Wednesday, 7 March 2018

ZIPPY OKOTH: A PHENOMENAL WOMAN


BY Margaretta wa Gacheru (posted 7 March 2018)

Zippy Okoth is a phenomenal woman. Indefatigable too!
It’s been less than a month since she staged her own one-woman show at Kenya National Theatre. She starred in ‘Stranger in my Bed’ from the ‘Diary of a Divorced Women’ for one night only. Still, she filled the Theatre to full capacity, receiving an extended standing ovation to confirm her status as one of the most dynamic, multi-talented and much-love creatives around.
And now she’s already holding auditions for a revival of her 2015 award-winning musical, Tigo. They started March 1st at Karen Village and I doubt if she filled her whole cast list in one day.
Meanwhile, Dr. Zippy (who’s got a Ph.D in Theatre Arts from Kenyatta University where she also teaches) is also organizing the 3rd Lake International Pan African Film Festival which will be held November 7th-10th in Nyanza. She and her team are already accepting films which can be sent online through www.filmfreeway.com/lipffestival. The deadline for film entries is May 30th. The call has gone out for feature films and film shorts, documentaries and animations. All should be focused around this year’s theme of “Creating Dialogue’.
But leave alone that Zippy is an organizer, university lecturer, producer, director and actor on stage, in film and TV. She is also the founder and executive director of the Legacy Arts and Film Lab Kenya. It’s through the Legacy Lab that she established the Lake Film Festival and attracted winning films from all over Africa.
Her jury awarded films and filmmakers from Cameroon, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa. So as fledgling as her film festival may seem, Zippy has already established herself as a Kenyan creative who’s going places. Plus, her Legacy Lab also holds a variety of workshops and labs for aspiring filmmakers. Several of these will be held during the November Lake Film Festival along with several talks, panels and an awards night that Zippy is bound to make into a dazzling red carpet event!
Meanwhile, next week the Kenya Scriptwriters Guild will be conducting a free Master Class at Alliance Francaise on Wednesday from 6pm. It will be moderated by the KSG Chairman Cajeton Boy. Topics of discussion will range from the basic elements of script writing and production to script formatting and script breakdown.

Finally, John Sibi-Okumu’s play, ‘Minister Karibu’ is being staged March 17th and 18th at Kenya National Theatre, directed by Tash Mitambo and produced by Aroji Drama Academy. The play generated heaps of heat when it was first staged at Phoenix Players three years ago. Sibi was accused by cultural critic Joyce Nyairo of being a tribalist but others including myself found it refreshingly frank, biting and satirical.

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