Wednesday, 3 August 2011


The late Kimani Maruge

The movie about Kenya’s oldest primary school student the late Kimani Maruge was awarded with the Audience Award at the just concluded 32nd Durban International Film Festival.

Oliver Litondo plays Mzee Kimani Maruge

The biographical film about the 84–year-old student dubbed the First Grader is set in a mountain village in Kenya the film tells the remarkable true and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last chance to learn to read and write - and so ends up joining a class alongside six year-olds. Together he and his young teacher face fierce resistance, but ultimately they win through - and also find a new way of overcoming the burdens of the colonial past.

Oliver Litondo and Naomie Harris

British actress Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean) plays Jane Obinchu, Maruge’s teacher who got in trouble for allowing him to sit in class with the 6-year-old students.

South African actor Vusi Kunene and Oliver Litondo

Kenyan journalist and an actor Oliver Litondo, 62, plays Maruge, an octogenarian who did not let age stop him from taking advantage of the Free Primary School initiative to get the education he always wanted.
The is organised by the Centre For Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with support by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), National Film and Video Foundation, KZN Department of Economic Development and Tourism, HIVOS, City of Durban, German Embassy of South Africa, Goethe Institute of SA, Industrial Development Corporation, KZN Department of Arts and Culture, and a range of other partners.

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