Comedian Eddie Butita has disclosed how he got the gig as a writer and director for the Swahili Version of ‘The Upshaws’ on Netflix.
Speaking to Jalang’o on ‘Bonga an Jalas’, Butita said he was at home when he got the life-changing call.
The call was from a representative of Hiventy, a local production company.
Butita told Jalas that he has a feeling that the recruiters called after seeing that he was credited for writing Njugush’s Through Thick and Thin stand-up show.
“He gave me a brief description of the work and asked for a meeting so that we could discuss it more.
“I kept asking what the nature of the work was and how it would be distributed but they were very secretive. They kept saying the film will feature on video on demand platforms but never made it clear that it was Netflix until I was deeply involved in the project,” Butita said.
The former Churchill Show comedian said his first script was rejected, prompting him to build on his skills to match the quality of work that was required.
The project brought together a crew of all Kenyan voice actors who were bound by a non-disclosure agreement.
Butita said he couldn’t even tell his friends and family about it.
The comedy writer also revealed that working with professionals opened his eyes to different types of contracts that creatives should sign when dealing with the production of their content.
“There are broadcast rights, digital rights, there are contracts for just the performance, contracts for recording and there are also contracts for different territories,” he said.
Butita said Kenyan creatives should look to work with other creatives beyond the local borders.
“Beyonce and Rihanna perform songs written by other people and it doesn’t take away from their talent. As Jalang’o, you are always up and about doing many projects, but if you decide to sit down and write jokes, a lot of your work would stop.
“That is why you have a team that can work on the show as you focus on other things, it doesn’t mean you are any less talented but Kenyan artists have refused to understand. They want to be the talent, video director and editor,” Butita said.