Jim and George and I about Tuko Macho, The Nest Collective, an African generational voice, identity and internal voices and why extreme order is surreal.
Tuko Macho (Sheng for “we are watching”) candidly explores the frequently violent intersections of class, law and justice in Nairobi. Shot mostly in Sheng — Kenya’s unique pidgin of English, Swahili and local languages — Tuko Macho‘s storylines are drawn from real-life stories that the people of Nairobi have become uncomfortably familiar with.
Presented exclusively on Facebook as a web series, Tuko Macho has traversed between fiction and the real world, allowing audiences to vote for or against the execution of characters, and sparking intense conversations about the place of retributive justice in a city with few heroes.
Tuko Macho stars Kenyan stage and screen actor Tim King’oo as Biko/Jonah — the philosophical and operational heart of the vigilante operation, Nairobi radio queen and reggae performer Njambi Koikai as Mwarabu — Biko’s moral center, and Ibrahim Muchemi as detective Nick Salat — the hero-cop who believes the city isn’t beyond redemption.
The Nest Collective are Amal Mohamed, George Gachara, Jim Chuchu, Kendi Kamwambia, Mars, Njeri Gitungo, Njoki Ngumi, Noel Kasyoka, Sunny Dolat and Wakiuru Njuguna. They live and work in Nairobi, creating work together using film, theatre, visual arts, music and fashion that explores troubling modern identities, reimagines pasts and remixes futures.
Tuko Macho was created in partnership with Forum Syd beginning in 2015, with principal photography taking place in early 2016, working with additional crew members assembled from among Nairobi’s finest production talents in various sets and locations all over the city.
Director Jim Chuchu had his first TIFF presentation in 2013 with the short film,Homecoming — part of the “African Metropolis” anthology. He returned in 2014 with The Nest Collective’s 2014 feature Stories Of Our Lives, an anthology film based on the lives of queer Kenyans.
The film was banned in Kenya following its TIFF 2014 World Premiere, but went on to win the Jury Prize at the Berlinale Teddy Awards and continues to screen in festivals worldwide.