Prof. Samson Ndanyi to Discuss His New Book on Cinema in Colonial Kenya

image of college professor Samson Ndanyi

Rhodes College’s Department of History and the Africana Studies Program will present a book launch and discussion of Dr. Samson Ndanyi's Instructional Cinema and African Audiences in Colonial Kenya, 1926 – 1963 (Lexington Books, 2022) on April 25. Open to the campus community, the event begins at 4:30 p.m. in Blount Auditorium.
Ndanyi is an assistant professor of history and Africana studies at Rhodes. He teaches multiple courses that includes Introduction to Africana Studies, Africa Before 1800 Traditional Africa, Ganja: A Global History of Marijuana, and Black Diaspora.

According to Ndanyi, instructional cinema first emerged as a tool to “educate” and “modernize” Africans, but it transformed into a contestable space of cultural and political power, a space that the colonizer and colonized both sides appropriated to negotiate power and actualize their abstract ideas. In his book, he argues against the idea that films made for African audiences in colonial Kenya influenced them to embrace certain elements of Western civilization and Africans had nothing to offer in return.

In addition to teaching, Ndanyi is a stage actor, play director, and script writer.