When Nick first told me he was shooting 18 Hours, I was very excited for him. He really wanted to be the lead in a feature film and it was finally happening for him. After taking a step back from the usual plays where he felt like he was stagnating, this was a step in the right direction. When shooting time came around, an excited Nick took a leave of absence from the office to be able to fully commit to the movie. The weather wasn’t amazing and they were not exactly filming in Nairobi. We’d text on his way there and it would end up in silence for most of the night. His phone would either die or they would start filming. Those were some cold and lonely nights. I hardly saw him during this period.
Watching the final product on Friday during the premiere of 18 Hours at Prestige Plaza, I couldn’t help but feel proud. They had made a masterpiece. As we watched the movie I felt like I had somehow contributed to it. Yes, I know how arrogant and entitled that sounds. This movie was made with a lot of love and the aim to tell an important story that Kenyan’s needed to hear.
Inspired by the true events of the night of October 8th 2015, Kevin Njue wrote a touching script to celebrate the life of Alex Madaga. A story that shone light on the poor health care services of our country. As a man spent 18 hours in an ambulance waiting for ICU services that came a little too late. A victim of a hit and run, Alex was taken to 4 different hospitals before a doctor could even tend to him. Turned away by private institutions for lack of insurance or money, this story proves that good healthcare in this country is only for the rich. The rest of us have to find some other means to survive or not be in a situation that requires urgent medical attention.
Kevin Njue and his team choose to tell this story to inspire Kenyans to fight for and demand for better healthcare. Every Kenyan has a right to emergency medical services as far as the constitution goes but this is something that most hospitals do not care much for. It is sad, that it took a man dying to shine light into this matter. With an incredible script, Rocque Pictures sort out some of the best actors we have to execute and share this story. I am not just saying that because Nick was involved. It is a fact!
The truth is, 18 hours is a film every Kenyan should watch. Most of us have experienced this in one way or the other. Some have even lost relatives or friends this way. I hope that a solution is what will be born out of you watching this movie. The impeccable acting and the emotional journey that is this movie will make you shed a tear. You will definitely feel something. Sadness, anger, fear, hopelessness. You will feel.
Nick Ndeda, Sue Wanjiru and Brian Ogola together with all the other actors who gave their skills and hearts to this project did an amazing job. This is definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to the Kenyan film industry. To the crew, thank you. Thank you for deciding to share this amazing story that will hopefully be a motivation not only to other storytellers and filmmakers in the country, but also those responsible for sectors like health that need to seriously turn things around for the sake of the country.
Do your best to watch this movie. Encourage your friends to join you. It will be showing all week and I have attached the screening schedule. It is affordable and worth every penny you will spend. Let us take a step in the right direction. Call out those who need to be called out. We can make things better.