Project #3632

Transform Lives of African Youth by Making Films

by Hot Sun Foundation
Joseph Matu, Kibera Film School trainee
Joseph Matu, Kibera Film School trainee

From Robot to Filmmaker

by Joseph Matu

What were you doing before  you joined Hot Sun Foundation?

For seven years, I worked as a computer clerk in a warehouse, as a parts salesman  for buses and trucks

I always wanted to go film school. My  brother  (nine years older) did  nothing but talk about film.  He worked as a cameraman.  Whenever possible, I would go along with him on shoots. 

 I tried to enter a film school three years ago, but could not pay the fees. 

Why did you come to Kibera Film School?

I heard about  Kibera Film School  on Internet. I checked it out. People I know in the film industry looked at the curriculum, and said this was the best they had seen.

What have you learned here?

I always liked to write, but I never understood the skills involved to write a script, until I came here. 

I learned about  the importance of social networking, especially using twitter .

I have also learned  technical skills in photography and videography.

What surprised you about Hot Sun Foundation?

Like many people in Kenya, I had negative misconceptions about Kibera.  I am surprised by the energy and creativity of the people I am working with.  People here have a passion for filmmaking.

I am surprised by the equipment and the facilities, which are quite good.

Hot Sun Foundation was able to attract Bob Collymore,  the CEO of Safaricom, the largest telecom in East Africa to visit us.

What is unique about Hot Sun Foundation?

The way we do things.  We have space to air our ideas. Here we have the clash of ideas instead of personalities. 

What are the biggest challenges for Hot Sun Foundation?

Why aren't we better known?  We have a great film school, have made outstanding short films and yet we are not well known in Kenya.   We need to do more public relations and outreach.

What is your message to people interested in supporting Hot Sun Foundation?

Hot Sun Foundation transforms lives…including mine.  A lot has been invested in me, not just technical skills but becoming a whole human being. 

Working in a warehouse for seven years, for me was like a slow death.  I wasn't learning. I wasn't creative.  I walked through life like a robot.

I am grateful to have this opportunity to learn filmmaking.

Please help make it possible for more youths to have this opportunity.

Kibera Film School trainees
Kibera Film School trainees


Aida Achieng, Kibera Film School Coordinator
Aida Achieng, Kibera Film School Coordinator

Have you ever had a misunderstanding with your inlaws?

What if your inlaws came into your house and took away everything you own?  

Outrageous?  Unbelievable?

Two years ago, one of the trainees at Kibera Film School was preparing to shoot a short film.  The main actress didn't show up.   The trainee asked Aida to take the lead part. Aida Achieng, 28, graduated from Kibera Film School in 2010 . She is currently the coordinator of the Kibera Film School.

In the short  film, titled The Inlaws, the grieving widow, played by Aida, lost everything, even a photo of her deceased husband.

According to Kenyan tradition, after the death of the husband, the inlaws come and take all of the property from the widow, and sometimes even her children.

In real life, following the death of her husband nine years ago, Aida's inlaws came to her apartment and took  everything, leaving her with an empty house. 

Aida is pleased with the film: In Laws got prizes in film festivals. I was able to show what women who don't have voices are going through. I want all Kenyans to see this film and change this tradition.

These are the type of films that the youth at Kibera Film School are making - stories of lives of people whose voices are not heard - stories that can help change lives and destructive traditions.

You can be a co-producer of films like The Inlaws and help change the lives of women like Aida.

Support young East African filmmakers!  Donate at

Your support will go 50% farther for ONE DAY ONLY - Wed. 12 June - Bonus Day.

Mark it on your calendar, mobile phone, computer. 

Remember to support young East African filmmakers on Wednesday 12 June.


Aida with son Effy
Aida with son Effy


Caroline Goodall & two Kibera Film School trainees
Caroline Goodall & two Kibera Film School trainees

Hot Sun Foundation attracts many international visitors. One of the most enthusiastic of our recent visitors was Caroline Goodall, internationally known as a leading actress who has starred in blockbusters including Schindler's List (1993), Hook (1991), Cliffhanger (1993), Disclosure (1994), White Squall (1996).

Kevin Kiarie, a KFS trainee wrote the following comments about Caroline Goodall's visit:

It was 11th May 2013 on a Saturday morning. Kibera Film School was a beehive of activities.  Everyone was excited to spend a day with Caroline Goodall.

