In a bid to promote the African culture and showcase the talents of young Africans, the organizers of the Africa Monologue Challenge, a platform designed to empower African youth through storytelling and creative expression, were invited by the Kenyan High Commission to discuss the Monologue challenge and possible support for the finalists representing Kenya.
The meeting, which was held on Friday, March 10, 2023 at the Kenyan High Commission, was attended by Mr. Samson Koech, the Deputy Head of Mission, Miss Ann Wambui, a Foreign Service Officer, Mawuko Kuadzi, CEO of Mk Casting, and Dwomoh-Doyen Benjamin, the Executive Director of the African Chamber of Content Producers.
During the meeting, the organizers requested for home support and air tickets to fly the two finalists to Ghana for the final events on May 27th. The Kenyan High Commission promised to rally home support for the finalists and assured the organizers that they would discuss the flight arrangements with the government to see the extent of support they could provide.
The two Kenyan finalists were Ms. Stycie Waweru; a thirteen-year-old Kenyan Actor, Voice Artist and TV Host. She was born and brought up in a small village in Central Kenya. Her acting bug did not hit her until she played ‘JO’ the lead character in the award-winning film ‘Supa Modo’ which aired on Netflix. The other finalist, Nyokabi Macharia; a Kenyan actress, singer and director based in Nairobi, Kenya. Nyokabi trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama pursuing her MA in Musical Theatre. She has performed at the Kenya National Theatre, the New Victory Theatre in New York, Club Silly and Theatre 503 both in London. The two finalists will compete with eight others from Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, and the United Kingdom.
The grand finale will take place in Accra on May 27th, where a panel of expert judges will select the winner.
Mr. Koech congratulated the finalists and expressed his confidence in their abilities. He said that Kenya was proud of its creative industry and its contribution to promoting African culture and values. “We are proud of the finalists and are ready to do anything possible to rally home support for them during the public voting. I believe the Kenyan people are a very supportive people and will definitely go online in their numbers to vote for these finalists. We will talk to the necessary government agencies and institutions in Kenya to try and secure some funding for their travel expenses”, he disclosed.
On her part, Miss Ann Wambui revealed that she knew the two finalists were doing well in the film industry in Kenya and promised that the High Commission would reach out to them to see ways in they could assist them.
The organizers, Mr. Mawuko Kuadzi, CEO of MK Casting, and Mr. Dwomoh-Doyen Benjamin, Executive Director of Africa Chamber of Content Producers, thanked the High Commission for their interest and support. They also briefed them on the objectives and benefits of the challenge.
According to Mr. Kuadzi, the challenge is designed to match the standard of performances in Hollywood with existing or emerging African talents and position them strategically for global roles. He said that over 400 actors and actresses from across Africa and the diaspora submitted their monologues for the challenge. “Just as countries invest so much money in their national football teams, we believe it’s time such support is extended to participants representing countries in creative competitions, as a way of selling the country and encouraging the growth of the African Arts and culture” he lamented.
The organizers of the challenge also discussed how the Monologue challenge could be used to unite Africa and change the negative narratives that existed on the continent. They stressed the importance of promoting African culture and creating a positive image of the continent.
Mr. Dwomoh-Doyen Benjamin said that he hoped that projects like the Africa Monologue Challenge could change the narrative of Africa by telling positive stories about its people and potential. He also said that he hoped that more African countries woudl join hands to support such initiatives. “The Chamber plans to use the ten finalists to produce a Pan-African Afrofuturism film that will explore alternative positive narratives about Africa, and we expect the business community in Africa to rally support for such initiatives. Africa has a chance of telling its stories, of controlling its narratives, and of positioning more of its people to be part of global narratives. We must not miss such a great opportunity” he stressed.
The Africa Monologue Challenge aims to provide a platform for African youth to showcase their talent and promote unity in the continent. The competition involves participants from various African countries and the diaspora delivering monologues on different themes, such as culture, unity, and identity.
The Africa Monologue Challenge is an Initiative of MK Casting with collaboration from the African Chamber of Content Producers and the National Film Authority of Ghana.
Seated from left to right: Dwomoh-Doyen Benjamin, Mawuko Kuadzi, Mr. Samson Koech, Miss Ann Wambui