‘Poker’: The Movie You Should Watch During 16 Days of Activism

Article by Maureen Kasuku
Posted: November 18, 2019  

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was initiated in 1991 by the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, held by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University.

Since 1991, more than 6,000 organizations from approximately 187 countries have participated in the campaign.

Femicide in Kenya is becoming a national endemic.

It is what happens when violence against women is not only accepted, but also encouraged. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 69% of all womxn intentionally killed in Africa in 2017 were killed by intimate partners or other family members.

The 2018 report Global Study on Homicide: Gender-Related Killing of Womxn and Girls states that “only one out of every five homicides at global level is perpetrated by an intimate partner or family member, yet womxn and girls make up the vast majority of those deaths. Victim/perpetrator disaggregations reveal a large disparity in the shares attributable to male and female victims of homicides committed by intimate partners or family members: 36% male versus 64% female victims.

Women also bear the greatest burden in terms of intimate partner violence. The disparity between the shares of male and female victims of homicide perpetrated exclusively by an intimate partner is substantially larger than of victims of homicide perpetrated by intimate partners or family members: roughly 82% female victims versus 18% male victims.

These findings show that even though men are the principal victims of homicide globally, women continue to bear the heaviest burden of lethal victimization as a result of gender stereotypes and inequality. Many of the victims of “femicide” are killed by their current and former partners, but they are also killed by fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters and other family members because of their role and status as womxn. The death of those killed by intimate partners does not usually result from random or spontaneous acts, but rather from the culmination of prior gender-related violence. Jealousy and fear of abandonment are among the motives.”

Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes – it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It’s stealing a pay-check, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use of the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it.

Nearly three out of four Kenyans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Now is the time to take a stand. Support survivors and speak out against domestic violence.

Safari Media Africa are playing their part in bringing awareness to this issue by showcasing the movie Poker.

Poker  fills the void that many young married women everywhere experience with the unending demands of marriage life, inserting the viewers into their lives’ scenario as virtual judges. The story through the main character, Tamara, enables the viewer to get inside the lives of married ladies who live with the scourge of marital violence across the world and learn what makes them tick.
Through the lens, we reflect on Tamara’s assertive demeanor and fashion sense, with which she masquerades what she is actually going through in her life: her late-night struggles as a sex object to her abusive husband and the solace she finds in reading the bible and writing poetry after a hefty night.

The story plot helps the viewer in reliving the best of life’s offing, recapping old good times with their once-close-at-heart; family through their wedding day photo on the wall. And even when one disagrees wildly with our main character’s means of justifying the end [through murder], the nature of her situation softens one’s judgment of her life’s escapades!
“POKER” thus follows the story of a married submissive lady in the metropolis of Nairobi, vividly providing a fascinating social matrix that draws the viewer to bond with the character and her trails in the movie.

Watch the Trailer Here:


POKER, having a purely Kenyan setting is a Swahili-English film inclusive of the sound tracks, which are authentically African. This is so because there is need to use actors with the Kenyan touch, not only for originality but also to bring out the desired picture and expression from their true self, keeping in mind that they are reflecting a contemporary lifestyle. However, since it covers issues that happen worldwide it has subtitles for convenience to the worldwide audience.

The film will explore areas such as Gender based Violence, Sex and Marriage, the plight of women married to abusive alcoholic husbands, mental health and the mental picture bestowed in people’s minds about women gender-based inequalities across Africa.
The movie thus tries to explore the natural lifestyle of victims of abuse as clearly seen from their own point of view. Through Tamara; the main character, we are made to understand gender violence victims have a right to love and be loved, care and support. Through to the end we get to understand why she does all that she does, her fears and struggles and her vulnerability in a highly chauvinistic environment.


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