Can You See Us: How Did the Parents Die?

Can You See Us‘ is a Netflix Zambian coming-of-age drama film directed by Kenny Mumba that tells the story of a young boy named Joseph, born with Albinism. Charting Joseph’s tumultuous childhood, the film follows him and his mother, Chama, after his father, Kennedy’s stinging abandonment. Finding a new home with a kind taxi driver, Martin, Joseph grows up under his mother’s acute care. While the world continues to be unfair and discriminatory to the kid because of his difference in appearance, Joseph learns to look after himself and finds his deep-seated passion for music.

Throughout the film, Chama and Martin consistently and deeply care for Joseph’s safety and well-being despite the latter’s lack of blood relation to him. Through their love and support, Joseph learns about the importance of kindness and recognizes his own self-worth. As such, their sudden death drastically changes the kid’s life forever. However, Chama and Martin’s unexpected departing must have left viewers wondering about the details behind their deaths. So read on to uncover the reason behind the same! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Joseph’s Parents Likely Died in a Car Accident

The story starts with Kennedy’s rejection of his family following Joseph’s birth. Kennedy mindlessly hates the innocent kid for the way that he is born and forces Chama out of their home with no regard for her or the baby’s safety. He simply calls a taxi for her and shrugs all responsibility as a father and a husband. Yet, on the day that Joseph loses his biological father, he gains Martin, his adoptive father, who loves him unconditionally.

The taxi driver who takes Chama and Joseph away from Kennedy becomes their new family by marrying Chama and raising Joseph as his own. During Joseph’s early years, Chama homeschools him and prevents him from leaving the house to mix with the other neighborhood kids. Due to her traumatic experience with Kennedy, Chama has a difficult time trusting others to treat Joseph with respect.

Still, in his optimism, Martin encourages her to allow Joseph to see the world. Where Chama is overprotective and scared, Martin remains supportive and honest with Joseph, indulging his curiosity and whims. Eventually, the two enroll Joseph in a school where he can socialize with other kids his age. Even though Joseph finds it hard to blend in with the others and gets bullied regularly, he finds an irreplaceable friend in Sharon.

Joseph continues to grow despite the numerous adversities surrounding him and shapes a happy life for himself with his parents, Sharon, and the kind old man known only as the Madman. Nevertheless, trouble knocks on his door soon when a couple of troubled youths endanger his life. As a result, Chama and Martin decide to move away from their small village to the big city, where Joseph may find a more peaceful environment.

However, tragedy strikes, taking Chama and Martin away from Joseph before the family can bring their dream to fruition. Although the reason behind their deaths is never explicitly stated in the film, we can deduce that the couple dies in a car accident. Since the two die simultaneously, they probably are together in the same accident.

Prior to their deaths, Chama travels somewhere and leaves Joseph with her sister-in-law, Brenda. Since the pair makes the decision to leave their neighborhood, they likely drive out to the city to prepare for their big move. As one of the few people with a car in the area, Martin has no trouble traveling into the city. However, somewhere along the line, the couple gets in an accident that costs them their lives.

Although Martin and Chama’s deaths are monumentally devastating for Joseph, he honors his parents by singing at their joint funeral. Furthermore, he lives by their teachings and remembers everything he has learned from them. One in particular that stands out is Martin’s lesson about how Joseph is not to blame himself for the world’s discrimination as it is only a product of other’s ignorance and fear.

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