This film is held by the BFI (ID: 540654).


AMATEUR. Scenes at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa missionary centre in Chogoria, Kenya.

No main title. Hand drawn map of Kenya with Chogoria highlighted (0.08). "Chogoria is 90 miles from the nearest railway. The roads run along the slopes of Mount Kenya." (0.18). Various shots of car driving through Kenyan countryside (1.00). "16 acres of dense bush land and a Bungalow, presented to the Mission, awaited Dr. and Mrs. Irvine" (1.08). Pan left of bungalow and gardens (1.38). "Views of the Mission from the opposite hillside" (1.42). Pan right of the centre - very distant views (2.04). "From the roof of the Church" (2.07). Similar pan of the site but clearer views of the buildings (3.08). "Scenes from Native Life in nearby villages" (3.12). Youths herding goats on the hillside (3.26). Mother, carrying child on back, washes another child in stream (3.42). Goat and cattle herding scenes (4.19). A boy climbs a tree and comes down again (4.50). Warriors in traditional costume (5.04). "Hut Building" (5.07). Three men and some children wander around a hut - no evidence of hut building. Man clambering on roof (5.45). Woman pounding grain (5.56). "Preparing a goat skin garment" (6.00). Woman sits on ground cleaning skin (6.15). "Sundry dances" (6.19). Three men bob to the accompaniment of a drummer (6.29). One man bobs (6.39). Women carrying sugar cane (?) (7.08). Two warriors dressed in traditional costume perform a dance in a road (7.27). More dancing, three men with drummer (7.49). More men dancing (8.07). "These are all men smeared in ochre and grease. The girls come after nightfall to join in the orgies" (8.17). Continuation of men dancing (8.32). "Morris dances which, at first harmless, later became a snare and were dropped" (8.43). Large group of men and women, boys and girls dancing. Most are dressed in European clothes (9.29). "Three main avenues of approach to the Pagan Heart with the Gospel" (9.43). "One method of approach..A preaching tour" (9.48). "The camp in the early morning, prayers, breakfast" (9.53). Pan right of camp as occupants stir and ready themselves; they sit down to prayers as European missionary joins them with accordion; the preachers (all African) having breakfast from a communal pot over a fire (11.44). "Giving out scripture pictures to each pair" (11.53). Missionary gives out rolled up pictures to the preachers. They all disperse (12.33). Line of women threshing (?) (12.58). Missionary preaching to women seated in grass (13.50). "Second method...Medical work at Chogoria Hospital" (13.56). "Word is received of a burning case. Dressers go out to fetch him..operation..prolonged treatment..recovery" (14.05). Stretcher bearers/orderlies on hillside overlooking native village. They arrive at a hut and treat burn victim - a boy. He is placed on stretcher and taken to hospital - crossing grassland and river. Arrival at the hospital. Operation - attended to by European doctor as African orderly administers ether. The operation seems to be conducted in the open air - none of the medical staff wear masks or operation gowns (17.48). The boy recovering in hospital has his bandages changed by an orderly (18.19). "Chogoria Hosital. The main building, total accommodation for 55 patients" (18.29). "Built of brick with wood shingle roof. Completed in 1926" (18.35). LS View of the hospital - patients leave by one of the doors (19.2). "A Blood Examination" (19.05). Exterior scenes. A boy has a blood sample taken from him by an orderly. Two orderlies check the sample under a microscope (20.00). "Leper patients... there are 16 beds for Lepers. Note eruption on face" (20.07). Four lepers seated on the ground. Two have disfigured faces. They get up and leave. The hospital can be seen in the background (20.40). A family group is given vaccinations. The family - husband, wife and four children are lined up. Their bottoms are cleaned with surgical spirit and are given vaccinations by an orderly. The father first, followed by an older boy. One of the younger boys refuses and has to be held down (22.45). Missionary/doctor with large group of Africans. He checks the feet of some of the African women. An orderly attends him. "Medical outposts, trained African Dressers are sent out to distant parts to give...injections, dress ulcers, deal out drugs etc." (23.37). Further scenes of doctor and orderly as seen before (24.00). "The only medical help available in past days...a witch doctor" (24.06). A ritual healing ceremony performed by a witch doctor. An old man sits by some bushes with a bag. He is joined by a young woman who sits beside him. He rummages in his bag and presents her with a long thin stick or porcupine quill (?) which he makes her suck a number of times. She drinks some liquid from a bowl again in a ritual manner. He then presents a large, carved stick which she kisses (?). He then shakes the stick all over her body then taps her head, hands and feet (25.50). "Wire necklet being unwound preparatory to operation...a smelly proceeding" (25.56). Exterior scene beside the hospital. An orderly stands beside the patient - wearing a shift with a red (?) cross on it. The orderly slowly unwinds the necklet from the man's neck (26.17). "Third method of approach - school. The main aim is to teach them to read so that they may be able to use the scriptures in the vernacular..." (26.36). Children exercising - five young children do star jumps; older boys do physical exercises (27.35). "Drill, hygiene and games form part of the school timetable." (27.41). Children playing football (28.09). "Mr. Macpherson came as head master of the school to Chogoria in 1930, with Mrs. Macpherson...paying teachers salaries." (28.20). European seated at a table calls out names. African teachers (all men) come forward and are presented with money. They then salute (29.12). ["At the Chief's request we lent a hand with doors and windows - please note this was in 1932." - taken from CHOGORIA 1931]. Wood and doors are loaded onto the car (29.54). Waterfall views; car crosses bridge (30.40). ["Arrival - a talk with the Chief. There was not a single Christian in the district."]