Nairobi, Kenya is a rapidly growing city of over three million people. Many new inhabitants come from outside Kenya, fleeing violence and poverty in places like neighboring Somalia and Ethiopia. Many new residents, however, are poor Kenyans from the countryside looking for a way to support their families back home.
Operating on a small grant from the Jerome Foundation, in March of 2013 I joined a project conducting initial research for a long-form documentary project about rural to urban migration in Kenya.
In this roughcut scene I shot, edited and co-produced, Selene, a widowed mother of six living on an island on Lake Victoria, cooks lunch with items purchased with her eldest son’s remittances earned through labor in a blanket factory in a slum outside of Nairobi. As fish fries over a fire outside her doorstep, she shares her fears and hopes for her son, and displays the love and gratitude she feels for his sacrifices in the name of the family.