Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Next Year's Oscars Host Just Might Be Kevin Hart... Or at Least Someone Black Next Year's Oscars Host Just Might Be Kevin Hart... Or at Least Someone Black Ava DuVernay, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cicely Tyson, Erykah Badu to Be 2015 Black Girls Rock!' Honorees Ava DuVernay, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cicely Tyson, Erykah Badu to Be 2015 Black Girls Rock!' Honorees HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Ruth Negga Has Landed the Female Lead Role in AMC's 'Preacher' Adaptation Ruth Negga Has Landed the Female Lead Role in AMC's 'Preacher' Adaptation Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Wanuri Kahiu's Feature Doc On Kenyan Afro-Electro-Pop Group Just A Band Gets Funding Boost

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 22, 2013 at 6:55PM

I love this group! Like many others, my introduction to them was their 2009 album 82, although it didn't seem to really gain international attention until the following year.
1
Just A Band

I love this group! Like many others, my introduction to them was their 2009 album 82, although it didn't seem to really gain international attention until the following year.

The video for the second single from the album - Ha-He - was probably what really did it, especially here in the USA. It was a spoof of blaxploitation films, featuring a protagonist named "Makmende". The video went super-viral within a short time, and was labeled Kenya’s first viral internet meme, leading to features in the national media on the group on CNN, in The Wall Street Journal and others.

Pumzi director Wanuri Kahiu (along with Anjali Nayar) who shouldn't be a stranger to S&A readers, is working on a feature documentary on the group, titled Just A Band: The Movie; she describes the project as...

... a kaleidoscopic portrait of four artistically eclectic twenty-somethings who form Kenya’s super nerdy Afro-electro-pop group Just A Band. The film follows them through projects and performances – from their out-of-control street parties in downtown Nairobi to the making of their blaxploitation music-mentry HA-HE, which became Kenya’s first Internet meme.

I'm sold. 

Announced last week, the project was one of 22 selected (from more than 2,000 applications, from filmmakers based in upwards of 100 countries) by Cinereach to be awarded over $500,000 in grants.

In addition to Cinereach's backing, the film was also 1 of 6 selected by the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Blue Ice Group last year, that received a total of $115,000 in development and production grants from the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund in its first round of disbursements.

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund is a $1-million production fund that provides financial support to independent filmmakers based in developing African countries, with the goal of increasing the quality and quantity of social, cultural and political documentaries produced on the continent.

So the project is definitely moving ahead gradually, attracting financing and accolades along the way.

It's on my alerts list, so I'll continue to watch its progress, and report accordingly.

In the meantime, if you haven't seen it, here's the Ha-He blaxploitation-inspired music video that went viral 2 years ago, introducing Just A Band to international audiences:

This article is related to: Wanuri Kahiu


Shadow & ActNewsletter