Lugha ya Mama is a short film by British filmmaker Mary Nyambura. Meaning the language of Mothers in Kiswahili, the film explores motherhood through the wisdom of five women.
These stories are medicine and inspire, strengthen and arights the individual and the community’Lugha ya mama is a timeless story which explores motherhood, life, and wisdom through the gaze of five women. Lugha ya mama means the language of Mothers in Kiswahili.
The film is centred around 5 themes which run throughout: 1 the beginning of the lifecycle of a motherhood, 2 platonic friendships, 3 the loss and grief of a loved one, 4. The breakup of a relationship and 5 gratefulness. The sound you hear at the end is my mum chanting what is called ‘ngemi’, which is used in kikuyu culture for many different ceremonies. One in particular is when a girl is born in kikuyu land the women in the village will chant 5 Ngemi’s to alert the men that a girl has been born.
Nyambura explains, ‘Film has given me a platform where I can use my experience, desire to work with people I admire and curate my own points of view. Also, foreign cinema + the dogme 95 discipline of film have inspired me profoundly, through the use of colour, scenic imagery and music which have optimised my expression of authenticity. Lugha ya Mama came about through hours of conversation with the women in my family, the mothers of some of my closest friends, all of which I believe have abundance of wisdom. It was important for me to take my time to listen to each story and tailor the questions specific to each woman in order to create a journey within the film.’
Director: Mary Nyambura
DOP: Curtis Essel
Producer: Precious Mahaga
Storyboard Artist: Rog Dakouri