Kenyan 'Rafiki' film ban lifted for a week

Friday September 21 2018

A scene in Rafiki film. It is based on the love

A scene in Rafiki film. It is based on the love story of two women. PHOTO | NMG 

By The EastAfrican
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A high court in Kenya has temporarily lifted the ban on Rafiki film to enable its producer to submit it for next year's Academy Awards, the Oscars.

The film, suspended in April by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), is now permitted to be viewed in Kenya for seven days.

KFCB cited homosexual scenes for banning the film.

But its director Wanuri Kahiu said the regulations under which Rafiki was banned "are a threat to freedom of artistic creativity and freedom of the media."

Justice Wilfred Okwany said the film can be viewed by willing adults only, citing Kenyan artistes who have had to flee the country because their creations went against the grain of societal expectations.

The film — adapted from an award-winning short story Jambula Tree by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko — is based on the love story of two women.

Rafiki premiered to much acclaim and rave reviews at this year’s 71st Cannes Film Festival in May.

Homosexuality is banned in many countries in Africa and gay people face discrimination and or persecution.

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