Kenyan cinema is one of the most vibrant in Africa, and Netflix has a great selection of it—a testament to how much the streaming service values African film. We’ve compiled 21 of the best Kenyan movies we could find on Netflix (2022), all available for viewing at your convenience. From dramas to comedies to thrillers, there’s something here for every movie night!
1. Kati Kati
Kati Kati is set in Kenya, but it’s also a science fiction thriller and an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s short story “The Handmaid’s Tale” (which was later adapted into a popular TV series). The film follows two women who fall in love but must hide their relationship from the government. It was director Wanuri Kahiu’s first feature-length project, and she brings her signature flair to this evocative film.
We particularly love how Kati Kati handles its political themes: the movie explores issues like misogyny, homophobia, and government control without getting preachy or resorting to easy answers. The result is a smartly crafted thriller that makes you want to keep watching no matter how many times your emotions are shaken up by what happens on screen! Kati Kati is top among the Best Kenyan Movies to Watch on Netflix 2022. Enjoy this one.
2. Supa Modo
Second, Supa Modo is on my list of Best Kenyan Movies to Watch on Netflix 2022. The film Supa Modo is a touching story set in Kenya during the 1950s, about a young boy who is a victim of the Mau Mau uprising. The story follows Supa Modo, a deaf-mute orphan who lives with his grandfather and uncle. His life changes when he meets Mary, a beautiful girl who has run away from her British colonial family because she doesn’t want to marry one of them. The two begin a relationship that leads to tragedy and despair for many people involved in the situation, including Supa Modo himself. The film was directed by Wanuri Kahiu and based on Monica Genya’s Novis Supa Modo (1986).
3. 18 Hours
The film is directed by Wanuri Kahiu, who also wrote and produced it. It was banned in Kenya because of its subject: a young woman kidnapped and held hostage in a house. The film touches on important issues like corruption, violence against women, and the fight for freedom. It’s an excellent example of how films can be used to educate people about important issues.”
4. Stories of Our Lives
A collection of three short stories, Stories of Our Lives tells the tale of three men who want to get married and consider their options. The first story, “Lubuto,” follows a man looking for love but has not yet found it. He is set up with a woman he works with but ultimately decides that marriage is not for him. The second story, “Nyundo,” follows another man who wants to get married—but only if he finds “the one.” Unfortunately for him, his search leads him down some dark paths. The third story, “Maweza,” follows a third man who also wants to find love—but unlike his friends from the first two stories in this film (and many others), this man eventually finds someone special and sett down! The great storyline from the movie makes it part of our Best Kenyan Movies to Watch on Netflix 2022
5. Morning After
Not exactly what you’d call a movie but this skit featuring some of the best young actors in the film industry, including Charlie Karumi and Foi Wambu, will leave you embarrassed, cringing, and laughing out loud. It’s an easy #1 for us.
It follows the ordeal a young man goes through when he discovers that his mother washed the clothes of her one-night stand.
6. Sincerely Daisy
This 2020 movie is a coming-of-age drama set in Kenya. It follows a young woman named Niki (played by newcomer Kaitlyn Dever) as she tries to navigate the world of high school and college.
It is a personal essay that really brings out the struggles that young people face in a very relatable manner.
7. The Captain of Nakara
This is a comedy movie about a man who tries to get back on track after escaping prison. He continues to commit crimes and messes up his life.
He pretenses to be a successful man and tries to get married to a preacher’s daughter. Overall, a light-hearted movie featuring the late Papa Shirandula. The Captain of Nakara is seventh on my list of Best Kenyan Movies to Watch on Netflix 2022.
This 2018 romantic comedy is one of the Best Kenyan Movies to Watch on Netflix 2022. It features some of the best-looking acts in the industry today.
It takes you through the messed-up date scene in Nairobi. Our actors go about their lives while we show you what happens when love doesn’t work out. We have A-class actors like Kit Kiarie, Pierre Makena and others.
Kenya is a country that relies heavily on tourism for its economy. As such, wildlife conservation is an essential topic in Kenya.
Sadly, the number of people who place bets has increased steadily over the past few decades.
The movie follows a woman who works for an environmental organization and the dangers she faces when trying to run her errands.
10. 40 Sticks
40 Stick is a 90-minute movie produced by a team of filmmakers in Kenya. It stars Robert Agengo, Mwaura Bilal, Andreo Kamau, Xavier Ywaya, and others. It premiered on Netflix on November 21, 2021.
The movie, which was watched by millions of people in Kenya, is particularly compelling because of its use of slang/Sheng with the unoriginal combination of English and Kiswahili.
11. Queen Country
Set to be released exclusively on Netflix on Friday, the 15th of July, 2022, Country Queen is an upcoming Kenyan drama series that takes viewers through various intrigues involving family, betrayal, and environmental conservation.
