Lesbian movie #Rafiki eligible for Oscars after Kenya temporarily lifts ban

PUBLISHED: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 15:49:48 GMT

NAIROBI (Reuters) – A Kenyan judge temporarily lifted a ban on an acclaimed lesbian movie on Friday, making it eligible to be entered for a Foreign Language Oscar, delighting the filmmakers but angering the censor.

“Rafiki” – “Friend” in Swahili – premiered at Cannes, the first Kenyan film to be selected by the prestigious festival, but it was banned at home on the grounds that it promotes homosexuality, a criminal offence under a colonial-era law.

“During the seven day suspension period the film shall only be open for viewing to willing adults only”, Justice Wilfrida Okwany told a packed courtroom in Nairobi.

Okwany said the makers of the film were “hereby allowed to admit the film” to Kenya’s Oscars selection committee.

A Nairobi cinema announced it would screen the movie from Sunday.

Reporting by John Ndiso; Additional reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

Sign Up for Our Newsletter Daily Update
Get the best of CNBC Africa sent straight to your inbox with breaking business news, insights and updates from experts across the continent.
Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about about our products and services. By signing up for newsletters, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.