Wanuri Kahiu's 'RAFIKI' Has Been Banned In Kenya
The Kenya Film Classification Board said the film "seeks to legitimize lesbian romance."
Kenyan storyteller Wanuri Kahiu's film RAFIKI was hit with a huge blow today ahead of its Cannes premiere.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) said the film has been banned because it "seeks to legitimize lesbian romance," BBC reports. They also warn that anyone found in possession of the film would be in breach of the law in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by 14 years.
The @InfoKfcb has banned the film "RAFIKI" due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Ke… https://t.co/aQIApHTnKI— KFCB (@KFCB)1524830528.0
Kahiu says on Twitter that this ban prevents Kenyans the right to decide the content they want to view.
I am incredibly sorry to announce that our film RAFIKI has been banned in Kenya. We believe adult Kenyans are matur… https://t.co/7spTgDs8Ua— Wanuri (@Wanuri)1524807602.0
"I'm really disappointed because Kenyans already have access to watch films that have LGBT content on Netflix, and in international films shown in Kenya and permitted by the classification board itself," Kahiu says to Reuters. "So to then just ban a Kenyan film because it deals with something already happening in society just seems like a contradiction."
Watch the trailer below:
BBC reports supporters of the film have criticized the ban on social media, including Kenya's National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
This isn't the only time the KFCB banned content on this same token; preventing access to American children's shows The Legend of Korra and Hey Arnold for showing "disturbing content glorifying homosexual behavior." In 2016, the KFCB forced Coca-Cola to scrap a kissing scene in a television ad because it "violated family values."