Potash Charles Matathia, 40, was spotted appearing to be begging and carrying a sack characteristic with street children and the homeless.
In a video posted on Twitter by one Jem Jem, on Wednesday, February 19, Potash is seen stopping a car, caught up in a traffic snarl in Westlands, Nairobi and informs the occupants of his writing prowess, the best gift he has ever possessed.
Timothy Mbugua (left) a shop owner who runs a non-profit programme — Rewind 254, aimed at rehabilitating the youth in Kiambu County with Potash Charles Matathia (right) during an interview in August 2018
“This is Potash Charles Matathia, who wrote the script for Nairobi Half Life. If you know how to reach him,” Jem tweeted.
This was after he had listened to the eloquent, well-articulated speech of the author who hails from Wangige, Kiambu County.
“I was born on July 23, 1979, I grew up here around Wangige Market, Kiambu County. I am 40-years-old. I am an aspiring screenwriter.
“Many are familiar with my pieces, especially that I wrote based on the politics of upgrading the slum (Mathare) valley. Another one is the Nairobi Half Life,” Potash stated.
A report published by i on August 22, 2018, detailed that Potash used to work at Kwani? – A literary network founded by the late award-winning writer Binyavanga Wainaina.
Nairobi Half Life, produced by Tosh Gitonga, propelled Potash to the limelight especially after it was selected as the Kenyan entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, but did not make the final shortlist. However, it made history as it was the first time Kenya had submitted a film in the category.
It later won the most awards at Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards 2014.
The film revolves around a young man, Mwas (Joseph Wairimu) who still lives with his parents in their rural home in Kenya. He makes a living by selling Western action films, Mwas later relocates to Nairobi and out of peer pressure, he resorts to carjacking.
After the huge success of the film, Potash would later fall off to drug abuse and was sent to a rehab centre for an undisclosed addiction.
When kenyagist.com reached out to the Twitter user who recorded the video, it was established that the talented writer was not homeless and was living with his family in Wangige.
Several Kenyans who responded to the post that has so far garnered over 6,000 views on Twitter expressed their sympathies with the screenwriter and called for intervention from the government – in yet another sad story that highlights the neglect suffered by the youth in the creative industries.