KFCB bans Rafiki film days after Ezekiel Mutua praised director

Rafiki, the first Kenyan feature film to debut at the famous Cannes Festival, has been banned.

According to the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), the movie promotes lesbianism.

“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.

The ban came just days after Ezekiel Mutua applauded the movie’s director Wanuri Kahiu.

During an interview with Royal Media’s Jeff Koinange on Hot 96FM last week, the KFCB boss even indicated that he would be going to the Cannes in France to promote the movie.

“I had a great meeting with Wanuri Kahiu, one of the greatest Kenyans that we have in the film industry and her movie has been nominated. Cannes is big, other than the Oscars, Cannes is the best,” he said.

Wanuri, an award winning filmmaker has since expressed her dismay saying: “Kenyans are mature and discerning enough to watch local content but their right has been denied.”

Her movie has won accolades from top Hollywood actors such as Lupita Nyong’o and Kerry Washington.

The announcement on the ban has drawn mixed reactions from Kenyans including top radio host Adelle Onyango who said: “And just yesterday I was saying how I can’t wait to watch Rafiki! This is another blow to creatives, to storytellers.”

Other were of the view that morality in Kenya is questionable and there is therefore no basis for KFCB to ban the movie.

“We are not a moral country. Acheni kujidanganya. N Why does morality only come in when we are dictating to women what they can do with their bodies, whom they can sleep with?” one Gina Maha retorted.

Majority of those who supported the ban said Christian teachings outlaw lesbianism.

“Lev. 20:13, “If there is a woman who lies with a female as those who lie with a man, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltness is upon them” one Captain Machuka said on Twitter.

Nelly Muluka, who also supported the ban said: “Our culture and laws recognize family as the basic unit of society. KFCB cannot, therefore, allow Lesbian content to be accessed by children in Kenya.”

“Its against Kenyan moral values to support lesbianism & homosexuality!” Faith Kamami said.

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