Kenya: Lesbian love movie director sues Kenya to lift ban on Rafiki

A film writer whose recent piece of work was banned by the Kenya Films Classification Board over claims that its content promotes lesbianism has taken her protests to the corridors of justice.

Together with a lobby dubbed Creative Economy Working Group, Ms Wanuri Kahiu sued KFCB and its boss Ezekiel Mutua over a film called Rafiki.

They want the High Court to temporarily lift the ban since it was to be submitted to the 2019 Oscars Award as Kenya’s entry to the Best Foreign language film category.

They also want the Kenya Films Classification guidelines 2012 to be declared illegal and that they should be awarded Sh8.5 million as compensation for projected sale from theatrical distribution of Rafiki as well as loss of sponsorship.


“If this matter is not certified urgent and heard on a priority basis, it would be rendered nugatory because Ms Kahiu’s film would be left out of the competition,” said lawyers Waikwa Wanyoike and Sofia Rajab-Leteipan for the petitioners.

Entries for the said award close by September 30 whilst the ban was imposed on April 26.

Rafiki is a love story of two teenage girls who develop a romantic relationship, which is opposed by their families and community.

In the film, directed, written and co-produced by Ms Kahiu, the girls are separated by their communities.

The film was adapted from the short story Jambula Tree by Uganda’s Monica Arac de Nyeko, which was awarded the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing in 2007.

Read more via Nairobi News

Wanuri Kahiu's lesbian love story 'Rafiki' is the first Kenyan feature to ever screen at Cannes.