News Brief

'RAFIKI' Director Wanuri Kahiu Is Suing Kenya's Film Board to Make Way for Oscars Qualification

The Kenyan filmmaker continues to fight for her film to be screened in her home country.

Wanuri Kahiu's RAFIKI has received its due praise on the film festival circuit since her film was selected to make its world premiere at Cannes earlier this year—making it the first Kenyan feature film to do so. However, the Kenya Film Classification Board has since banned the film, citing that it "seeks to legitimize lesbian romance."

Kahiu's fight for RAFIKI to be screened in her home country has not ceased, as she announced this week at TIFF that herself and a cohort of Kenyan artists have filed a lawsuit against the board, Vanity Fair reports.


The suit demands the ban imposed on the film to be lifted in time for her to submit the film to be considered for an Oscar. It's also pushing to change the law that has been used to ban popular films and cartoons like The Wolf of Wall Street and Adventure Time.

"I don't necessarily consider myself an activist; I truly consider myself a storyteller," Kahiu says at TIFF, where her film made its North American debut. "But when somebody starts to infringe on your rights to be creative and exercise your work, that becomes a problem. That's when we decided to push back and take the Classification Board to court."

For RAFIKI to be eligible for a Best Foreign Language award, it needs to be shown in Kenya before September 30, The Hollywood Reporter adds. If the selection committee is given permission to screen the film to submit it to the Academy, RAFIKI could be the first Kenyan film to be nominated in that category.

"It's not a government's right to say what you can imagine and what you cannot imagine," Kahiu adds. "And who is allowed to exist. That's not a way that you can run a country, because we're made up of diverse people."

READ: Wanuri Kahiu Speaks on the Overwhelming Response to 'RAFIKI' at Cannes

Still from YouTube.

Diamond Platnumz & Rayvanny’s 'Mwanza' Has Been Banned In Tanzania

It's been deemed "too vulgar" to be played in the country.

Tanzania's national arts council, Baraza la Sanaa Tanzania (BASATA) has banned Diamond Platnumz and Rayvanny's latest single "Mwanza," and slapped the artists with a hefty fine due to its sexual content.

The board has ordered the label Wasafi Records to remove the track from all digital platforms, and it will no longer be played on the radio or in clubs in Tanzania, reports Kahawa Tungu. The popular song has over 2 million views on YouTube.

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Sola. Image courtesy of the artist.

Watch Sola's Striking New Video For 'Save Yourself'

We premiere the new visual from the British-Nigerian artist.

Sola is an exciting new act coming out of the London scene.

The British-Nigerian artist makes music that she calls 'warped soul'—a blend of her deep vocals with experimental electronic production and influences from afrofuturism and her Nigerian heritage.

Sola mentions Nina Simone and Sade as her main vocal influences and credits the likes of Burial, Arca and Massive Attack as inspirations behind her dark and lush beats.

Today we're premiering the new Savannah Setten-directed music video for her single, "Save Yourself," which takes viewers through a black-and-white battle with ones inner demons, eventually coming out on the other side in renewed color.

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News Brief
William Kamkwamba at TED2014 at Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash.

Chiwetel Ejiofor's Directorial Debut Based on William Kamkwamba's Amazing Story Is Heading to Netflix

"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" is due to launch in select theaters and on Netflix next year.

Just around this time last year, we got word that Nigerian-British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor would be bringing Malawian inventor William Kamkwamba's story to the big screen.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, his directorial debut, will be coming as soon as next year making its first stop at Netflix, Variety reports. The streaming service has obtained global rights with the exception of China, Japan and the U.K. (which BBC has the rights to).

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