Directed by
Ng'endo Mukii

Docu-animation about homogenous beauty ideals put on African woman's self image

Ng'endo Mukii is Nairobi-based Kenyan visual artist, animator and filmmaker with a worldwide experience. Mukii studied at Rhode Island School of Design in US and London's RCA (where Yellow Fever was created as her thesis film) and lived in multiple countries and she says, her work 'continues to reflect this journey, as well as the cultural influences that keep changing in my life.'

Citing her father as her first inspiration to pursue art, she admits she came to filmmaking somewhat haphazardly.

'It was while studying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) that I first tried out some video and animation projects. Suddenly I was introduced to the element of time and being able to control, warp, and travel through it, I was counting frames and changing f-stops and it was brilliant. The feeling was unbelievable! It opened up an entirely new dimension to work in that I had never even considered before.'

Yellow Fever was made between London and Nairobi, which influenced its final narrative structure. Mukii planned to make interviews with women in from Nairobi's markets and hairdressers' salons, questioning representation of 'indigenous' people in ethnographic films. But upon her return home, she changed her mind after speaking to her niece.

'I realised that the issues that I wanted to discuss in my film, existed within my own family. So I changed my entire approach, and centred the film, around three generations of women in my family. I do not think I would have had that sensitivity and simultaneously, a sense of distance, to have made that decision, had I been based in Nairobi at the time.'