Segments in this Video

Kibera (03:42)


Outside Nairobi, George Otieno Oketch is interviewed about his HIV education work on a local radio station. He attends his child's burial.

Living for Children (02:40)

George survives for his children's sake. He has twins, one of whom has passed away. Melvin's condition has improved slightly since she received medication. Three children have died from diarrhea in his neighborhood.

Marrying against Tribal Custom (03:04)

George wants a better house for his children someday. His family did not approve of his marriage to Esther Mukonao Mwau, from another tribe. Her family says his children belong to them because he has not yet paid them a dowry.

Election Year in Kenya (03:26)

George and Esther's older children go to school. They take Melvin for medication; her illness has improved. On his radio show, Big Toto urges people to demand better leadership and human rights.

Managing HIV (04:07)

George and Esther have a birthday party for Melvin. Sometimes he borrows money to feed the children. They are both on medication for HIV; Melvin suffers symptoms but their other three children do not.

Scraping By (03:09)

Esther washes people's clothes; she provided for the family when George was too sick to work. She misses Marvin and gives in to Melvin's request for chips. George married her, knowing he might be HIV positive.

Community HIV Support (03:28)

George gets x-rays. His doctor diagnoses pneumonia and prescribes antibiotics, along with his antiretroviral drugs. He visits a man in his neighborhood experiencing negative side effects from AIDS medication.

Strength from Faith (03:15)

George leads an HIV support group. One woman shares her recovery from paralysis. George's best friend Douglas Yungo is a single father. They thank God that their children are growing.

Voice of Kibera (02:27)

George's new house is better, but still too close to the open sewer. Big Toto calls for a president who understands poverty and HIV issues. Politicians once visited the slum, but made unfulfilled promises to residents.

Political Tribalism (04:15)

George and Douglas say armed men are using violence to intimidate voters. Big Toto appeals to Nairobi residents to unify for the country's future. Shots are fired in Kibera; George says the police and military have attacked the slum and are targeting certain tribes.

Appeal for Peace (02:24)

George's children are afraid of police violence. Big Toto asks slum residents to unite, rather than fighting one another in tribal wars. George and Douglas have organized community volunteers to clean up their areas.

HIV Awareness Workshop (04:27)

George leads a group discussion on enjoying sex with protection. His father-in-law calls about the dowry; he stalls for time. He must find a way to pay it, to legalize his marriage— otherwise his wife's family could take away his children.

Tribal Dowry Custom (03:58)

George has a job at a local medical clinic. He hopes to live to see his grandchildren. Douglas advises him to ask an elderly member of his tribe to negotiate with Esther's family. She and their children will join his tribe when they marry officially.

Wedding Preparations (02:52)

Big Toto says the slums are impoverished in structures, but rich in ideas. George purchases clothing and food as a dowry. He, Esther and the children make the journey to her family's village in Ukambani.

Kamba Wedding (02:51)

Esther's father Joel criticizes George for taking so long to marry his daughter, but blesses their union. Douglas acts as George's tribal representative; the elders drink a ceremonial soda.

Wedding Celebration (03:08)

George sacrifices a goat, according to Kamba custom— a difficult act in his culture. Esther's family butchers it for a feast. Her father reminds George he still owes sugar and cows for the dowry.

Intercultural Marriage (02:38)

At church in Kibera, Douglas points out that Esther and George are from different tribes. George plans to finish collecting dowry items he owes Esther's family. He goes on Big Toto's show to talk about living with HIV.

Nightfall in Kibera (01:58)

George gives Melvin her medicine. He and Esther set up cots in their one room home and tuck in the children.

Credits: Citizen Oketch (00:58)

Credits: Citizen Oketch

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Citizen Oketch

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $509.85
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



George and Esther struggle to raise a family in Africa's largest slum. Both are HIV positive but in a way that doesn't count in this doc. HIV has become normal and that's how George and Esther deal with it. This film is rather about love in the middle of a war-torn slum. A film about being African in today's Africa and how, at the lowest denominator, people deal with hardship and can still find life a joy. Citizen Oketch does not demand we pity George's family but rather it throws a potent and refreshing light on human resilience.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL118352

ISBN: 978-1-63521-469-7

Copyright date: ©2009

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