26 June 2018

Kenyan Gay Film Director Wanuri Kahiu Admitted to Academy

Photo: Ghana Star
The Oscars

The director of Kenyan-mad gay film 'Rafiki' Wanuri Kahiu has become the only Kenyan to be named a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.

The Academy announced a record-breaking 928 new members in an increased push for diversity.

The Academy is known for its annual Academy Awards, officially known as "The Oscars".

Wanuri joins other bigwig international industry players including Daniel Kaluuya, Tiffany Haddish, Amy Schumer, Emilia Clarke, Andre Holland and Trevante Rhodes.

Ms Wanuri made headlines after her film was banned locally by the Kenya Film Classification Board.

KFCB chief executive Ezekiel Mutua argued that the film sought to "normalise homosexuality in Kenya" and condemned it for showing "the resilience of the youngsters involved in lesbianism."

The film however premiered at the prestigious Cannes film festival in France where the crew accompanied by Ms Wanuri received a standing ovation.

'Rafiki' -- meaning "friend" in Swahili -- is adapted from a prize-winning short story called 'Jambula Tree' by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko.

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