‘Rafiki’ gets sold out after Kenya lifts ban on Oscar-considered film

‘Rafiki’ gets sold out after Kenya lifts ban on Oscar-considered film

The lesbian-themed film, which was banned in Kenya, has sold out all its planned sessions after a court temporarily suspended the ban.

Rafiki became the first Kenyan film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival and hopes to compete for next year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar. But the Kenyan government banned the film because of its ‘homosexual theme’.

But to be eligible for an Oscar nomination in that category, films have to screen in their home country for at least seven days. So, the movie’s director, Wanuri Kahiu took the government to court to overturn the ban. Last week, a court ruled that Rafiki could be screened in Kenya for seven days, thus making it eligible for the Oscars.

“Gay themes or the practice of homosexuality did not begin with Rafiki,” Judge Okwanny said in her ruling. “I am not convinced that Kenya is such a weak society that its moral foundation will be shaken by seeing such a film.”

Rafiki hit theaters on 22 September, selling out so quickly that producers have had to schedule more screenings to keep up with demand.

One member of Kenya’s LGBTI community explained why seeing Rafiki was so important.

“This week means so much to so many people,” Vicky told Thomson Reuters Foundation. “People can see themselves on screen and they can know that it is okay to express themselves in that way.”

Rafiki tells the story of best friends Kena and Ziki. The women wish for something different from becoming good Kenyan wives. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and support each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two will have to choose between happiness and safety.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous Nollywood And The Homosexual Nigerian
Next Seeing Without Knowing

About author

You might also like

The Happenings 15 Comments

Uganda holds its first gay pride following overturn of anti-gay law

Uganda has hosted its first gay pride rally since a draconian anti-homosexuality law was overturned by the courts. Sandra Ntebi, organiser of the rally held on Saturday in Entebbe, 35km

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The Happenings 19 Comments

The Grindr Hookup Who Came For Sex And Is Still Around Days Later

Love it or hate it, most people on Grindr are there for casual hookups. That doesn’t mean things can’t develop into more than that. Sometimes they do, and in very

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The Happenings 8 Comments

Little Richard Says He’s Not Gay Anymore

Little Richard, who has previously described himself as both “gay” and “omnisexual,” has a new outlook on life at 84 years old. During a sit-down with 3ABN, the icon shared

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 Comments

  1. Mandy
    September 25, 08:35 Reply

    I won’t be surprised if there aren’t also Kenyan homophobes rushing to go see the film. Africans can be such hypocrites

  2. Quinn
    September 25, 22:51 Reply

    this is such a good step in the right direction, now if it’ll come to our ‘beloved country’

Leave a Reply