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


  1. “ The film shall only be open for viewing to willing adults only”. Adults have rights to adulthood experiences, without penalties from other adults who choose not to partake such experiences…period. None of the huge number of Religious Views have managed Society, and do not, and cannot change the facts of Human Nature,…period,…where in, attempts to control the freedoms of others, mainly, for profits and or lazy persons has not proven themselves Erudite. But, suffer from PSYCHOSIS : Any severe mental disorder in which contact with Reality is lost or highly distorted,..and claim to know a certain god. Women have Human Rights and to freedom of expression, and remain my Sisters, so, spending time investing in Reality is a good cognitive investment. Furthermore, Religion is not prescribed in any Superior Scripture.

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