Finally, Kenyans had the right to discover Rafiki, a film about a lesbian love in Nairobi, at the cinema… from 23 to 29 September only. A small week in which, following a complaint filed by the filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu, 38 years old, for the infringement of his freedom of creation, justice has lifted the censorship on this story presented in may at the Cannes film Festival and is currently distributed in twenty countries (including France, since 26 September). These seven days of broadcast in his country were necessary for the film to be able to apply to a selection for the Oscars. Agitation on social networks
Economically liberal, the kenyan society is, however, conservative. Homosexuality was criminalized under a law inherited from the british colonization, is rejected by a large part of the population. President Uhuru Kenyatta has said several times that its legalization was ” not a subject “, in particular during a visit to Nairobi of Barack Obama in 2015. During the brief appearance of the film on the screens, the shaking was certain : ovations on social networks, sessions in the attic, a single place – the Prestige Plaza, Nairobi, regular support of local productions – and then three, and then five have put in the displays that chronicle a Nairobi modern, where Kena and Ziki, two young girls of the same neighborhood, fall in love despite the forbidden. Besides the screenings, public or private, cultural institutions and associations of LGBT people. According to the producers, the film has attracted 6 500 spectators and was on the top of the box office, ” recalling an effervescence that the Prestige Plaza had hitherto known with Black Panther “, beginning 2018, a blockbuster american and the greatest success ever known in Kenya.
” Our parents are in substance in the church, the religion. When they were young, there was neither Internet nor phone ! There is no chance that they would go to see “Rafiki”. “Fiona Kiautha, student
This boiling does not touch all of the world. At Prestige Plaza, there were few spectators over the age of 30 years. In the smell of popcorn, hurried the youth, rather easy, this capital city of over 4 million inhabitants, addicted to WhatsApp and YouTube. And at odds with his elders. “We are much more exposed, more open. We know that there is homosexuality in society, tells Fiona Kiautha, 23 years old, law student. Our parents have not received the same education, they are at the bottom in the church, the religion. When they were young, there was neither Internet nor phone ! There is no chance that they would go to see Rafiki. “As dozens of young, exhausted, sprawled on the red sofas at the entrance of the cinema, she arrived too late to get a ticket ; she plans to come back the next day for not to miss the film, but” without [his] parents “.
Read also : The justice rose to a seven-day ban in Kenya from the movie “Rafiki”
so far, Rafiki has not given rise to real debate at the national level. The mainstream media have given little space, with the exception of some tv channels targeting the youth. Beyond the indifference overall, the censorship board (KFCB), which had banned the film because of ” its obvious purpose is to promote lesbianism in Kenya “, has received many supports from viewers, who see in it a bulwark against of the ideas ” from the outside “.
” The KFCB has the sacred duty to protect the morality of Kenya through the regulation of films and broadcast content “, said one of them, in a Tweet along with the hashtag #KFCBWinOverRafiki (KFCB wins on Rafiki). The latter has flourished in the end of the week, referring to the announcement of the selection of another film, Supa Modo, to represent Kenya at the upcoming Oscars. Last sequence of a wild week for Rafiki, again censored in its own country.