A short film directed by the Canadian filmmaker Chloe Keleny.
The film is set in Lamu town, the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. It follows a journey made by the London-based artist Pie Herring, who gives up her life in London to search for a local man who she encountered when she was living and painting there in early 2021.
The artist would later discover that the man she is looking for is known as Master Tike. For hours each day this man sits on a step feeding raw meat to cats. Opposite to where he sits there is a very old and abandoned market stall. Master Tike used to sell dried fish here. During which he formed a strong bond with the cats which came in search of food.
When his business closed, he would dedicate the rest of his life to keeping these cats fed.
The film follows the artists process of painting Master Tike. We hear that many people began reaching out to Pie online when she made the painting public. They recognised the man and told the artist stories about his inherent compassion and generosity towards others. They thanked her for shining a light on a treasured member of their community.
“Most of the poorer families bought their shopping from him. He was a generous man. As kids, whenever we passed by he would give us something to eat.”
The film reaches its crowning point when Master Tike grants Pie the honour of framing her painting from wood taken directly from his market stall. The frame is beautifully hand-crafted in Lamu and as the film comes to an end we see it being fitted to the final painting.
A Lamu Story | Finding Tike is a film about how there is always more to people than what meets the eye. It reveals the benefits of going beyond ones comfort zones in order to learn, and how it is our interactions with unfamiliar people that can help us build a greater awareness of the world that we live in.