Sex, Witchcraft and Politics in Tanzanian Kiswahili Video-Films
For nearly two decades of its existence, the Kiswahili video-film industry’s has grown in leaps and bounds, while major challenges have remained unaltered. Lack of professional training on a big majority of the practitioners, poor reinforcement of existing policies, laws and regulations as well as lack of support from the middle and upper classes of the citizenry have continued to haunt the industry. All these drawbacks notwithstanding, films are being produced at a high speed and reasonable volume. The films tell stories of the problems and joys of the contemporary Tanzanian society, and revolve around themes such as gender relations, love and/or sex, witchcraft and politics. Using selected films from prominent filmmakers, this article analyses the nature of Kiswahili filmmaking in Tanzania and the ways in which some pressure points in the Tanzanian society are being presented. The article also illuminates on the interconnectedness of love and/or, witchcraft and politics. Despite the claims that most filmmakers are unprofessional they have played a vital role in upholding and developing the film industry in difficult circumstances and raised many challenging issues which need further research and documentation.