Utapata Mwingine [2020]


After the death of her child in 2014, Vivian Gaiko, a young Kenyan woman, set out on a journey to help other parents struggling with the loss of their own children The film explores the impact of complicated grief on Vivian after her daughter, Princess Amani, died suddenly at just two – weeks old following an infection.

Family and friends arranged a speedy burial then encouraged Vivian to move on by having another child. We follow Vivian as she encourages parents in her community to speak about their loss through different initiatives including support groups and public commemorations of the children that they lost.

Without support, Vivian’s grief spiraled into months of depression and two attempts at suicide. Parents struggling through child loss are sometimes encouraged by relatives and friends not to dwell on their grief and quickly have another one. The aim of Vivian’s work is to offer parent’s the support they lack and to challenge the cultural belief that after a child dies you can simply get another.

Lydia Matata