Lesbian romance film shows to sell-out crowd in Nairobi after court lifts ban
5 October 2018
Rafiki, an acclaimed film portraying a lesbian romance that was until Friday banned in Kenya where it was made, showed on Sunday to a cheering, sold-out audience in Nairobi. Nairobi residents will be able to watch Rafiki during daytime-only screenings at the Prestige Cinema in the capital for a week after a judge on Friday temporarily lifted a ban on the film, making it eligible to be entered for a Foreign Language Oscar.
Rafiki means “friend” in the Swahili language. To qualify as Kenya’s entry under the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2019 Academy Awards, Rafiki had to be released in the East African country. The court ruling delighted the filmmakers but angered the Kenya Film Classification Board, which banned the movie in April on the grounds that it promotes homosexuality, which is a criminal offence under a colonial-era law.