Boda Boda- Project Update 2012

Its been a very busy few months of development and pre-production with The Boda Boda Thieves project and we have been very fortunate to receive support from the African and International film community, film enthusiasts and media on this project.
This February we were very fortunate to have won the VFF Highlight Pitch Award at the Berlinale Talent Project Market (Part of the Berlinale Co-production Market at the Berlin International Film Festival) which came with a cash prize of €10,000. We also received a special mention by the Arte during their presentation of the International Relations Arte Prize. We feel very humbled and encouraged by this.

We would especially like to thank the organisations and festivals that have given us their support in various ways; from script development and master classes to film funds and pitching platforms that have allowed us to grow and have prepared us tell this story. These include the World Cinema Fund, Global Film Initiative, Hubert Bals Foundation, South African National Film and Video Foundation, The VFF (Verwertungsgesellschaft für Film- und Fernsehproduzenten (Germany), Art Moves Africa, Berlinale Co-production Market & Berlinale Talent Project Market, Produire au Sud- 3 Continents IFF Nantes (France), Africa Produce - African Film Festival of Tarifa (Spain),FilmMart Finance Forum-Durban International Film Festival (South Africa), CineMart-The Rotterdam Lab and Sørfond Forum-Films from the South Festival (Norway). Thank you all for believing in and supporting our project.

At present “The Boda Boda Thieves” script is also being tightened for the shoot later this year. Even as we have drawn our inspiration for this film from the great Italian classic “The Bicycle Thief”(And wow, what an inspiring film that was that has touched so many), like several other filmmakers , we can truly say that our story can stand on its own two feet as one that is truly African with a quirky and unique flavor to it. We are definitely NOT re-making the film nor are we adapting the story to an African context but rather, our story is an original one that has been motivated by the style and genre of neo-realism; a style we feel is able to capture the REAL Modern Africa as we see and live in it. Authenticity and depth of the characters is what has made our story. We hope our homage to the great Italian neo-realists that inspired Brazilian cinema novo will make ‘em proud of our “Afro-novo” take on it :) .
We are also currently underway in our casting for the film and we are very excited that things are falling into place slowly but surely.
Soooooo….sit tight people…Boda Boda is on its way.

Boda to Boda- Lets do this!

Our Boda Boda Thieves co-production family is growing even stronger!
Its mid-December 2011 and Yes! We Are excited about what the new year will bring with our movie-to-be. ‘The Boda Boda Thieves’ is still on track and our journey to bring this story to life will soon be a reality. Lots of new things to come in the next couple of months including the launch of the website and trailer. We are grateful for all the support that we have received from the film community as a whole. We shall continue to keep you posted on the progress.

The World of the Story

  • Boda Stand
    Boda Stand
  • Boda Driver
    Boda Driver
  • Boda Phone
    Boda Phone
  • Chicken on a Boda
    Chicken on a Boda
  • Boda Barrow
    Boda Barrow
  • Boda Chicken
    Boda Chicken
  • Roller Boda
    Roller Boda
  • Kampala traffic at night
    Kampala traffic at night
  • Taxi rank
    Taxi rank
  • Down Town
    Down Town

In East Africa( Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania), where the cities are often gridlocked and congested with traffic, the fastest way to travel is on motorbike taxi’s called “Boda Bodas”.
The term “Boda Boda” originally referred to the bicycles that transported passengers between the old colonial borders: “border-to-border” became “Boda-Boda”. Today the term commonly refers to motorbike taxis in the city and other towns.
Whilst some will look at the Boda Boda and think “No ways am I getting on a motorbike!”, in Kampala it is a way of life. If you want to get anywhere on time, get on a Boda. For most of the day the roads are congested with traffic and these jams are legendary. From tourists to corporate business people, everyone rides a Boda and they are readily available at almost every corner and reasonably priced. It is just easier than pulling your hair out waiting in traffic to move an inch in your car. For first-timers it can be a little scary what with the speeding buses and taxis driving past precariously close but after a while, you get used to it and aside from the occasional gust of dust that will brush your face, it is a pretty easy way to travel.

Kampala has a rhythm and pulse that keeps it moving and one has to connect to it if you want to get things done. Boda Boda drivers know this and they are considered the modern day African cowboys of the road, hustling through the traffic on their trusty steeds and needing only to say four words to their customers: “Jump on, hold tight!”

Another Yes! That’s Us feature


City life has been unkind to the small family consisting of Rosa and Goodman and their oldest son Abel. Ever since Abel’s parents brought him to the city as a young child, the family’s hopes of finding a better life have turned into a nightmare of daily subsistence.
Abel is a typical eighteen year old; fun loving,inexperienced, sometimes irresponsible and with big, but sometimes impractical, dreams of accomplishing more than what his circumstances have given him.
The family’s dreams are further turned into a nightmare when Abel loses the motorcycle taxi, also known as a Boda Boda, belonging to the shrewed businessman, Mzee Bujagali with whom his family is indebted to. We follow Abel on his quest through the city to find their stolen boda boda and in the process gain an insider’s view to urban Africa, its underworld and the generation gap between urban migrants and their first generation children.
The film is freely inspired by and is an African homage to the classic Italian neo-realist film “The Bicycle Thief” (1948) by Vittorio De Sica. It is not a re-make nor an adaptation of it but a piece of work that has been influenced by this great film that has been loved by millions.

This is a blog about the journey to making our third African feature film, The Boda Boda Thieves. “Yes! That’s us” is a collaborative of Pan African filmmakers excited to be telling authentic African stories for a global audience. Please join us on this ride to giving our African creatives a voice.