Court lifts ban on lesbian-themed film ‘Rafiki’ to give chance at Oscars

The High Court in Nairobi has suspended the ban on Rafiki film for seven days to allow the lesbian themed film a chance to qualify for the Oscars.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany, in her ruling, said that she is not convinced that Kenya is a weak society whose morals will be weakened by watching the movie.

While directing that the film be opened for viewing by adults only, the judge said that the movie cannot dictate the choice of an adult on whether to watch it or not.

Renowned filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu sued the Kenya government after the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) banned the film citing that it promotes lesbianism contrary to the law.

For Rafiki to be eligible for best foreign-language film Oscar consideration, it must be screened in Kenya before September 30.

“The Board has restricted a local film titled ‘Rafiki’ produced by Awali Entertainment Ltd. Its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya is contrary to the law,” KFCB said.

Wanuri expressed her dismay at the ban saying: “Kenyans are mature and discerning enough to watch local content but their right has been denied.”

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