Sema na Ochieng

Cinematographer, Photographer and a Trainer

About Me


I am a freelance Events, Portraiture and Lifestyle photographer, Cinematographer and Trainer. I am also the founder of the SEMA Youth Film Festival.


My interest in photography and filmmaking started when I was just 9 years old using a point and shoot camera and film rolls to shoot pictures of my mother and other family members. I started learning my photography skills at MYSA Shoot back project. The leadership development and skills in media projects through this project enabled me to start my artistic journey and interest in Community Media development.


The challenges I went through growing up with a single mother in the slums of Nairobi gave me a great motivation to use the powerful tool I had that is the camera to tell stories around me to change my situation in life and also contribute in telling positive stories that never get to be told. Simple stories like a child going to school for the first time. I was moved by the hope and resilience that people in my community had despite going through difficult moments.


I am a self-taught photographer and filmmaker but my greatest skill development has been learning while doing. I also went to the Kenya Institute of mass communication and I did study Film video production. I have managed to learn a lot through exchange programs, workshops and film festivals.


Besides my photography and filming job I also love to share my skills through a participatory learning approach using workshop and exchange programs to give other filmmakers and photographers a chance to kick start their careers in the industry. Besides that, I’m motivated to create and develop community media projects where youths are able to learn, connect and create.


Cinematography/Video Projects

Sema Ochieng is experienced and has great focus in motion pictures as Cinematographer and has deep understanding well equipped on camera operation, Lighting techniques, sound and Editing. I love to create so I do Documentaries, Promotional Videos Events videos and Music Videos.

Michael Olunga

Michael Olunga is a Kenyan top striker now playing his professional football abroad. This project was to showcase how his progress, dedication and achievements continue to inspire the young generation here in Kenya and beyond.  This promo video was to also highlight the love of his fans towards him from Kenya to Kashiwa.

Mulbery Project Videos

This was a two-episode series video to promote Mulberry Project cocktails here in Nairobi; it is the search for the perfect cocktail.ᅠ I was the Cinematographer for this project.

Elimu Bora Project

The School Report Card Project has been active in Kenya since 2009, when it was launched by MOEST and NTA in order to improve the quality of education of boys and girls in public primary schools across Kenya. The School Report Card is a powerful tool for parents to assess the performance of their children’s school according to 10 key areas, including school facilities, access to textbooks, water and sanitation, school safety, homework assignment and marking.

The School Report Card increases parental engagement in their children’s education and enables them to demand accountability. In the long run it has improved quality services in the education sector.

Livelihoods of communities vulnerable to drought

I was the Cinematographer and Video Editor to this amazing project with the Cultural Video Production LTD. This was a series of Videos for the National Drought Management Authorities (NDMA) to highlight the amazing work they are doing with the communities in drought prone areas. 

The stories like slaughter destocking, which is carried out when animals have lost their commercial value. The meat from slaughtered animals is distributed to the most vulnerable and poor households.

Feeding strategies of affected livestock through the supply of animal feeds. This activity targets the core breeding herds to allow the survival of animals throughout the drought spell. The main types of feeds distributed are drought pellets/mash and Urea Molasses Mineral Blocks (UMMB).

Feeding strategies of affected livestock through the supply of animal feeds. This activity targets the core breeding herds to allow the survival of animals throughout the drought spell. The main types of feeds distributed are drought pellets/mash and Urea Molasses Mineral Blocks (UMMB).

Afrika Disco

Afrika Disco is a celebration of the true Afrikan spirit, a memoir of party nights gone by and a reminder of what is yet to come. The song features the Decimators (Konkodi, Bon’eye, Brian Nadra and Jack Rooster) and the sultry vocals of the alluring Khuhani. This upbeat club banger has the tendency to make you want to move your body and immerse yourself in the uniqueness and vibrancy that is clubbing in Afrika. Let us go back to a time before the pandemic, when we would party and engage freely.

Jojo Abot

Jojo Abot is a nomadic interdisciplinary artist exploring evolving themes of spirituality, identity and community with self as the starting point to collective evolution.

During her visit to Nairobi and playing at the Alchemist I had a chance to tell her musical story. Special thanks to The Nrb Bus and The Alchemist bar.


SEMA Youth Film Festival

SEMA Youth Film Festival started as space for young Kenyan filmmakers to showcase their work and their best film stories awarded during the festival. The first edition brought in more than 200 films from all over the world but just two films were submitted from Kenya. This meant that I had to do something about this challenge and help bring revolution among youth participation in the film.

Now SEMA Youth Festival runs a series of participatory film workshops from idea to screen. The project goal is to create a space where young filmmakers can tell their own stories, but most importantly a chance to learn, create, share and connect.

The project target is to reach young filmmakers coming into the film industry and the workshop shall take them through the entire hands-on training on the process of making films. The workshop is scheduled to run for one week and facilitated by both local and international filmmakers.

SEMA is happy to have partnered with the Nordic Youth Film Festival since 2021 to bring a film experience like no other in Kenya through film workshop to a town or city in the month of June. This is a participatory workshop taken in different city each year in June and all the workshop film screened at NUFF.


To Participate or Donate in SEMA Youth Film Festival

SEMA Stories from Our Cities

SEMA, which means “speak out” in Swahili, is an initiative dedicated to empowering local storytellers to share their perspectives through the powerful medium of film. Our goal is to provide a platform for diverse voices from across Kenya to be heard, celebrated, and shared with the world. We are coming to a city or town next to you soon!

The workshop will offer participants a unique opportunity to:

  1. Learn from experienced filmmakers: Gain insights, techniques, and practical skills from seasoned professionals in the field of filmmaking.
  1. Develop your storytelling abilities: Hone your ability to craft compelling narratives that reflect the richness and diversity of your communities.
  1. Hands-on training: Get practical experience in all aspects of filmmaking, from scriptwriting and directing to cinematography and editing.
  1. Collaborate with fellow filmmakers: Connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and collaborate on projects that reflect the unique stories of your cities. 
  1. Showcase your work: Have the chance to showcase your films to a wider audience through local screenings and online platforms.

Stories from Our Cities

There is an urgent need to improve the understanding of the power of communication and media among the youth in Kenya. This has led to the increased desire to learn and explore media-related issues, which has, in turn, encouraged local organizations and individuals to look for tools that would satisfy this growing trend. However, most youths have been left behind and lack of resources has hindered the advancement by this group in these skills.

Stories from our cities put together a series of capacity building photography workshops in the cities in Kenya and beyond. These are hands-on workshop using a participatory learning approach and the results are exhibitions within the participating cities.

The exhibition will present use a range of media content to tell stories from the cities as seen through the eyes of workshop participants. Amongst the content themes for the exhibition will be: identity; culture; urbanization topics – e.g. infrastructure, economy, leisure, city by day/night; wealth/poverty; diversity of cultures etc. The content of the exhibition should go some way to representing the nature of life in the respective Cities from the perceptions of the participants through their talent and creativity.

To Participate or Donate in SEMA Youth Film Festival


Here are some of the short films made by our amazing participants in Kakamega during the SEMA NUFF IN KAKAMEGA workshop that took place in June 2023 at Mumias Cultural Center. The filmmakers through our participatory hand-on workshop did mange to develop these short film from script to screen in just 5 days. We want to thank our partner the Nordic Youth Film Festival and Canon Miraisha Programme for working with us in brining this film experience to different cities across Kenya. 

The future is Film so be ready for our next workshop which is coming to a city or town next to you and be a part of the film revolution! 


Call or email

+254 728 876972

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