Popular
Photo courtesy of Film Movement.

Kenya Upholds Ban on Groundbreaking Lesbian Romance Film 'Rafiki'

It's director, Wanuri Kahiu, says she's prepared to take the petition to the Supreme Court if necessary.

A screening ban on the award-winning Kenyan film, Rafiki, has been upheld in the country.

The High Court of Kenya ruled that the ban by the Kenya Film Classification Board on the 2018 film, "does not in any way violate Artistic Freedom of Expression, but instead protect the society from moral decay." Adding that the filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu had failed to prove that ban placed a limitation on her freedom of expression in her petition.

The movie, which centers a young lesbian couple in Nairobi, was considered controversial in the country where gay sex is considered a criminal offense.


Rafiki was a major success outside of Kenya, it was the first movie from the country to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France, and was considered groundbreaking for its LGBTQ storyline.

Kahiu expressed disappointment in the court's decision. "We are disappointed of course. But I strongly believe in the constitution and we are not going to give up," she told Reuters. "I think it is very important for us to define what freedom of expression means in Kenya as per our constitution. We are going to appeal. The ruling today is not a true reflection of what the constitution says."

She added that the fight to get the movie shown in Kenya isn't over and added that she's prepared to take the case to the court of appeals and the Supreme Court if necessary.

The ban was temporarily lifted for seven days in 2019 in order to allow the film to be submitted for Oscar consideration. The movie also earned a 2020 GLAAD nomination. OkayAfrica spoke with the filmmaker last May about the inspiration behind the film and the ongoing challenge to get the ban lifted in her home country. Revisit the interview down below.

Moments With: Wanuri Kahiu youtu.be

Featured
Supplied

Ugandan Sports Maven Usher Komugisha Is Preparing To Spread Her Wings

After successfully commentating at the recent Basketball Africa League held in Kigali, award-winning sports journalist and analyst Usher Komughisha is dead set on pursuing a new challenge.

Most times, when we think of sports industry personalities, especially in Africa, the first name that springs to mind is usually that of a male. Women, however, are increasingly breaking barriers and taking up their rightful positions everywhere in society. And it's so inspiring to watch!


Usher Komugisha continues to defy the odds, and she is rising to become a household name in the sports industry in Africa. If you followed the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) competition that kicked off on May 16, 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda, then you definitely know who we are talking about. With great power, control and a unique voice, Usher commanded the attention of basketball lovers in the 215 countries it was broadcasted to.

Usher's bubbly personality, which shone through when I first contacted her telephonically, brought warmth, a sense of comfort and for a minute it felt like we'd been friends for eternity. Below, she fills us in on her sports career and (near) future plans...

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: Lady Du, Amapiano’s Sultry-Voiced Superstar, Is Smashing The Glass Ceiling

In conversation with amapiano star Lady Du about her rise, spirituality and considering herself a kwaito queen.