Can Raymond Ofula save the country from corruption and dirty politics? It’s not guaranteed that he’s going to succeed but he’s definitely up to the task in The System, the Kenyan political thriller streaming now on Showmax. Created and directed by Jesse Kyalo (Wavamizi), The System revolves around the lives of the political class, and the lengths they are willing to go to control power.
Known for his charisma and dedication to every role he embodies, Ofula who’s appeared in Queen Sono, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life andMonica plays the incorruptible Teiye, an honourable politician among “thieves.”
Teiye is a man of the people, and the most likely contender to win the presidential seat in the upcoming general elections, according to opinion polls. But politics is a dirty game, and in a young, fragile democracy like The System’s, politicians have no qualms about scheming their way to the top by any means necessary – even killing the president.
On the brink of chaos
With the general elections only five months away, the country teeters on the brink of chaos. And from the inside, political rivalries threaten the already unstable government as the ailing president Mathayo (Chris Kamau, Sumu la Penzi, Aisha) faces opposition from his own cabinet.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, a beloved Nobel laureate and activist is murdered just when a damning report commissioned by the president is about to be released. It’s a deed that sets in motion a series of events that expose the dangerous side of politics and the men who would do anything to wield power. Men like the calculating and hot-tempered Tobias (Joseph Omari, Makutano Junction), a veteran politician who sees himself a patriot and who believes that power is snatched rather than given.
But Tobias is not acting alone, his strings are being pulled by a much higher and dangerous power – the former head of state who doesn’t take betrayal lightly, and who’s played (ominously) by former Tusker Project Fame judge Ian Mbugua (Changes).
Family clashes with politics
The country is not the only thing falling apart. Teiye’s personal life is in shambles. His wife Cathy (Mumbi Kaigwa, The Constant Gardener, The First Grader) unable to cope with neglect and loneliness, turns to alcohol as a coping mechanism, while his son Alusa (Elsaphan Njora, Kati Kati) is a rebellious junkie who starts and ends his day with a bottle of whiskey.
With a thriving political career, and perhaps even a shot at the country’s highest office in the near future, Teiye represents the ideal politician. But as a family man, he has failed to put his scandal-prone house and family in order, a consequence of his dedication to his work that might even jeopardise his political ambitions.
“I’m alone in that house, ever since he sold his soul to politics,” his wife laments to a marriage counsellor just before their session is cut short by Teiye’s incessant work calls.
On the other hand, Tobias’s relationship with his daughter Leila (Marrianne Nungo, Supa Modo, Rush) seems to be deteriorating as he pushes her to “find a man, get married and give him a grandson.” Unbeknownst to him, Leila is having an affair with the head of the National Intelligence Service, Francis (Kenneth Ambani, Kovu, From a Whisper).
The System also features Brian Ogola (Ma-Empress, Lusala) as the president’s son Chimano, Oliver Litondo (The First Grader) as the Attorney General, Joe Kinyua (Njoro wa Uba), and Gathoni Mutua (This Is Life).