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ROFFEKE is proud to partner with Additude Africa

ROFFEKE is proud to partner with Additude Africa
"Additude Africa promotes time credits as a means of encouraging the youth to be involved in community building activities in order to add a new dimension in their lives and make a positive contribution to their communities."

ROFFEKE is proud to partner with

ROFFEKE is proud to partner with
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Friendship (networking), Fun (experimentation), Freedom (purpose, empowering, transparency)


ROFFEKE logo by Jozie of Kenyan band 'Murfy's Flaw'

ROFFEKE is a member of the Universal Film and Festival Organization

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Comments on "The ABC of ROFFEKE" Screenings (September 2015 at iHub)

I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“ Frontman ”]. I look forward to at...

The Indie Bible

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Friendship: ROFFEKE Official Selections 2023 (Partial Listing)

“Bad Syne” by Illysa Spencer and the transmedia tripartite by Robert David Duncan “Alley Senses”, “Alley of Lost Friends” and “Old Man’s World” speak to and with each other, even though they have many differences. Bad Syne is longer (15 minutes) than all three of Robert’s microfilms (5 minutes 40 seconds in total). Robert uses a smartphone and artificial intelligence. Bad Syne is a student project filmed in Armenia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. while Robert’s microfilms are three of very many that he has done over the years (including "Room 254 Spinoza Hotel" that I had the honour of being a part of).

One similarity is that both Bad Syne and Robert’s microfilms feature street art/graffiti. About Alley Senses, Robert says: “I was revisiting some alley footage I had shot and was struck by the energy and sensory vibrancy of it, raw sound and all. I decided to capture some of its essence and share it in this film – enjoy!” The first few minutes of Bad Syne feature a graffiti artist in the middle of creating his street art as we hear his views via voice over: “…establishment, you’re not thinking about the better good of people by surrounding them by monochromatic, flat, dry and just dead-looking, absence of life environment.”

Both Bad Syne and Robert’s microfilms are about friendship. In Bad Syne: “Two artists collaborate on music and life in an epic roadtrip” while the three microfilms are “interconnected pieces on themes of friendship and art.” You can check out the Alley of Lost Friends transmedia story world at

The theme of friendship and art also shines through in “Time”, a screenplay by Mario Luis Telles: “After trying their luck at rock and roll fame, 4 friends embark on a hilarious journey to get their fame and fortune.”

Creative differences are part and parcel of the friendship and art package. The key is to know how to navigate these differences. “So it goes” touches on this topic. Director Jenna Cornell writes that it is “a beautiful song written by musician, producer and filmmaker Marc Golde. Tackling some of the current issues we face, it reminds us that we are all in this together. We all have common humanity even if we disagree.”

Patti Smith, Horses and ROFFEKE Official Selections - The White Horse, Trickster and The Heaviest Order featuring Greta Thunberg

Today is Patti Smith’s birthday, the “Godmother of Punk”. I discovered her during the season 2 finale of Millennium, a series by X-Files creator Chris Carter. Michael John Petty writes in that one of the best moments in The Fourth Horsemen/The Time Is Now (Season 2, Episodes 22-23) is “Lara Means’ disturbing psychotic break to the tune of Patti Smith’s “Horses”.

The Millennium website gives the correct name of the song, which is often understandably mistitled as simply “Horses”:

“The Millennium episode The Time Is Now contains the following music by Patti Smith:

  • Land: Horses/Land of 1000 Dances/La Mer(de)

Heard during the intense motel cabin scene where Lara Means, (depicted through the use of various montages, imagery and stock photography) slips into insanity after failing to come to terms with the knowledge revealed to her by the Millennium Group.”

In “You’ve never heard Patti Smith’s‘Horses’?!” Charlie Kaplan writes that the protagonist’s (Johnny’s) “emotional collapse is a herd of horses, "white shining silver studs with their nose in flames".

Patti Smith’s iconic song could also work well in Goran Mihailov’s short film titled “The White Horse” where “A couple's daily routine is interrupted by an unexpected threat.”

Both “The White Horse” and Rob York’s screenplay titled “Trickster” feature a horse and a girl. Rob York’s screenplay is “Based upon a true story a wise old horse narrates his extraordinary life. After a near death accident he finds the meaning of life through the eyes of a special needs little girl.”

