Skip to content
Support Provided By: Learn more
  • Discussion guide

Softie Discussion Guide

The Film: Participants and Key Issues

Synopsis

Sam Soko’s film, Softie, follows Kenyan activist Boniface “Softie” Mwangi, his wife Njeri, and their three children as Mwangi fights to organize against the corrupt legacies of colonialism that continue to shape Kenyan political realities today. The film highlights Softie’s commitment to political, social and artistic activism in Nairobi, Kenya. The political and personal intersect, as they often do, and this journey is filled with tensions that become present in Softie and Njeri’s marriage and family, the corruption in the Kenyan government, and the internalized colonialism and tribalism that Softie is to undo when he runs a clean and honest campaign against a historically corrupt governmental landscape. The film offers insight into the nearly impossible decisions a community leader turned political candidate must face when resisting injustice: confronting political violence; risking personal safety, family and country; and navigating a corrupt political terrain while remaining committed to more justice-oriented strategies.

Key Participants

  • Sam Soko, Director, Producer and Cinematographer
  • Toni Kamau, Producer
  • Miriam Ayoo, Impact producer
  • Boniface “Softie” Mwangi, photojournalist and Kenyan political activist
  • Njeri Mwangi, Kenyan activist and also Softie’s wife
  • Njeri and Softie’s three children
  • Khadija Mohammed, Softie’s Campaign Manager

Key issues

  • Colonial pasts and tribalism
  • Community resistance
  • Personal as political
    • Love of country and love of family
    • Sacrifice
    • Role of family in activists’ political lives
    • Relationships between country and family
  • Political Corruption, Violence, and Unchecked Power
  • Grassroots Political Organizing
  • Strands of activism and mobilizing community

About the authors

Maureen Nicol

Maureen Nicol is a Doctoral student at Columbia University studying Early Childhood Education and the Founder and Director of Camp Story – a pop-up arts camp based on the continent of Africa. Her background is in teaching and education. Maureen is committed to working with young children and educators to ensure every child and teacher knows their value, worth and power. Maureen's research and work interests have always always situated children of color but specifically young Black girls. Her ultimate goal is to make schools safer places for young Black girls with the idea of safety being articulated based on the terms and articulations of Black girls. Maureen is also researching and building curriculum for young girls (specifically young girls of color) on how they can be seen themselves as feminists using arts integration. In her free time, Maureen enjoys going on long walks with her dog, baking and maxing out her library card with good reads.