Tim King’oo (Biko/Jonah) and Njambi Koikai (Mwarabu)
A man (Hassan Masika) who is as dark as coal toys with a gun. A real gun, it is not what residents of the city refer to as Bonoko (a bonoko is a fake gun, a toy). He points the gun at what should be a scared young motorist (Morris Mwangi). The young man fiddling with the steering wheel does not look shaken. Queer, yes? It is because it is a trap, the gunman walked into it as would a mouse into a trap. A gunshot is fired.
The man with the gun ducks because he realizes that it is not his gun that went off. The hunter suddenly becomes hunted. Two men whose faces remain disguised pounce on the gunman. There is no running. They drag him to what looks like a trap house. Only that there are no drugs but a woman by the name Mwarabu (Njambi Koikai)who runs an army of city cleaners out to rid the city of its filth. The government refuses to get the thugs, con artists, fake religious leaders and skewed politicians, so this army will get them and the city residents will decide their fate through an online platform. Folks this is the premise of the much anticipated web series Tuko Macho.
The Nest Collective, a team of creatives, have collaborated with Forum Syd to produce one of the well scripted shows ever done in Kenya called Tuko Macho. The conversation is insightful and well thought out. The writers, Jim Chuhu, Njoki Ngumi and Noel Kasyoka had the audience in mind. They made it as authentic as possible without compromising the story line. The director, Jim Chuchu drives the show meticulously with perfect timings for the cliffhangers at the end of each roughly fifteen minutes of the webisodes.
Tuko Macho has similarities in the format, story and transitions used in hit series Person of Interest(2011). Congratulations are in order to the team for taking the risk, as it has paid off. There are curt conversations that will force you to ask the real questions about our city and the role we have played in making it worse. The picture quality can be better. I am not sure whether it was intentional that the lighting was mostly dim to bring out the darkness in the show. Think of a House of Cards (2013) kind of mood. However, i do insist that the quality of production can be better.
Not widely known to the audience, Tim King’oo is an understated actor who delivers a faultless performance in his role as Biko/Jonah. This is no surprise because he is a talented actor and he was well prepared for his role. May be a bit too prepared. Months before the production Tim worked on his physique to fit the character of Biko. Tough, his bloodshot eyes have seen better days and a posture that shows authority while indistinctly tell that he is exhausted by the city’s mess. He will stop at nothing to claim Nairobi back.
Female protagonists are no strangers to the audience. Her character, Mwarabu, exudes power with her gestures and calculated tone variations as she gives orders. Deep down she is scared of the unknown but she has to finish what she started. She is not sure of the future after the clean up is done. That is not priority for now. Seeing the execution of her plans is what keeps her going. She is smart, poised and a brilliant strategist, you will love interacting with her.
Other actors include seasoned Kenyan talents Millicent Ogutu, Paul Ogola, Marrianne Nungo, Veronica Waceke, Rapcha The Sayantist, Alice Kithinji and Lowry Odhiambo, with special appearances by Samson Psenjen, Maggie Karanja, Jason Runo and Joe Kinyua.
The Nest Collective
This team of dare devils have once gain stirred conversations about our city. Their previous work Story of Our Lives was banned from airing in Kenya ironically receiving international recognition. One would think that this would deter them but instead they have come back with an even daring thriller. The satirical nature of this show will have you compare their use of comedy to that of Hapa Kule News and XYZ. Tuko Macho will be airing every Thursday 7:30pm exclusively on Facebook Mark your calendar, it is worth your time. Catch the first episode below.
Update : Tuko Macho has since been selected to screen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival as part of the Primetime program. TIIF is considered a prominent showcase of the best in international television. Congratulations to the Tuko Macho cast and crew, well deserved.