Ezekiel Mutua bans Kenyan film about lesbians

Friday April 27 2018

Rafiki movie

Ziki and Kena (centre) the lead actors in Rafiki. PHOTO | COURTESY  

By THOMAS RAJULA
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The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has banned a film titled 'Rafiki'.

KFCB chief executive Ezekiel Mutua said the agency banned the film because it contains homosexual scenes which he said is illegal in Kenya.

Rafiki, which means "friend" in Kiswahili, tells the story of two young women who fall in love.

The film, directed by Wanuri Kahiu is set to premiere at this year’s 71st Cannes Film Festival next month.

It is the first Kenyan feature film to receive such an invitation from the biggest and most prestigious film festival in the world.

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Dr Mutua said the film’s homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya is contrary to the law.

In a series on tweets, Dr Mutua said,

“Rafiki contains homosexual scenes that are against the law, the culture and the moral values of the Kenyan people. The film seeks to overtly promote lesbianism.

“We will not allow the creation, distribution, broadcast, exhibition or possession of any film that offends the sensibilities of the Kenyan people.

“The objective is clearly to normalize homosexuality in Kenya and the message in the story is to celebrate the resilience of youngsters involved in lesbianism. These are material alterations without full disclosure on the nature of the film,” he said.

Dr Mutua claimed the producers altered the film script which they submitted for licensing to the agency without permission.

The film agency said it is planning to pursue legal means to hold the producers accountable for making material alterations to the script they had produced for classification initially and coming up with a product whose theme and intention is contrary to that information.