Yellow Fever (Kenya: 2012)


Ng'endo Mukii

Cast list

Dancers: Chipo Kureya, Sam Nokuzola Moyo, Fumy Opeyemi

As self: Abbriani Njeri, Margaret Njeri Mereka


Director: Ng'Endo Mukii

Writer: Ng'Endo Mukii

Animator: Ng'Endo Mukii

Composer: Kadialy Kouyate

Cinematographer: Alex MaxNaughton


The film is told through interviews with Mukii’s family, visually represented by stop-motion animation. It opens with a childhood memory of a hairdresser, whose hands and face are bleached white. A little girl speaks about how she wishes to be a magician, so that she herself can transform to  become whiter. Interspersing these excerpts of people speaking about their perceptions of beauty are stylised scenes depicting an African woman’s body and movement, bringing to the fore the physicality of identity explored in the film.


“…an impressive piece of mixed-media art, combining hand-drawn animation, computer animation, pixelation, and live action, to make a statement on global standards of beauty and those who control them.”
Obenson, T.A. (2015, March 23) Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng’endo Mukii Tackles ‘Globalized’ Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film ‘Yellow Fever’. Indiewire. Retrieved from

“In her powerful short film "Yellow Fever," Kenyan artist and filmmaker Ng’endo Mukii explores the relationship between a woman and her skin color, and the hierarchy of globalized beauty imposed on impressionable minds and bodies.”
Frank, P. (2015, March 27) Powerful Short Film Challenges Beauty Ideals That Govern Skin Color. Huffington Post. Retrieved from

Callus, P. (2015) Animation, Fabrication, Photography: Reflections upon the Intersecting Practices of Sub-Saharan Artists within the Moving Image. African Arts 48(3), pp. 58-69

Callus, P. (2017) Remediations of Nonfiction: Animation, Interactivity, and Documentary From Africa. Critical Interventions 11(3), pp. 269-286

Other movies from Kenya made in

Title Country Year Director More infos
Yellow Fever Kenya 2012 Ng'endo Mukii
Leo Kenya 2012 Jinna Mutune
The Captain Of Nakara Kenya 2012 Joel Bob Nyanja
Nairobi Half Life Kenya 2012 David "Tosh" Gitonga
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