Launched in February 2013, Ni Sisi (It is Us) is a movie produced by S.A.F.E in Kenya to promote peace and remind Kenyans that it is individuals who have the power to say no to the factors which were critical in encouraging post-election violence in 2007/2008: tribalism, rumours, and corruption. Released ahead of elections in March 2013, the film Ni Sisi (based on S.A.F.E's play of the same name) is intended to spread the message of personal accountability and strength, taking audiences on a journey of reflection to delve into the question of what it means to be Kenyan.
The 2007 Kenyan General Election and the violence that followed in 2008 left many Kenyans disillusioned by their political leadership and with heightened ethnic sensitivities. A play entitled Ni Sisi toured parts of Kenya that were affected by violence. It urged the audience to recognise their role in the violence and how to move forward and prevent future violence. According to S.A.F.E, the organisation intends to use the film version of the play to reach wider audiences across the country. The film is being broadcast on national television, screened in ‘hot spot’ areas through mobile cinemas and extensively distributed on DVD.
The Ni Sisi film centres on the theme of Kenyan identity, youth empowerment, forgiveness, and personal accountability for keeping peace. The story portrays a typical Kenyan community: a harmonious muddle of tribes, intermarriages, and extended families. Friends who have lived and worked together all their lives, who place no stock in which tribe their neighbour comes from. Then one day rumours begin to spread and suddenly mistrust takes hold. People are identified as belonging to a different tribe rather than by their identity as a person. With mistrust comes a sense of threat, with threat fear escalates. In a matter of days, the bonds and alliances - the foundation of the community - are severed just as it did in reality in 2008. They find themselves plunging into chaos, and it seems unstoppable and brutal. Or is it possible that by learning from the mistakes of the past the once peaceful community can be given another chance?
S.A.F.E takes on a two-pronged approach to its work. There is the "stage" or "screen" aspect, where performances provide people with the information, skills and attitudes that enable them to take the first steps toward improving their lives. Then there is the 'off-stage' approach that involves follow-up community programmes delivered directly by S.A.F.E teams on the ground and through partner organisations.
People can interact with the film through the Ni Sisi facebook page.
S.A.F.E is a Kenyan non-governmental organisation (NGO) and United Kingdom charity that uses street theatre and community programmes to educate, inspire, and deliver social change. The organisation addresses a range of social challenges through their work, including HIV/AIDS, post-election violence, female circumcision, unsafe water, and environmental damage.