21 September 2018

Kenya: We're Watching You, Kenya's Films Chief Warns Cinemas On 'Rafiki' Screening

Photo: Supplied
Promotional image from Rafiki.

Kenya Film Classification Board chief executive Ezekiel Mutua has rebuffed a high court ruling that lifted its ban on Rafiki, a gay romance film.

Mutua said in a tweet: "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."

"What pleasure, pray, does a person of a sane mind find in watching girls having sex with other girls?" he posed.

A high court ruling Friday suspended KFCB ban on Rafiki for a week to enable the film's producer to submit it for next year's Oscars.

The director Wanuri Kahiu, was overjoyed by the verdict and tweeted: "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."

But, Mutua is displeased saying if people wanted to watch it in their homes, that was fine.

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"We are watching to see which public theatre will exhibit it without the Board's approval," he added.

He accused foreign non-governmental organisations of using gay content as a tool for marketing the film industry in Kenya.

The film -- adapted from an award-winning short story Jambula Tree by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko -- is based on the love story of two women.

Homosexuality is banned in Kenya and many countries in Africa and gay people face discrimination and or persecution.

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