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Film Review: I SHOT BI KIDUDE. Director Andy Jones. 105mins; UK.

From the perspective of the documentary filmmaker who had a personal relationship with Bi Kidude, is a beautiful tale of a woman who was the oldest singer alive in some part of Zanzibar. On April 17, 2013 while he was still emotionally distraught about the death of his mother, Andy Jones received the devastating news that his long-time friend and music icon Bi Kidude has passed on. Twenty-four hours later he was in Zanzibar, the home country of the Legendary Bi Kidude. This documentary was shot in Zanzibar, showing Bi Kidude when she was about a 100years old and still touring the country and the world, performing her music internationally. Bi Kidude was a rebel-rocking chain smoker whose sense of humour was vibrant and carried that spirit throughout into her old age. Andy and Bi Kidude travelled the world together forming a strong bond and friendship. Bi Kidude was known as the ‘Queen of Zanzibar’, the ‘Queen of Africa’. A huge annual music festival called ‘Busara’, in Zanzibar, was never complete without Bi Kidude’s performance. Bi Kidude in her older age became very sick but then was shockingly kidnapped. A mystery: who would kidnap an old woman who was loved by all? I-Shot-Bi-Kidude Andy went around searching for answers. It is later revealed that she was abducted by Baraka; a distant relative of hers. He felt that all the people around her were taking advantage of her and she was not being properly cared for. In the documentary he relayed his anger towards Omari, a young man, who worked with Kidude of whom he accused of stealing from her. He also accused the management of Busara and a couple of others for defrauding the old woman. In his, defence he claimed he was keeping her for her own good, so she can have a ‘peaceful’ life till she dies. It was not clear if Baraka had good or bad intentions. Baraka gave an interview that leaves the audience with a lot of questions, causing the management of Baraka to decide not to handle her money anymore. Andy Jones found Baraka and, was able to convince him to let Bi out of the house, because keeping her locked in and away from her friends and her music, was killing her rather quickly than keeping her alive. Baraka agreed after persuasion to let Kidude to go back to singing. The documentary reads like a biography about the last 10years of Bi Kidude’s life. Taking her away from music was like taking life from her. What comes to mind is the fact of reality that, Andy Jones was inspired by Bi Kidude’s life. Andy Jones carried a very inspired theme throughout with his documentary which is: “DO THE THINGS YOU LOVE AND DON’T STOP”. Tasha Sarumi IREP Media Team