Ng’endo Mukii's portfolio spans advertising campaigns, children’s TV series, documentary animation and experimental films.
Mukii, a graduate of Royal College of Art (RCA) and Rhode Island School of Design, uses storytelling and creative, highly-textured animation to make compelling films.
Yellow Fever, her graduate project from RCA, weaves together her memories and interviews with family members and mixes drawing, painting and real footage. The film investigates the effect of mass-media created ideals of beauty on African women, and the difficulty involved in attaining this ideal.
The title of the film is based on a Fela Kuti song, Yellow Fever, that criticises women who use skin-bleaching products (with the reduction of melanin, the skin turns a yellowy tone). The film has garnered a long list of accolades including Best Animation at the 7th Kenya International Film Festival in 2012, Best Animation in This Is England Film Festival (France), the Silver Hugo for Best Animated Short at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival (USA), and Best Short Film at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (Nigeria), all in 2013.
Originally aspiring to be an illustrator, Mukii paints and draws in and on her film, video and animation work. She works instinctively, employing the medium she feel works best for the content being explored. Desert Haze, for example, uses animated paintings to dizzy effect, while Untitled: Dust uses more traditional hand-drawn and computer-based animation.
Mukii is one of five recipients of the Focus Features Africa First film grant.
She spends her time between Nairobi and Tsavo in southern Kenya, animating little children, photographing dung beetles, and running away from scorpions.