Until The Last Drop: Makwekwe’s Journey into the Future of Lake Turkana
Category: Short Films
Makwekwe is an up-and-coming Kenyan Hiphop artist and son of the peaceful El Molo tribe- the smallest ethnic group in Kenya. Today, the El Molo people number roughly 500 people, who stick to their traditional way of life and speak their own language. They live on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya- the world's biggest desert lake and home to ~300,000 people, mostly from the pastoralist Turkana tribe.
The film follows Makwekwe on his impressive journey through the dramatic landscape of the region to learn more about the importance of the lake for his community and their neighbors, because in 2017, their lake is rapidly disappearing. The recently finished Gibe 3 hydroelectric dam in Ethiopia pulls water from the Omo River, upon which Lake Turkana depends for 85% of its inflow. Lakeside communities are watching the waterline retreat, which puts their life in danger. More alarmingly, he learns that there are 2 more dams scheduled to pull water from the same river to cultivate export sugar and cotton.
How will the future of the Omo River and Lake Turkana communities look when their lifeline has vanished? Makwekwe believes he has found the answer when he visits Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp. Upon seeing the communities permanently living there as regional war refugees, he knows that a camp like this would mean the end of his people's way of life. As an artist, his response is his music. As an El Molo, his hope is that his songs will carry a message of salvation.
Katja Becker, Jonathan Happ
October 23, 2017
Black Box, Publika