African Lifestyle

images and videos from a colourful continent

documentary film project - half a dollar a day

Half a dollar a day


A year ago, in August 2017, I travelled from Sweden to the small town Kilosa, with 25,000 inhabitants, in the rural areas in the interior of Tanzania.
I wanted to start the work with a documentary film about living conditions for people in the countryside of East Africa.

I lived six months on a farm nearby the town, Kilosa, at the edge of a large jungle area and the Udzungwa Mountains range.
There I had the opportunity to know some people in that small town in one of the world's poorest countries. I managed to gather data and understanding how to make this documentary.

So now I want to portray the people who live in this town, Kilosa, and the neighbouring countryside.

The majority of the population in this part of Africa is living on half a dollar a day per person, hence the title of this project.

Here we can meet people who live at the farm. The owner of the farm, Nseka, is leading the work with her mother. She takes care of and supplies her daughter, Naomi and seven other children with food and school fees. One of the five houses is rented out to a family for 7 USD per month.
We can also meet some other people in Kilosa, see how they live and listen to their stories.

One of them is Veneranda, a teenage mother, who is not permitted to return to her studies because of her motherhood. She tells us her dreams of getting a possibility to continue studying.

Another we can meet here is Timoteo, who lives in the poor district of Kilosa.
He previously lived a good life as a driver of Tanzania's prime minister. 
But when it was discovered that he had a small tattoo on his right arm, he got fired from the job. Tattoos are prohibited in public service in Tanzania.
Now he is providing himself and his family with temporary jobs he can get as a construction worker. His wife sometimes can get work as a seamstress with her foot-driven sewing machine.

We can also visit Mazingyungo Primary School, which has teaching for children with albinism. They are very vulnerable in East Africa and live in constant fear. For their body parts the witch doctors pay a high price to use it for their elixirs. These children need constant protection.

We can also meet the maasai headman Molleli, who shows us the life of the maasai people in a small village located on the savannah a few kilometers from Kilosa. They are pastoralists and live of their cattle, but they also get some other incomes from production of sandals made of of old tires.

In the film we can also see some of the town's women carrying water on their heads in 10-liter dunks from the few wells available.

We can meet the 3-year-old Naomi and her friends when they are playing with stones and sticks. Other toys do not exist.

We can see Father Denis, a Catholic priest, and visit a small school he runs with small funds for children between 3 and 5 years, both from Christian and Muslim families.
   Therefore, I would also like to draw attention to the peace that exists between Christians and Muslims in Tanzania. There are no religious contradictions here. People from both religions can live together, work and socialize without religion becoming a barrier to friendship and cooperation.

And much more.

I have already filmed a little, but only short film clips to give a picture of what I now want to do.

I would be grateful for help to get better equipment than what I have now, and I also think I need some guidance and help to put everything 
together to an acceptable documentary film.
I have planned to start filming in December this year with the assistance of an interpreter in Swahili and a co-worker from Sweden.

If you are interested in cooperation with me in this project, contact me for more information:

tel. +46704029580
Peter Ola Thorbiörnson
Vadstena, Sweden
International account number
BIC (National BankID):
SE29 6000 0000 0004 9217 5691
account holder
Peter Ola Thorbiornson