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Durban FilmMart showcases Kenyan film ‘Pepo Kali’

The movie follows Wairimu’s journey as she grapples with the loss of her daughter, immersing herself in her daughter’s passion for motorcycling.

Pepo Kali was one of the six fiction feature projects selected for the 17th edition of Talents Durban, taking place during the Durban FilmMart (DFM) in Durban from 19 to 22 July 2024. As the African satellite programme of the Berlin International Film Festival and Berlinale Talents, Talents Durban holds a significant position within the Durban FilmMart Institute’s (DFMI) programming portfolio. 

The short film Pepo Kali, which means “strong wind” in Kiswahili, tells the poignant story of Wairimu, a woman in her 50s who decides to learn how to ride a motorcycle to cope with the grief of losing her daughter, a passionate biker who died in a riding accident. As Wairimu attempts to process her loss by mastering the hobby her daughter loved most, she finds that each lesson only deepens her sorrow.

The film’s director and screenwriter Lydia Matata is from Nairobi, Kenya. She is one of the writers of Country Queen, Kenya’s first drama series on Netflix and Igiza, a limited series streaming on Showmax.

Matata is an accomplished independent filmmaker who has written, directed, and produced both narrative and documentary films. Before embarking on a filmmaking career, she worked as a journalist, reporting on topics such as gender rights, mental health, art, and culture. She received the Young Journalist Award from the Media Council of Kenya in 2014, and the Gender Reporting Award in 2015.

Along with Pepo Kali, DFMI announced the following 2024 Talents Durban Participants and Projects lineup:

Fiction Features

  • A Time to Wander (Le Temps de L’Errance) – Nakhli Rim (Tunisia) – Director & Screenwriter
  • Baptism of Silence – Kanya Viljoen (South Africa) – Director & Screenwriter
  • Pepo Kali – Lydia Matata (Kenya) Director & Screenwriter
  • Revolution (Abyot) – Abigail Megbar Debebe (Ethiopia) – Director & Screenwriter
  • Rusaro – Jeanpierre NIYIGENA (Rwanda) – Screenwriter 
  • The Space Maasai – Priscilla Marealle (Tanzania) – Screenwriter

Documentary Features

  • Akal – Basma Rkioui (Morocco) – Director & Screenwriter
  • Breaking the Mold – Michael Ansah (Ghana) – Director
  • The devil, The Tune and God – Lukhanyo Kumkani (South Africa) – Director & Screenwriter
  • Kloho (Héritage) – Estelle KONE (Côte d’Ivoire) – Director
  • My Dream to Fly – Asmaa El-gafrie (Egypt) – Cinematographer & Director
  • Tiny Grain, Big War – Leul Shoaferaw (Ethiopia) – Producer & Audience Designer


  • ADAME – Binetou FAYE (Senegal) – Screenwriter & Director
  • Langalanga – Fofo “Togbe” Gavua (Ghana) – Director & Screenwriter
  • Nebula – Michel Doss (Egypt) – Director & Screenwriter
  • STAY – Tomi Folowosele (Nigeria) – Screenwriter
  • The Mountain in the Sea (Hoerikwaggo) – Leandros Brown (South Africa) – Director & Screenwriter
  • Trust Me (Ngithembe) – Samke Makhoba (South Africa) – Director & Screenwriter


  • Grève  – ADANNOU Gildas (Benin) Director & Screenwriter
  • The Mind of Alkebulan – Esther Beukes (Namibia) Director & Screenwriter 
  • Rue 6 – Djeydi Djigo (Senegal) Screenwriter
  • VigilAunties – Loren Loubser (South Africa) Director & Screenwriter


  • Baby Blue – Allyssa Peters (South Africa) – Animation Director
  • Hunt Me Not – Noella Luka (Kenya) – Animation Director
  • Taste Buds – Palesa Lebona (South Africa) – Director & Screenwriter
  • Together (Tomodomo) – Love Kanebi (Nigeria) – Animation Director

Talents Press

  • Tony Asankomah (Ghana) – Film Critic/Journalist
  • Bob Perfect (South Africa) – Film Critic/Journalist
  • Timothy Niwamanya (Uganda) – Film Critic/Journalist
  • Youssra el-Sharkawy (Egypt) – Film Critic/Journalist

* Visit the Durban FilmMart website here.

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