Solo hazlo – Mi Historia como Cineasta en los Barrios Bajos de Nairobi

Vi como los reporteros representaban Mathare de forma incorrecta. Decidí convertirme en cineasta para corregir esta situación y seguir mis sueños.

Story by Elijah Kanye. Translated by Leonardo Ismael Pérez Correa
Kenya, East Africa
Published on December 19, 2020

Reading time: 4 minutes

This story is also available in GB de fr tr



Cuando corría contra el tumulto hacia el hotel de Nairobi donde ocurrió el ataque, no tenía miedo.[1] Éramos los primeros reporteros en la escena: yo, otro camarógrafo, y un periodista. Primero, no pudimos distinguir si se trataba de un ataque terrorista o de un asalto. Sólo vimos que había gente que corría para alejare del hotel mientras nosotros corríamos para acercarnos, pero cuando vimos que dos personas en el piso habían recibido heridas de balas, nos dimos cuenta de que era un ataque terrorista. El hotel era un espacio grande, y necesitábamos estar detrás de al menos una pared para protegernos de los atacantes. Revisando lo que grabé, me di cuenta de que la situación había sido muy peligrosa, y estar ahí probablemente no fue una muy buena idea. No llevábamos ningún tipo de protección, y agradecí a Dios haber salido ahí con vida. Muchos otros grabaron la historia desde lejos, yo fui al lugar en concreto y grabé la historia real.

Cuando era joven, quería ser jugador de fútbol profesional. Como muchos de mis amigos en Mathare[2], quería jugar para los clubes locales como Mathare United o  el Real Mathare, o mejor aún, clubes Europeos como Manchester United o el Real Madrid. En realidad sólo había una cancha de Fútbol en el vecindario, el Campo de Deportes Mathare. Mis amigos y yo éramos los dueños de la cancha; por años éramos los mejores jugadores. Por alguna razón, esto desgradaba a mucha gente, pero a mí me encantaba, quería la vida que veía en los carteles de Coca-Cola; “Come Fútbol, Duerme Fútbol, Toma Coca-Cola”; sin embargo, las cosas no salieron como yo esperaba, y tuve que encontrar otro propósito para mi vida.

Vi que muchos reporteros no representaban a Mathare de forma correcta. Por ejemplo, cuando ocurría una pelea en alguna parte de los barrios bajos, pensaban que era demasiado peligroso acercarse para descubrir el motivo de la pelea. La reportaban mal. Así que hace 13 años, decidí convertirme en “cineasta” para corregir esta debilidad de los reportajes. Como soy de Mathare, puedo ir a esos lugares y grabar exactamente lo que pasa. Mucha gente me recuerda desde mis días de futbolista y confían en mí. Algunos me conocen como ‘Elijah el futbolista’ y otros como ‘Elijah el cineasta’. 

Ser cineasta es mi pasión: me siento personalmente motivado por la idea de compartir historias de mi sociedad, la cual es Mathare. Quiero que la verdad de cada historia salga a la luz. Generalmente presento historias positivas, porque demasiada negatividad puede nublar los pensamientos. Sin embargo, siempre apunto a ser honesto y objetivo con mi audiencia, porque dependen de mí como reportero, como cineasta. Un ejemplo es que recientemente estuve cubriendo temas serios como la violencia perpetrada por la policía en relación al COVID-19 aquí en los barrios bajos. Con mi documental, compartí la situación de Mathare con las noticias NOS Holandesas, la BBC y otros canales.[3]

Mi sueño es algún día hacer un documental sobre mi propia historia/vida. Espero motivar a los jóvenes de los barrios bajos y hacerles creer que pueden hacer lo que quieran hacer. Vivir una vida libre, en la que sean auténticos consigo mismos. Simplemente, deberían hacerlo.


Notas

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-47202313 

[2] Mathare es una serie de barrios marginales en Nairobi, Kenya. Aproximadamente 500,000 personas viven ahí.

[3] Noticias NOS Holandesas acá: https://nos.nl/video/2346202-elijah-filmt-het-politiegeweld-in-zijn-sloppenwijk.html, noticias BBC aquí: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-53025934 

[4] Elijah ya apoya a gente de los barrios bajos con su iniciativa para jóvenes Sautti. Gente joven recibe mentores para ganar experiencia con grabación, cine, artes, y otras habilidades. Para ser lo que pueden ser. Revisa Sautti acá: https://www.facebook.com/watch/TVSauti/ o acá https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFlrToASX3c&t=5s&ab_channel=SautiTv


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Elijah Kanye

Elijah Kanye

My name is Elijah Kanyi, a Filmmaker/Producer and Director based in Nairobi, Kenya. Born and bred in Mathare slum, one of the oldest slums in East Africa. I have witnessed so much injustice over the years, which is what motivated me to become a Filmmaker. The career path I chose has given me an opportunity to tell the stories of my people, ranging from corruption, and inequality in health and education, resource distribution, police brutality & extrajudicial killings. Early in my life, I was determined to protect and project a voice for the people without a voice, and that's wat I do as a filmmaker. 

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