FROM THE DIRECTOR
The making of Tusamehe was necessary in my point of view. AIDS is a major issue right now across the globe. One has to look at the numbers to understand the extent of the devastation of this disease. Coming from a continent that has seen the worst of this killer disease, it was only natural that we make a small contribution towards education through this movie medium.
As you know the majority of the victims live on less than $1.00 a day. The cost of combating this disease is very expensive. To think that the poor masses will be able to afford the medication needed to improve their standard of living is very wrong. On the other side, the richer who control the majority of world resources have decided to act very cautiously towards providing some assistance to combat the disease. While the debate of who should get what in terms of medication lingers on, people are still dying in masses. Some countries have their life expectancy dropped to less than 40 years and the number of orphans keeps rising every second.
Our story is about the effects of AIDS as told from one victim’s point of view. Certainly, the characters experiences do not compare to a lot of victims experiences. However, it is an educational tool that will make a viewer learn how one can never predict who has the disease and who does not.
TUSAMEHE was an easy story to write since most of it was based on my own experiences from my family’s struggles with the effects of the disease as well as the experiences from my friends, classmates and many accounts from the media and some research.
By the time you finish watching this movie you will understand a few facts about AIDS and you will have a first hand look at how a group of friends deal with their ailing colleague. Hopefully, you will also understand how to interpret current events in the popular media covering the fight against AIDS.
Tusamehe is about 60% in Swahili with English subtitles. Swahili is a language spoken by over 100 million people. Yet it is much underserved when it comes to movies. This is a continued commitment of Kibira Films International to produce movies in Swahili. Our hope is that this will inspire others to use the language in future productions.
Special thanks go to all actors and crew who have volunteered their time and talents to make this project take shape.
Meet Bilantanya Moses Bakeyemba, a successful individual from Bongoland living in the years of plenty. He holds a job as a senior marketing manager for a multinational corporation. He marries a woman from Bongoland. Soon they’re expecting their first child.
All is well until Bilantanya’s former girlfriend, who does not approve of his new wife, attempts control. He learns he’s HIV positive, and when his health deteriorates and he seeks forgiveness for his mistakes—selfishness, arrogance, infidelity and betrayal while praying for a chance to see his son born. As part of the broader scope of Tusamehe, a sub-theme of the story draws attention a disparity that has left many people in developing countries helpless.
To make matters worse, many hold false assumptions about people with HIV and the choices they mad as if they have the power and resources to make any choice, good or bad. “Tusamehe makosa yetu” – “Forgive us our trespasses” – is a sad but informative account of one victim’s harrowing journey on a very narrow one way road.
Fundi Kibwana Bilantanya Moses Bakeyemba
Blandina Donald as Salome Kizito
Emma Kasiga as Yuni
Robert Kataraiya as Kipara
Peter Omari as Rev. Makengele
Chemi Che-Mponda Mama Kurusumu
Hassan Omari as The Secretary General
LuAnn Kibira as Bilantanya’s
Doctor Mike Wooten as Salome’s Doctor
Onesmo Kibira as Dennis
KariAnn Craig as Cindy
Andrea Jackson as Bilantanya’s secretary
Rev. Ron Johnson as Father
Christina Sedlacek as Bilantanya’s Nurse “Gena”
Ben Allen as Drug Company CEO
Maisara Abebe as Helga
Gina Williams Girl #1 in the office
Paris Cannedey Girl # 2 in the office
Brian Holmes Bilantanya’s Boss
Ombeni Goss Salome’s baby
Aaron Cross Assisting Doctor
Tom Jung Doctor
Karen Green Jung Nurse
Rob Hart .. Reporter # 1
Nathan Lassen Reporter # 2
Lameck K. Omariba Reporter # 3
Matt Olson Reporter # 4
Roger Olson Employee at the Drug Co
Mary Olson Employee at the Drug Co
Edmund Lweyunga Ijumba Radio DJ “Da Voice”
Mukama Morandi Guest in the Restaurant
Attelia Scott Guests in the Restaurant
Johannes Kataraiya Guest at the wedding
Abela Kataraiya Guest at the wedding
Erick Vedasto Guest at the wedding
Annette Kaduri Guest at the wedding
Ashiseta Lema Bridesmaid
Evelyn Vedasto Bridesmaid
Sean Sisler Nurse
Alyssa Thibedeau Mourner at the funeral
Jeff Green Director of Photography
Mark Fischer Audio Engineer
Sara Akari 1st camera
THE MUSIC OF TUSAMEHE
“Save The World” by Mukama Morandi
“Rise Up” by Valerian Rugalabamu