Kenyan feature film Softie has been the talk of the town, especially after qualifying for considerations in next year\u2019s Academy awards, writes Faith Kyoumukama\u00a0 To many, Boniface Mwangi is just a photojournalist-turned-political activist, while to others he is a husband, father, friend and brother. And he is no stranger to the Kenyan public. He is particularly remembered for the \u2018MPigs\u2019 protest outside parliament in May 2013 in Nairobi that consisted of pigs smeared in blood to portray the Members of Parliament as greedy. His personal life and struggle in political activism has since been covered in the recently released 90-minute feature film dubbed Softie. According to the film\u2019s director Sam Soko, the original idea was to make a short video that could be used as a training tool. \u201cThe idea was to just film an activist, and put it up on YouTube. And at the time, Boniface was the \u201cactivist\u201d. It was around 2015 following a protest that went left; Boni was beaten up badly and we were filming him. Back home, his eldest son wanted him to help with the homework, and the more we continued filming that side of his personal life, we realised that there was that story that needs to be told and it couldn\u2019t be done in a 30-minute video,\u201d he said. In one of the scenes filmed at his home, his child asks him where he\u2019s going and Mwangi bluntly answers, \u201cI\u2019m going to topple the government.\u201d Softie Film In another online interview hosted by the Nairobi Film Fest, Mwangi\u2019s wife Njeri Mwangi revealed that he was against the idea of Soko filming their personal life, and that it should have stuck to his activism work. \u201cI struggled with the idea for a moment, but when he explained why it\u2019s important to tell the story. He said it represents the likes of us who never get such an opportunity to share what we do in the background.\u201d The making Softie begins with showing that infamous protest of 2013, where Mwangi is seen getting the pigs and the chaos that follows when the police inexorably appeared and started to lob teargas and beat up the protesters. The title of the documentary is a sheng word used when referring to a weakling or \u2018soft\u2019 person. Growing up, Mwangi was mocked by his peers for being a softie, which is quite to the contrast to the man he has grown up to be. He was raised by a single mother in the sprawling Mathare slums in Nairobi. In the film, he takes his family to see the house that he spent most of his childhood years in. He grew up in poverty, an experience that affected his viewpoint in general, especially when it comes to politics and the poor populace. He later got into journalism and he was covering the on goings at the height of the post-general election violence in 2007 as a photojournalist. When he took the \u2018disturbing pictures\u2019 to his editor who then refused to publish them, he went ahead to exhibit them publicly in their real form. Depicting a life-changing moment for him that seamlessly contributes to Mwangi\u2019s fearless drive of activism, the film also takes us through the 2017 election campaign where he vied for the Starehe Constituency parliamentry seat. Due to the threats from his political rivals, he saw it right that his wife and their three children run to the USA for safety. They stayed there for eight months, while Mwangi tried to run a \u2018clean campaign\u2019 instead of the usual norm where bribery is normally the order of the day and unfortunately, he lost the election. Mwangi shares that before working with Soko, somebody had approached him to have his story filmed, but the two parties failed to agree on certain things. He says that Soko has become more than just a workmate, but a family friend. When asked if he ever wonders whether all the struggles and emotional turmoil that has come with his activism was worth it, Mwangi says: \u201cWhen it\u2019s happening, it doesn\u2019t feel so, but when you look at the fruits, yes, it\u2019s worth it; you have to see the bigger picture. It\u2019s a sacrifice. When I think a lot about what my wife has actually gone through, I feel bad, but it\u2019s a struggle and there is a price that has to be paid, and along the way there are casualties.\u201d Big moves Softie premiered in a competition at Sundance Film Festival (SFF), where it won a prize for editing. SFF is an annual film festival organised by the Sundance Institute. It takes place in Park City, Utah in USA, and at the Sundance Resort (a year-round luxury mountain resort dedication to conservation, the arts, and community), and is the largest independent film festival in the United States. The film has also played at a couple of festivals including Copenhagen International Documentary Festival and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival\u2014the largest documentary festival in North America. It also received a digital release in the US last week with American\u2019s Public Broadcasting Service\u2019s documentary outlet Point-of-View Softie also won Best Film award at the Encounters International Documentary Festival and Best Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2020 in South Africa. The DIFF win means that Softie now qualifies for consideration for the Oscar documentary shortlist for the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony in 2021.