Film lays bare hustle and bustle in city slums

Monday July 20 2020

A scene from the film. PHOTO | Andrew I Kazibwe


Local filmmakers are gradually embracing the art of story-telling with Mutiganda wa nkunda launching a new fi lm dubbed Rocabye (Ibihozo). The film focusses on the oldest trade, prostitution, and how it impacts the society.

Casting Colombe Mukeshimana as Sacha, Cedric Gisubizo as Ntwali, Joshua Simparingabo as a client, Nicole Uwineza as Mama Manzi and Venuste Masengesho as Manzi, Rocabye follows the life of Sacha, 21, a single mother to Ntwali, who struggles to make ends meet and exercises good parenting amid job challenges in Kigali.

The film concentrates on hustle and bustle in Kigali slums, which force women to venture into prostitution to eke out a living. The 15 minutes and three seconds film produced by Mutiganda wa Nkunda and Ella Liliane Mutuyimana reflects how prostitution is rampant in Kigali slums.

First are the initial scenes, which depict Sacha getting ready for her day, where among what she packs is a packet of condoms, before heading out to the street, where she is picked up by a private car.

As a parent, she is able to prepare her son, to see him o  for games with friends so as she can attend to one of the clients since he only owns a single- roomed house. But depression is seen rooting from within society, right from her son’s torment, where he is bullied by peers claiming how her mother is a prostitute and sleeps with men for money. This eats deeper into the boy’s emotions, that he returns home weeping.

But, this is also faced by Sacha, for it is through the adults that the children also get to know and believe how her path is abominable. In one of the conversations she holds with a client when asked about her life, she boldly comes to her defence, “Yes, I am a prostitute, but also a mother, who has responsibilities to fulfill,” she states.


Though eaten up by torment, this is what she brushes o  , for in front of her son everything is and will be okay. She aspires for more, as she encourages her son, assuring him how the bullying and assaults he faces are due to their uniqueness.

The film creates suspense as Sacha is caught in anguish and wondering why her life is subjected to society’s mockery.

Rocobye follows several other projects that’s the self-taught screenwriter and director has worked on before.

His first four short fiction screenplays were shortlisted in the 2013 Global Dialogues Short Story Creating Contest.

In 2014, Mutiganda wrote and directed Rayila his first short fi lm, which won awards in several fi lm festivals around the world, friends the first-ever TV series to be produced locally and aired on TV 10 Rwanda.