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

Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

Thandiswa Mazwai to Host 'Play Your Part Africa' Virtual Concert

'King Tha' will commemorate Africa Day with a virtual concert set to take place on May 30th.

South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai or "King Tha" as she's affectionately known, is set to bring the Africa Month celebrations to an end with a virtual concert commemorating Africa Day this Saturday on May 30th. The "Play Your Part Africa" concert is a collaboration between Brand South Africa, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as well as Constitution Hill which has hosted major cultural and historic events over the years.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo courtesy of @sahraisha

#BlackOutEid​: Young Black Muslims Shine as They Celebrate Eid

Young Black Muslims have found creative ways to celebrate community and share their best Eid looks, even as they #StayAtHome.

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim fam! Today marks Eid al-Fitr, the official end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Despite things being a little different this year (on account of the current pandemic, of course) this hasn't stopped many from finding creative ways to fast, pray and connect with their community during these times. It certainly hasn't stopped young Black Muslims from participating in the virtual tradition known as #BlackOutEid while they continue to #StayAtHome.

#BlackOutEid is an annual celebration which highlights the diversity within the Muslim world. It began in 2015, when Aamina Mohamed created the hashtag to combat the erasure of Black people within the community. Since then, the hashtag has been used across social media with Black Muslims using it to share their sharpest Eid looks.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Rebuilding the Nigerian Fashion Industry After Coronavirus

While the style capital of Africa remains shuttered, Nigerian fashion insiders have an ambitious plan to forge an independent path in a post-COVID world.