Harrington Nastwituri | Cowboy

The streets of Matero, Zambia. A man dressed in country western gear sidles up next to directors Eric Scott Johnson and Seth Carver. His request? Would they be willing to film him perform a song he wrote?

It’s not exactly the sort of “client” we’re used to, but inspiration comes in many forms. In this case, it came in the form of Harrington Nastwituri, a talented, soulful singer-songwriter whose roadside performance that day, simply put, blew us away. Inspired by his deceased mother’s love of honky-tonk and the collection of cassette tapes he replays in her memory, Harrington’s music harkens back to a bygone era, and the short performance we reactively filmed was a fascinating juxtaposition of cultures, soul, and skill. We gifted him the film on an iPad, thanked him, and said goodbye.

Months later, we got an unexpected call. Harrington had travelled to CBCTVheadquarters (Zambia’s MTV equivalent) where programmers agreed to air the video. He was now performing at venues across the country.

Our unlikely friendship continues to this day, and stands as a testimony to an ancient piece of filmmaking wisdom: when a cowboy with a guitar on the streets of Zambia asks you for something, play along.

An Airport Reunion

We caught up with Harrington on a return trip to Zambia and captured a few random clips of the reunion. He brought his iPad – filled with pictures and videos from his newly minted music career.