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'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

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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