Rafiki, a film by Wanuri Kahiu, is a story about two young women who fall in love, despite their families being on opposing sides of the Kenyan political divide. It is adapted from the 2007 Caine Prize-winning short story, Jambula Tree, by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko. On 12th April 2018, it was announced that it would debut at the Cannes Film Festival (in the Un Certain Regard category) in May 2018. This made it the first Kenyan feature film to achieve this feat.
On 27th April 2018, the head of Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), Ezekiel Mutua, announced that the film had been banned from screening and distribution in Kenya because of “its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law.” We are joined by Wanuri Kahiu to discuss the film, the story it tells, and what it mean whens stories that are made primarily for a Kenyan audience are denied this audience. Press play!