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Movie Review: ‘Ayaanle’ the danger of a single story

Article by Maureen Kasuku
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Posted: June 29, 2022  

In recent years, Kenya has witnessed an escalating number of attacks: many have been linked to Al-Shabaab – the Somali-based militant organization. Kenya’s state responses to these attacks have been derived from a social construct of Somali- Kenyans being a threatening presence thus justifying violent security and surveillance measures. 

This profiling has been counterproductive and has caused division between Somalis, Kenyan Muslims and other ethnicities. Somali-Kenyans have been the biggest victims of xenophobia and the attacks persist even when there hasn’t been a terrorist attack in Kenya for years. 

In the film ‘Ayaanle’, director Ahmed Farah seeks to explore the genesis of the problem, the complex stories of victims and those being profiled and the repercussions on communities. Our protagonist, Barkhad Abdirahman (Ayaanle) does a great job in enacting true life events that inspired this movie. 

Ayaanle is a struggling actor based in Nairobi. He is tired of being pigeonholed in stereotypical roles by casting directors but a strange turn of events leads to him auditioning for the most dramatic role he’s ever played. 

Ayaanle is the epitome of the dangers of a single story.

Tickets soon available on KenyaBuzz.

 

About the author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life

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