Kukuri is an Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) film dealing with the issue of child marriages in the rural parts of Namibia featuring a largely inexperienced cast. The actors, except George Antonio (Salute!), were first-time performers and were sourced and trained on film location in the Kavango region.
This is probably why the film after its initial 2018 release is only picking up the interest of festivals and award shows this year. A screening (or release) of the film was hosted in Windhoek earlier this year and since then the film has been getting a lot of attention.
Kukuri has been nominated at the 7th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA7) for Best Movie Southern Africa, selected to screen at the 2020 Garden Route International Film Festival (GRIFF) in South Africa and now most recently it was announced that the film will be screened at the Ananse Cinema International Film Festival in Ghana.
For a film shot in a community deep in a remote village, using the languages and starring its locals, Kukuri is doing pretty well. First-time performer Hanty Kashongo as the girl forced to grow up quick (Kukuri) gave an exceptional performance. Antonio, Nangana Mushavanga, Diyanni Longwani, Renah Xuesom and Mbango Munyima complemented the film well too.
Director and Producer of Kukuri, Philippe Talavera is profoundly proud of his film, saying if the message delivered in his film helps prevent one girl from getting married off at an early age, the film was worth it.
“Child marriage does not happen only in Namibia, but in several countries on the African continent. Kukuri is therefore relevant in South Africa, Ghana, and other countries too. The practice must end. We are in the 21st century so let us be in the 21st century and let some harmful cultural practices become things of the past,” Talavera says.