SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Kenya lifts ban on lesbian film 'Rafiki' making it eligible for Oscars

A Kenyan high court has temporarily lifted the ban on 'Rafiki' a movie about love between two women.T...

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 8:40 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 8:41 PM

A Kenyan high court has temporarily lifted the ban on 'Rafiki' a movie about love between two women.

The ruling will allow Kenyan adults to view the movie for the first time in the country for just one week.

Africa

Arts and entertainment

Cannes

Cannes Film Festival

Censorship

Continents and regions

Demographic groups

Eastern Africa

Europe

Festivals

Film festivals

France

Gays and lesbians

Kenya

Movies

Population and demographics

Sex and gender issues

Society

Western Europe

Academy Awards

Awards and prizes

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Entertainment and arts awards

Law and legal system

Law courts and tribunals

Media industry

Movie and video industry

Movie awards

The film was banned by Kenya's Film and Classification Board (KFCB) in April because of its lesbian theme.

Kenya's Film and Classification Board (KFCB) said 'Rafiki' was banned because of intent to "promote lesbianism," in the country.

"The film has been restricted due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law," a statement from the board said.

Its director Wanuri Kahiu filed a lawsuit earlier this month challenging the censorship board's ruling.

Kahiu's lawyers argued that banning the film violated her constitutional right to free speech and free expression as an artist.

Reacting to the high court judgment, Kahiu posted an emotional statement on Twitter.

"I am crying. In a french airport. In SUCH Joy! Our constitution is STRONG! Give thanks to freedom of expression!!!! WE DID IT! We will be posting about Nairobi screening soon," she said.

The court decision now makes 'Rafiki' eligible to be submitted for the Best Foreign Language film at next year's Academy Awards.

According to the Academy's rules, a film must be shown in the country where it was produced for seven consecutive days to be eligible.

The film will now be screened in the Kenyan capital Nairobi from September 23 until September 29, Kahiu said.

The movie made history in May this year as the first Kenyan movie to premiere at the Cannes film festival.

Inspired by the 2007 Caine Prize short story winner "Jambula Tree" by Ugandan writer Monica Arac Nyeko, 'Rafiki' which means 'friend' in Swahili is the story of friendship and tender love that grows between two young women amidst family and political pressures, according to the film's promotional material.

Being gay in Kenya

Kenya is highly conservative, and a vast majority of people hold negative views about LGBT people.

Kenya's penal code criminalizes "carnal knowledge against the order of nature." Anyone found engaging in gay or lesbian activities could face up to 14 years in prison.

Prompted by public uproar, the police arrested two men in 2015 and conducted forced anal examinations on them to prove they were gay.

In March this year, anal examinations were ruled unconstitutional by a Mombassa court of appeal. The court found that conducting forced anal examinations on people accused of same-sex relations is illegal, according to Human Rights Watch.

The ruling reversed a 2016 High Court decision that had upheld the Kenyan authorities' use of forced anal exams on men suspected of being gay.

Why was "Rafiki" banned?

The board said 'Rafiki' had same-sex scenes and undertones which were not in the script initially submitted for approval.

The director was asked to remove the scenes, but she refused.

The KFCB said in the statement that foreign sponsors who intend to introduce and normalize homosexuality in Kenya through movies should desist from such acts.

"Kenya is a country with a culture, beliefs and shared values which must be respected," it said.

"Hare-brained schemes by foreigners funding film producers in Kenya to promote homosexuality in the name of equality and inclusion will be exposed and strongly resisted," a spokesman for the board said.

Ezekiel Mutua who heads the censorship board said police would be present during the screening of 'Rafiki,' to ensure that only people over 18 were watching the film.

"It's a shame that someone thinks that gay content is what should define the success of the film industry in Kenya. Nollywood is doing wonders, and they don't pride in such nonsense!" he posted in a tweet.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 30°
Angola
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 28°
Huntington
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 30°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 30°
Lima
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 22°
Dry start to Monday, snow/freezing rain moves in late
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events