The Kenyan High Court on September 21st temporarily lifted the ban by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) on Rafiki film to allow it to be considered for an award at the Oscars.
Following the high court ruling, an angry CEO of KFCB Dr. Ezekiel Mutua said that it would be a tragedy and a shame to have homosexual films defining the Kenyan culture. “That’s not who we are and homosexuality is not our way of life,” Mutua tweeted. He also wondered what pleasure, pray, does a person of a sane mind find in watching girls having sex with other girls? “Shame on those foreign NGOs who want to use gay content as a tool for marketing the film industry in Kenya. SHINDWE!,” he added. He said that his commission was watching to see which public theatre will exhibit it without the Board’s approval, “If people want to screen the homosexual film in their houses that’s fine”, Business Daily Africa reported.
The @InfoKfcb has banned the film “RAFIKI” due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law and dominant values of the Kenyans. #KFCBbansLesbianFilm Dr. @EzekielMutua @moscakenya @PresidentKE @WilliamsRuto @wanuri @NellyMuluka pic.twitter.com/9hBQOukHv3
— KFCB (@InfoKfcb) April 27, 2018
The Monica Arac Nyeko written film was banned in April for it’s storyline of two women falling in love. Justice Wilfrida Okwany lifted the ban for seven days, during which she has allowed it to be screened to willing adults. According to Ms. Kahiu and the lobby, the ban on the film is contrary to the freedom of artistic creativity.
RAFIKI SHOWING EXCLUSIVELY AT PRESTIGE CINEMA
Friday28TH /Saturday 29TH: 12.50pm pic.twitter.com/WSlgViZa8B
— PrestigeCinema (@PrestigeCine) September 21, 2018
The film sold out its first screenings on Sunday and has been well-received by audiences, Reuters reports. In response to the increased interest, Nairobi’s Prestige Cinema has added more screenings and the film will be shown through September 29.
It’s a movie for those who have cried every night because of the reckless slurs thrown their way to hurt them,
For those who have to hide for fear of their lives,
For those who have been judged by their loved ones
For those who religion has been forced down their throats pic.twitter.com/2O2L5RvIpI
— KIOKO (@Sherr_16) September 24, 2018
Good morning! I’m at Prestige Plaza in Nairobi, the only theatre showing #Rafiki in Kenya. It’s just after 10am, and this is the situation ahead of the first showing – lots of ppl trying to get tickets: pic.twitter.com/BZl2xcksSb
— Tamerra Griffin (@tamerra_nikol) September 23, 2018