 Caroline showed us some of her films. The films were really amazing. From her work in acting she advised us and said that filmmaking is not about moneymaking but passion is everything. That has been her driving force all along.

 Her seriousness and humor was coupled with her great personality.  I think that the video of her visit to Hot Sun Foundation would make a scene in a movie!

 Caroline promised to help connect Hot Sun Foundation to the outside world after seeing the amazing work done by Kibera TV.

 Caroline  was overjoyed with her visit and promised to come back again.

 Thank you Caroline for a memorable visit.  We will never forget you!


Hot Sun Foundation  is opening up a whole new world of opportunities for youth in the urban slums in East Africa.

 Your support buys cameras and pays tuition fees so that we can offer filmmaking training to youth that changes their lives and their communities.

 Your donations of any amount are always most welcome.

 In June, Global Giving is offering a special opportunity on Wednesday 12 June. Your contribution will be matched 50%.

 Please mark Bonus Day Wed 12 June on your calendar.

 Thanks for all you do!

Caroline Goodall at Hot Sun Foundation
Caroline Goodall at Hot Sun Foundation


Wilfred with daughter Angel
Wilfred with daughter Angel

By Wilfred  Bha-Yanho, 21 years old,  (aka Bi-Y)

I was only 16 when I started Kibera Film School in 2009.  At Kibera Film School, I gained the vision and the experience to become a filmmaker. 

Now I am working freelance in filmmaking and journalism in Nairobi.  I have also taught  camera at a local institute.  I have worked on documentaries with social and community relevance. 

I am giving back to Kibera Film School by training other youth in camera.

You are key to our work.

Because of you, Hot Sun Foundation can change the negative perception that many people have of youth growing up in the slums. 

Your support keeps Hot Sun Foundation going.

Most of the Kibera Film School graduates are working in the Kenyan media industry and doing a good job. 

Thanks to you and your donations, slum youth have gained respect as filmmakers.

Your support for Hot Sun Foundation helps other youth out there that are jobless and cannot afford the fees for film school.

Your donation goes a long way to provide quality filmmaking for urban slum youth.

Please give whatever you can. 

Here's where your funds will go:

USD 30 pays for one day's stipend for a professional filmmaker volunteer to train youth at the Kibera Film School

USD 60 pays student fees for one week of filmmaking training.

USD 100 pays for one month's electricity.

Thank you for all you do.

Warm regards,


Wilfred celebrates with 2012 Graduating class
Wilfred celebrates with 2012 Graduating class


Anne at Hot Sun Foundation peace films screening
Anne at Hot Sun Foundation peace films screening

Greetings from Hot Sun Foundation!

My name is Anne Mwaniki.  I am the financial manager for Hot Sun Foundation.

I have worked at Hot Sun Foundation since 2008. I have seen the lives of many youth transformed by learning filmmaking at Kibera Film School.  Most of our graduates are working in the Kenya film industry. 

I know we do a great job in providing training for youth to tell their own stories on Kibera TV.

We need your help.  Donations from people like you keep this creative, life changing work going. 

Matching Day Wednesday 13 March 2013 9 am East Coast, USA

We want to tell you about a special opportunity for you on Wednesday March 13 beginning at 9 am Eastern Daylight Time (USA).

Every donation, up to US$1000 will be matched by 30%!  For example, If you donate US$100 it becomes US$130!

Whatever amount you give, your donation will be matched.

Don't miss this opportunity.  Mark your calendars, your mobiles, your computers to remind you to donate starting at 9 am (East Coast Time, USA), Wednesday 13 March.

This is an opportunity for you and for us. 

Please make a donation of any size on Wednesday 13 March starting at 9 am East Coast, USA time.

Note that funds usually run out within two hours, so don't delay. Check the time where you live and donate between 9 - 11 am East Coast USA time, Wednesday 13 March.

Many thanks for all you do!


Anne Mwaniki

P.S. If you would like to receive our email newsletter, please send an email to

Shirley and Joash, filming in Kibera
Shirley and Joash, filming in Kibera



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Organization Information

Hot Sun Foundation

Location: Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Nathan Collett
Nairobi, Kenya
$50,478 raised of $70,000 goal
688 donations
$19,522 to go
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