. Arrival of the car with the wood, greeted by Africans, unloading car (31.39). Missionary sits on grass with Chief (31.57). The building of a hut from frame to completion . "The country churches where African Teacher-Evangelists minister and teach". Completion of the hut. "A village school is a magnificent field for Evangelism". "Everyday school opens with a Gospel message and prayer" (32.51). African minister and extended family (?) or school children and other teachers gather by two large huts with large garden. They wander about the gardens (33.24). "The opening of the school" (33.30). Mothers and children lined up; the procession to the school (33.57). A long line of people entering the large school (34.13). "The annual sports" (34.15). Parade of schoolchildren and parents passing the large, substantial church to the sports ground (34.38). "Arrival of a chief as spectator" (34.41). Arrival of chief and retinue (in ceremonial robes) and greetings by missionary staff (35.27). Women take part in a brick race, placing one brick at a time in front of themselves and then standing on it. They bring the other brick round and repeat the action (36.39). Women run to men who hold bananas. The women stuff the fruit into their mouths. The women run to the finish line, while the men laugh (37.01). The high jump - a series of boys jump a length of string held up for them (37.30). The obstacle race - preparing the water jump - runners take the water jump (37.56). Three small boys are given a head start for a distance race. The boys running around the football pitch. The finish (38.32). Bow and arrow contest - men and boys shooting at an unseen target (38.49). The end of the obstacle race (39.30). Worshippers (all African) leaving church and walking through grounds (41.49). Group shot of large congregation outside the church; they disperse (42.21). Large group of mothers with babies leave large hut (42.45). CU two men in profile with ornate hairstyles and earrings (42.51). "The newly ordained African Elders" (42.55). Group of clergy (African and European) walk by church then pose for camera (43.24). "Council meeting at Chogoria" (43.27). Councillors, men and women and all European, gather in grounds (43.30). Group shot of them posing for camera (43.53). Gathering in the garden (44.06). Male councillors by car (44.08). "Counting the collection" (44.10). Four Africans sort and count vegetables laid out in garden by the church (44.31). "Two great Evangelists meet, Stevenson Githii and Mwangi" (44.35). Two Africans shake hands; they walk through the grounds of the missionary centre (44.56). Teenage boys carry bedding and furniture into a dormitory (45.32). European points to dormitory door and enters (45.36). "Young teachers in training" (45.39). From the door a group of teenage boys emerge. They stand outside the dormitory. The European appears and they salute him - military style drill and salutes (44.06). A toddler walking and standing by a wall, at his mother's feet, she washes his face (46.39). Large group of children - all ages - with some mothers (46.44). "Sunday School children. Babies in Crèche during Sunday Service. Note happy expression of young Christian Mothers" (46.51). Babies lying in line of wooden cribs, attentive mothers, other children (47.19). "A happy time of fellowship; tea together after Kirk Session Meeting" (47.25). A group of African men take tea on the lawn with the missionary and his wife (48.09). "Bringing farewell offerings to Africa Pastor" (48.12). A one-legged man knocks at side door of church and presents an envelope to the African clergyman. A man and woman also offer an envelope. The clergyman accepts (48.37). "What the Christians impoversished by Locusts and unemployment gave to the Church. (Workmens' wages average 10/- a month)" (48.50). An African writes on a blackboard - `Chogoria Church African Offerings 1931 £53' (49.04). "The Laundry" (49.06). The laundry is done by two Africans watched by a female missionary. One of the men lifts clothes from a boiling pot held in a brick oven (49.25). "The Pan washer" (49.27). A man scrubs a pan with mud and then washes it off under tap (49.43). "The Butcher" (49.45). European woman on step of verandah buys the hind quarters of a small antelope (?) from an African (50.08). She then checks some eggs from some children (50.37). Two women and two men (the missionaries) gather outside the prayer room. The women check fruit, the men read letters (51.02). "Work... the Daily Prayer Meeting at 7-30 in the Prayer Room (51.07). The couples enter the Prayer Room (51.15). Three European children playing in a swimming pool - probably the Irvines - children of the missionaries (53.12). "Tony, Geoffrey and Kenneth Irvine in a locust swarm" (53.18). European children run around lawn as locusts fly all around. They are watched by two women from a bungalow verandah (53.33). "Work among Grannies; Wives and Daughters" (53.36). Line of women in traditional costume pass the camera (53.50). "Contrast. Pagan girls." (53.53) "Two Christian madiens" (53.56). Two women wearing white robes walking in grassland (54.10). "The Weekly Grannies' Meeting for the older women. Gathering, Grace before tea, Bible lesson." (54.17). A number of old women and some children gather under a tree and on a lawn. Missionary woman kneels and says grace. The women sit on the lawn; she then serves tea. The Bible lesson. After the lesson the missionary shakes hands with the women (55.42). Group of women and children dancing in large circles (55.54). "Starting up the water-driven electric motor, presented to Chogoria in 1923" (56.01). Starting up the machinery - an African man turns a fly wheel, then starts an engine (?) (interior picture, dimly lit but with strong sun catching part of the picture) (56.24). Scenes in the saw mill - working in the saw mill (56.32). African cattle in an enclosure (56.36). Africans pushing a large log along a small railtrack into the saw mill (56.51). Cutting wood in the mill (heavily shadowed pictures); wheeling out wood; men hammering wood (57.51). "The Church erected in 1929. Opening ceremony, exterior and interior. By day, by night lighted with concealed electirc lights" (58.03). Exterior view of church (58.13); interior views (58.46).




Technical Data

Film Gauge (Format):
16mm Film
1414 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Great Britain
Production Company
Chogoria Missionary Council