African films are becoming increasingly popular, especially among young audiences. There are many different genres of African films, including drama, comedy, action, romance, horror, sci-fi, and documentary. Local filmmakers often make these films and are usually funded through crowdfunding platforms. Some of the best-known African films include “Ajesa Afrika,” “Baba Yetu,”
12. Something Necessary
Something Necessary is based on a true story during the Mau Mau uprising. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 and produced by the team that made The Constant Gardener, which also starred Ralph Fiennes. The movie tells the love story between John Kamau and Miriam Gikandi, both Kenyan freedom fighters fighting against the British colonization of Kenya.
The movie has a lot of essential themes about love and freedom, but it also deals with violence and racism and how colonizers viewed Africans during this period.
13. The First Grader
The film follows the story of a 75-year-old man named Thomas who wants to return to school. His desire is sparked by an encounter with a young girl in his village in Kenya, where he learns that she has never been to school, and he decides to volunteer as her teacher. To gain admission, however, Mr. Thomas must pass an entrance exam which proves difficult due to his age and lack of formal education. Still, he eventually overcomes those obstacles and gets accepted into the school. Throughout this journey, the movie shows how schooling can change lives for the better and make it possible for individuals like Thomas to share their wisdom even at old ages.
14. Nairobi Half Life
Nairobi Half Life is a 2009 Kenyan drama film. It tells the story of Bizoo Nsibambi, a young man addicted to drugs who has been in prison for more than twenty years. The film is based on the life of Kenyan musician Bizoo Nsibambi, who wrote its score and appears in it as himself.
15. Pumzi (Life)
Pumzi is a 2009 Kenyan science fiction film directed by Wanuri Kahiu. The film is set in a futuristic world where water has become scarce, and people live underground because of the lack of it. The film follows two characters who seek to escape this world and find their way back to the surface.
The movie stars Wanjiru Kamau as Pumzi, an agronomist who works at a research facility that studies how plants grow in low-light environments. Her character is tasked with planting seeds in a greenhouse that mimics the surface world but lacks sunlight; she also helps prepare her fellow employees for evacuation if they need to leave their post quickly due to increased radiation exposure or other dangers like earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. Pumzi’s friend Chege has been sent on a critical mission: To find out whether humans can survive outside without protection (like spacesuits). Once he learns from an old woman that there may be another life source available, he sets out on his journey with no knowledge about what lies ahead except what he learned from her story about how it was possible for humans before they became dependent upon technology and artificial light sources exclusively.
16. Second Chance (Tano Tena)
Second Chance (Tano Tena) is a romantic comedy that Wanuri Kahui directed. The film was released in 2017 and is set in the 1980s. The film is also in Kiswahili, spoken as a first language by people on the coast of Kenya.
In this film, we meet Nyango, who has just married a much younger woman named Naomi. His first wife, Mwihaki, returns to town after leaving her husband because he cheated on her with another woman named Muthoni. She wants to reconcile with Nyango, but he doesn’t want anything to do with her anymore because she left him for no good reason, and now she wants him back.
Subira is a Kenyan film about a young girl forced to make a difficult decision about her future. The movie follows Subira and her friends as they struggle against the restrictions placed upon them by their oppressive society. Its themes of female empowerment, self-love, and freedom will resonate with viewers.
18. The Constant Gardener
The Constant Gardener is a 2005 film directed by Fernando Meirelles, based on the novel of the same name by John le Carré. It stars Ralph Fiennes as Tom and Rachel Weisz as his wife, Tessa Quayle, who work to uncover the truth behind her murder in Kenya.
19. Soul Boy
“Soul Boy” is a 2016 drama film directed by Roberta Ndwiga. It tells the story of a young man who struggles with his sexuality and tries to hide it from his family. The movie was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award in 2017 but did not win.
20. Nairobi Times
The movie is about a newspaper owner who discovers his son is involved in a murder.
The Nairobi Times is one of the most well-known newspapers in Kenya, so it makes for an exciting drama when the owner’s son becomes a suspect in a murder.
21. Chronicles of a Death Foretold (Mumia wa Wanjiku)
Chronicles of a Death Foretold is a classic. Based on the novel by Gabriel García Márquez tells the story of a man who is murdered in his own home. The film is funny, but it also has moments that are pretty serious and dramatic. This film is also known as Mumia wa Wanjiku (which means ‘Mumia’s mother’). Chronicles of a Death Foretold is the last movie on my list of Best Kenyan Movies to Watch on Netflix 2022. Enjoy.
These films show the depth and breadth of Kenyan culture.
You might not know it, but Kenya is home to a thriving film industry that has been around since the 1940s.
The films on this list show the depth and breadth of Kenyan culture, from traditional stories to comedies, dramas, and musicals. Many of these films were shot in the streets, where you can see what life was like during colonial times.
There are plenty of options if you’re looking for a way to learn more about Kenya and its culture. You could go on an African safari or even take a trip to the country. However, if that’s not possible for whatever reason, then watching these Best Kenyan Movies to Watch on Netflix 2022 will give you some insight into what life is like there. They also show how different people deal with similar situations from their unique perspectives and what makes them unique as individuals within their communities.
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