’ with actress Serah Mwihaki before his life later took a turn for the worst.

‘Nairobi Half Life’, widely considered one of the biggest Kenyan films of the decade, was selected as the Kenyan entry for the ‘Best Foreign Language’ film at the 85th Oscar Academy Awards but did not make the final shortlist.

It however went on to receive awards for Best Cinematographer (Christian Almesberger), Best Lighting Designer (Mohamed Zain), Best Make-Up Artist (Elayne Okaya) and Best Art Director (Barbara Minishi) at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

Matathia, according to the Nation article, flew off the rails on the backdrop of the film’s success and at some point even did a stint at a rehabilitation centre; where he said he wrote at least three scripts ready to be turned to film and was still writing more.

“This is my second chapter. My material is enough to take me to 2022,” he said.

Below are some of the reactions from KOT:

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Story By Ian Omondi
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