According to his writer biography, Rob York “…is a distinguished screenwriter whose passion for storytelling rivals his love for horses…Among his accolades, York proudly holds numerous awards for his standout screenplay, "Trickster" earning 87 awards in 23 countries…While Rob's talent in crafting captivating scripts is evident, it's his passion for horses that truly sets him apart. With a deep understanding of these majestic creatures, he brings an authentic touch to equestrian-themed stories, painting vivid portraits of the bond between humans and horses…Rob's other home away from home is working at the D6 Movie Horse Ranch in Apple Vally California, the home of Roy Rodgers. Rob works directly with the legendary horse trainer Ty Nitti who is one in a few horse trainers in the world who has mastered all three disciplines of Spanish, English, and Western. Rob is the direct assistant for Ty horse wrangling, stunt coordinating, and qualifying professional stuntmen in the movie industry. As Rob embarks on new projects and collaborations, there's no doubt that his unique blend of Texas roots, California spirit, and unwavering passion for horses will continue to shine through in every script he crafts, captivating audiences and leaving a lasting impression on the world of cinema.”

The Heaviest Order by Peter Böving is a stop-motion short film featuring Greta Thunberg who “places a significant order at a bakery.” According to the director’s statement: “The film begins with musical references to the Thuringian children's song "Backe, backe, Kuchen" (Bake, bake, cake). This simple song is fundamentally enumerative in content, essentially a pure baking recipe. Its simplicity and clarity radiate a "healthy" approach to food. In other words: baking - simple - analog! In the short film, this cake is created at the request of a young activist, even though the accompanying elements may remind one somewhat of the US short film series "The Little Rascals." The intended feel-good atmosphere serves primarily the purpose of creating the greatest possible anticipation for the punchline in the finale, which puts the issue of food waste at the center of the film.”

Greta Thunberg’s birthday is four days after Patti Smith’s. In January 2020, Jennifer Velez wrote on “If you follow punk rock legend Patti Smith, you’re likely aware of her fondness for Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg. The singer posted tributes to the teen throughout 2019 and didn’t leave out posting one on Thunberg’s birthday, Jan 3.”

Patti Smith appears in Chris Gero's “The Sound of Us”, a documentary that attempts to answer the questions: “What is music? What is music to you?” Patti Smith’s answer? “It contains the essence of the human soul, one could say.”

Friday, December 8, 2023

Why "Mono" is a comedy-horror film

Yesterday, I watched the very entertaining and aptly-titled film “Mono”. It brought back interesting memories of my time in a boarding high school. I remember those four years with mixed feelings. There were moments of comedy, joy, sadness, rebellion and always, always, the underlying feeling of “I want to go home”, which was the title of the very first poem I ever wrote, during my first weeks as a form one student -  a “mono”.

What makes "Mono" a comedy-horror film? The comedic elements are very clear. Upon reflection, I picked out the following horror elements:

TRAPPED: It’s right there in the name. Boarding. No going home. No escape.

MONSTERS: Two monsters are portrayed in the film: physical monsters (bullies) and psychological monsters. Psychological monsters are usually brought to life by the physical monsters and are outlined in the Psychology Today article by Karl Albrecht, The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share: “These fears include extinction, mutilation, loss of autonomy, separation, and ego death."

PSYCHOLOGICAL DEATH – Thankfully, there are no physical deaths in the film but the psychological deaths or ego deaths are many. Albrecht explains ego death as follows: “… humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of the self; the fear of the shattering or disintegration of one's constructed sense of lovability, capability, and worthiness.”

The film’s TRAILER shows us some examples of ego deaths

“Whatever your parents taught you stays at home.”

Corporal punishment.

One's food being taken by the older students.

“Why are monos taking window seats?”

A concerned mother asks her son: “What happened to your face?”

Being insulted by those in authority: “Your head is full of porridge.”

I was in high school when the first ever radio station to play rock music was begun. Perhaps, my experiences in boarding school helped me to appreciate this music that I had never heard of before. Bands like U2 with their anthemic songs. Like “Pride (In the name of love):

“Originally Bono wanted to write a song about Ronald Reagan’s arrogant pride in his military power, which inevitably led to heightened nuclear tensions during the Cold War. However, after reading biographies on Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, he decided to focus on the pride ingrained in the causes of the African-American Civil Rights movement, and the comparison between the violent and nonviolent approaches each leader took.” (

Female rock stars like Alanis Morrissette who through songs like “You oughta know” (1995) made it okay to express dissatisfaction:

And I'm here, to remind you

Of the mess you left when you went away

It's not fair, to deny me

Of the cross I bear that you gave to me

You, you, you oughta know

Playful, fun yet thought-provoking pop-rock songs, reminders that life is complex but life is still good. Songs like Hanson’s “Mmbop” (1997) and Desree’s “You gotta be” (1994)

You have so many relationships in this life

Only one or two will last

You go through all the pain and strife

Then you turn your back and they're gone so fast

Oh, so hold on the ones who really care

In the end they'll be the only ones there

And when you get old and start losing your hair

Can you tell me who will still care?


In “Mono” we get to see the beginnings of relationships that may last a lifetime. The beauty of this film is that it has potential for so many spin-offs: the main characters in their last year of high school, the main characters in their first year of university, the main characters as adults, the main characters as old men losing their hair, recalling their days as monos…J

One of the characters that stood out for me was the female literature teacher who positively impacted the monos. She challenged them without breaking them, chastised them without belittling them.

