Behind the Scenes: The Streets
Trying to accurately depict Kenyan street life, as a filmmaker who grew up in middle class America, is almost an impossible challenge. But if you spend enough time at MITS, you’ll find that these students, and former street kids, have enough talent in their bones and courage in their hearts to share their stories with anyone who will listen—through songs and raps and spoken words.
But “anyone who will listen” tends to be limited to talent shows in chapel every Thursday. And because God has written incredible stories of redemption into their souls, I firmly believe these kids need a wider platform than that. So with the encouragement of Irene, and the enthusiasm of one student in particular, I grabbed the one thing that could give these voices a stage they deserve—my camera.
Now, let me tell you about Peter: talented, well-spoken, brilliant, resilient. And his spoken word about growing up in the streets of Nairobi reflected all of that and more. He’s brutally honest and throughout his two-minute long poetically spoken piece, he humbly gives all of the glory to God.
It was a challenge getting the audio just right—and we ended up having to re-film. It was a challenge finding an atmosphere with no noise and a challenge translating his slang Swahili into coherent English subtitles. It was a challenge filming on the streets of Eastleigh—making sure that the street kids in the video were shown with dignity and personality and hope.
And it was a challenge trying to make sure that Peter’s artistic vision for the piece came true. Because for this video, I was simply the messenger.
And it was my favorite challenge yet.
Because of this humbling opportunity to videotape Peter, I am more aware than ever that the students here will always be the best voices for what God is doing in and through Made in the Streets. And I hope, so incredibly badly, that people will take the time to listen to these voices. For they are future world-changers. I’m sure of it.
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