Sickle Cell: The Enemy Within - BBC Africa Eye documentary


Diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at the age of 6 months, Lea Kilenga was told by doctors she would not live to see her teenage years. Now in her early-thirties, Lea is determined to prove her detractors wrong. She signs up for a half-marathon against the advice of her doctor so as to raise awareness about others like herself. Her brother Paul joins her for the marathon which ends up being a near-death experience for Lea. Forced to move back home to Taita Taveta, the experience strengthens Lea’s resolve to advocate for better health care in her community that has high rates of sickle cell anemia in the country.

Impact statement

The making of the film Sickle Cell: The Enemy Within started in 2016 as a passion project of Lea Kilenga Bey. This was to inform, educate and raise awareness about Sickle Cell and bring it to the attention of Ministry of Health, philanthropists, policy makers and donors. The film was launched on BBC Africa Eye and we intend to run a one-year impact campaign around the film.

The impact campaign allows us to take this film and screen it in sickle cell communities and platforms across Africa and the world.

It is a conversation starter and allows us to hold governments to account on providing sickle cell care in their countries.

Bring the film to your community

We’d love to collaborate with communities, schools and organisations to bring more awareness to sickle cell.

If you are interested in hosting a screening for ‘Lea: Sickle Cell, The Enemy Within’ please fill out the form below and we will be in touch shortly!


  • Director : Kenneth Jura
  • Producer : Sam Soko
  • Executive Producers : Judy Kibinge, Peter Mudamba, Bramwel Iro
  • Editors : Mwakesi Mwakale
  • D.O.P : Joel “Ingo” Ngui
  • Location sound : Edward Ahenda, Brian Ombok, Stephen Misiati
  • Line Producer : Ruth Munyiri
  • Production Managers : Ivy Kiru, Ruth Munyiri
  • Communications & Impact : Chloe Genga, Lucky Mwachi


The film could not have been possible without the generous support of Docubox and BBC Africa Eye.

For more updates on the film, follow the film on social media. Please DONATE to support.

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