Commisioned by the author to promote the book, 'Speak Swahili, Dammit'. The film combines James Penhaligon's narrative and book excerpts, interwoven with archive 8mm footage shot by the author's mother in 1960 Tanganyika, modern day Tanzania.
A young boy's chaotic life in a remote, wild, corner of East Africa taught him early some stark facts about life — tragedy, vulnerability, danger, arrogance and cruelty. Only the extraordinary sympathy, loyalty and kindness of the local watu, imbued with irrepressible and hilarious humour, saved him from despair.
A story of learning about the world, and life, a little by education, a lot by accident, but overwhelmingly by fate and happenstance, in circumstances few people in the developed world have experienced.