Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oliver Musila Litondo, the film icon

Oliver Musila Litondo

Oliver Litondo with Naomi Harris
The former news editor was born in Kakamega, Kenya in 1948. He attended a university in the United States. His journalism career includes being a correspondent with Deutche Welle and the BBC. He also served as an anchor for Kenya Television Network (KTN) and Voice of Kenya (currently Kenya Broadcasting Corporation).
His love for acting and theatre was seen in the roles he played in various films over the years. These included:
The search for the Nile (1971)
Wilby Conspiracy (1974)
Co-produced and starred in “The Muntu”, a National Theatre stage production (1976)
The Bush Trackers (1978)
Sheena: Queen of the Jungle (1984)
The lion of Africa (1988)
Ivory Hunters (1990)
The First Grader (2010)
The First Grader is a National Geographical Film based on an inspirational true story of an elderly man’s thirst for education in his late stage of his life. It’s directed by Justin Chadwick and stars Tony Kgoroge (Charles Obinchu), Shoki Mokgapa (Teacher Elizabeth), Naomi Harris (Jane Obinchu), Dan Ndambuki (DJ Masha) and John Sibi-Okumu (Chairman of Education) among others.
The First Grader is the most outstanding display throughout his film acting. In the First Grader he plays the role of an octogenarian, Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge who struggles to get education. The Film has gone to be nominated and has won many international Awards.

Oliver Litondo in The First Grader
The standing ovation he got at the 11th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards Gala, in Hollywood, describes his caliber in acting. In that star-studded night in California he got the better of the favourite luminaries George Clooney and Mel Gibson, taking away the coveted Best Actor Award.
Other awards accredited to his brilliant career are:
Doha Tribeca Film Festival (Audience Award for Best Film)
Nashville International Film Festival (Audience Choice Award)
The Toronto Film Festival (Runner-up for the Audience Award)
32nd Durban International Film Festival (Audience Award for the best feature film)
5 Nominations for the 43rd NAACP Image Awards
Nomination for the Gotham Independent Film Awards
Best Actor And Best Film in the Kenya International Film Festival
Best Feature Film Award of the Palm Beach International Film Festival
Oliver is married to Beldina Auma, a longtime friend who he starred with in “The Muntu”. They have four children. 

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