Eugene plays Amir the saviour in ‘Rakka’


South Africa-based Malawian stage, television, film and voice actor Eugene Khumbanyiwa continues his impressive exploits as he has starred in a 2017 short film titled Rakka.

The actor, popularly known for playing the role of Obesandjo in the 2009 Oscar- nominated sci-fi hit District 9, said over the weekend that he was happy to be part of Rakka.

According to available information, Rakka is a 2017 American-Canadian military science fiction short film by Oats Studios directed by Neill Blomkamp.


The short film is a tale of a dystopian future where an unknown alien group have colonised the earth and humans struggle to fight back.

The film was released on YouTube and Steam on June 14, 2017.

Eugene said the film managed to hit over a million views within two days.


Apart from starring in Rakka, Eugene, who has also featured in a lot of movies, revealed that he was currently in a South African hot shot Lockdown.

“I am currently in South African hit show called Lockdown which shows on DStv channel 161and people will watch season two in few months’ time and I am glad that producers allow me to throw in some Chichewa lines as part of my character’s dialogue,” Eugene said.

The versatile actor said it was always refreshing to use his mother tongue on an international platform, adding that “it’s a sign of being proud of where you come from.”

He said he was honoured to play a lead in Rakka which he described as an amazing movie.

“I am honoured to play a lead in such an ambitious big project alongside big Hollywood names like Sigourney Weaver. My character is Amir the saviour of mankind. The response has been great and people can just go to YouTube and search for Oats Studio’s Volume 1 Rakka and watch the film,” he said.

Eugene further said:

“Basically, Neill Blomkamp started his own studio called Oats Studios, where he can test creative sci-fi ideas with his team, make high quality and high budget short films that can be turned into full feature films. Rakka is one of them.”

“It’s about testing the audience and see if they love the project before making a big movie to be released in cinemas,” said the actor.

Eugene said Rakka shows humans in a bitter guerrilla struggle with a seemingly unstoppable alien force – a species that not only has superior technology but weird powers of mind control and telekinesis.

Eugene also said he was thankful to Malawians living in South Africa for honouring him with an Achievers Award last year.

“I am forever thankful for the support I get from my fellow countrymen, its humbling and it motivates you to keep on working hard,” he said.

According to Blomkamp, Rakka’s story sprang from his interest in making a film about the aftermath of an invasion – the occupation, and how it’s resisted – rather than the initial attack.

“For a long time, I’ve wanted to do a really unrelenting alien invasion story that would feel like it was punishing to the audience. And then I had this other thing in the back of my mind which was a science fiction, inverted version of an occupying force in a country,” Blomkamp said.

He added:

“Like, the Germans inFrance, or the way, say an Iraqi family would view Americans in the streets in 2006. I wanted a sci-fi version of that, where it sort of flips the viewer’s point of view,” Blomkamp said.

Eugene moved to South Africa in the early 2000s and worked as an information and communications technology specialist before pursuing his childhood dream of becoming a professional actor.

He started his acting career as an extra in the 2004 Oscar-nominated Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo, playing one of the hotel staff members.

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