Meet Sippy Chadhra, Director of Subira

written by Lucy Munene 25th February 2019

We sit down with writer, director and producer, Sippy Chadha to discuss life, movies and her successful movie, Subira.

Tell us a little about yourself

I come from India and I have been in Kenya for 21 years. I am married with 2 teenage children. I am the writer, director and main producer of Subira. I have been in the film industry for 10 years but I previously worked in financial services. My film company is Kaaya Films and I am very passionate about film making. Besides that, I am a certified life coach.


What are your favourite movies?

I am a movie buff so I watch many of them. Jean Pierre Junnet’s Amélie and Roma by Mexican Director Alfonso Cuarón is fabulous as well plus it just won a Golden Globe. Bollywood films that are comedies are good to watch too.


Subira received acclaim in 2008 and took the country by storm in 2018. You made a movie that resonated with audiences throughout a decade. Could you comment on this.

I am a little overwhelmed by the success of Subira. I wanted to include some of the challenges that I faced in my own life but I wanted to do it in a feel-good way. I wanted the whole world to see my point of view so I think I achieved all of that and I feel very good. I feel like I am in an unreal magical space.

Brenda Wairimu as main character, Subira

We enjoyed watching Subira’s character. She was dynamic. What inspired her character?

Subira was inspired by my own life experiences. I felt that growing up your role is so set and you’re put in this box; by this age, you study a particular type of study, by this age you get married into a particular family and you have two children (one has to be a son). I didn’t want that to define me so I used the film to say that you must live your dreams despite traditions.


What was your favourite part of the movie?

For me the best scene, I think is in act three when Subira runs away from her Nairobi family and returns to her mother’s house. At the dock, she comes to the conclusion that another world is possible you just have to believe in it and with firm steps she jumps into the ocean, dives into freedom and emerges. That whole transformational arc.


What are you expecting us, as the audience, to come away with after watching the film?

I wanted you as the audience, especially women, to just believe in yourselves and have the courage (courage was a key theme throughout the movie) to take destiny in your own hands and live your dreams. I think that is important.


Do you have any other side projects?

I’m thinking that soon, I want to start writing a blog. I have been part of the self-development industry for 21 years so I want to share with my readers stories how to overcome their fears and gain courage just like I did. I want to encourage them to keep on going and learn from them as well.

Urban Eatery


We wouldn’t be Yummy if we didn’t ask your top spots to eat.

There’s so many! Urban Eatery is one of the good ones. I like Zen Garden for Chinese food. I eat at Mediterraneo a lot, La Dolce Vita and Hob House too. Of course, I can’t forget about Art Caffe.

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