Listen as your day unfolds

Challenge what the future holds

Try and keep your head up to the sky

Lovers, they may cause you tears

Go ahead, release your fears

Stand up and be counted

Don't be ashamed to cry (Yes, there was a scene where two monos cried).

You gotta be

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser

You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger

You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together

All I know, all I know, love will save the day

Herald what your mother said

Read the books your father read

Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time

Some may have more cash than you

Others take a different view

My oh my, eh, eh, eh

It’s no wonder that the monos respected this literature teacher so much that they…well, you have to watch the movie to find out! J

Friday, December 1, 2023

Interview: Mildred Achoch and Orlando Greenhill of Black History of Rock n Roll

On 18th November 2023, I had the great honour of being interviewed by Orlando Greenhill of Black History of Rock n Roll. Below is the transcript of the first few minutes.

0:01:46 – Mildred Achoch

I got into rock music through country music. My dad had an amazing record collection with the usual: Elvis Presley, Charlie Pride, Skeeter Davis. And then, around 1998, this radio station FM radio station the first ever in Kenya opened and then it just introduced us to a whole new world of rock. It was soft rock, it was more pop, but I mean, for someone who had never experienced this kind of music, I found it amazing. You know, bands like U2, all those great 90s bands. 

 (NOTE: Capital FM begun in 1996)

And then, around 2004, I started a Yahoo group. Remember Yahoo? Yeah, I started a Yahoo group called Kenya Rocks because I just wanted to connect with other people who like rock music. I thought I was the only one in this country who loved rock music, because that time the Internet was very new and so we were not connected to each other. So I started that Yahoo group and, slowly by slowly, I got to know other rock fans in Kenya. Many of them actually went on to form bands.


  ROFFEKE Conference: Daniel Kobimbo - Blogger at Heavy and the Beast
In this session of #roffekeconference Daniel Kobimbo gives an overview of the #Kenyanrock scene beginnings and who inspired him to do what he does today.

I must give a shout out to Rash. It's a band that came much later, in 2013, but they're celebrating their 10th anniversary today. They're actually having a show as we speak. So hi, Rash, congratulations! In that Yahoo group there were also members of Murfy’s Flaw, Last Year's Tragedy. Last Year’s Tragedy are also performing at that Rash show today. 


And then 2008, Facebook. We all decided to go over to Facebook and so I stopped, you know, the Yahoo group. I was also going through some life changes, so I stopped the Yahoo group. But then at that time I had already gotten this idea for a film festival that showcased rock music so that's how ROFFEKE came about. It's rock and roll film festival Kenya, but I pronounce it Rafiki, and the mission is just to promote rock music in Kenya via film. Because I love film. I am actually a screenwriter by profession and I love rock music. So it was just natural to combine the two. And that's what I've been doing for the past - is it 10, 15 years? I enjoy it, it's a passion. I'm not making loads of money out of this, I'm just passionate about it. And now I'm intentionally concentrating more about educating people that, you know, rock music is not mzungu music. Mzungu is Swahili for white man.

                            The African Roots of Rock 'n' Roll - A poem by Diego Serebrennik


It's still a difficult thing to convince people of because the media just shows the white side of rock music. So when you tell someone, no, no, it came from black gospel music and blues, people don't really connect easily, but it's just a passion of mine. I enjoy history and music history also. So I'll just keep on doing it. I'll keep on doing it as long as I can because I love it. 

                Kenya Taifu Letu (Kenya Our Country) composed by Gideon Victor Mwanyigha


We are also dealing with the effects of colonialism. We were colonized by the British so anything that remotely smells of the white man is usually not accepted readily by some people.

I always say, you don't have to like rock music. You're actually free to hate rock music, but please hate it for the right reasons. Just hate it because you don't like it. Don't hate it because you think it's white man's music or because it's the devil's music or because it's just noise. Those are wrong reasons. Hate it because it's not your preference. That's a very valid reason not to like rock music.

So yeah, it's an uphill task but I enjoy it. I learn something new every day. There’s so much history that I don't know. I thought I knew but I clearly don't know. And when I check out some of your posts I realize that well, I mean, it could not be helped because we only had access to corporate media and we only heard what was in corporate media. But I like what you're doing because I get to learn about all these other black bands. I saw a very recent post, I think you posted it today, about a black glam rock band. I did not know that there was such a band in that particular genre. Yeah, it's always fun to find out these things. Not to get too philosophical but I think part of it is healing for us who were colonized and slave trade and all that stuff. I think it's a healing process just to find out that this beautiful music, this powerful music, we had something to do with it. In my opinion, I think it's very healing.

(Transcript generated by, edited by Mildred Achoch)

You can watch the entire interview HERE