Kenya Film Classification Board Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ezekiel Mutua is under fire for banning ‘Rafiki’, a gay themed Kenyan film.
Part of the statement on the film’s banning read:
The Kenya Film Classification Board would like to announce that a local film titled ‘Rafiki’ produced by Awali Entertainment Ltd and directed by Wanuri kahiu has been RESTRICTED due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law.
Consequently, the said film should not be distributed, exhibited or broadcast anywhere within the Republic of Kenya and anyone found in possession of it will be in breach of law.
Kenyans have not taken the ban kindly, with many terming it as retrogressive. Many on social media have vowed to look for the film and watch it in defiance of the ban.
The LGBT issue is still touchy in many parts of Africa and homophobia is openly expressed.
A while back, then US President Barack Obama tried to raise the gay rights issue in his address with his host, President Uhuru Kenyatta. The latter brushed it off, famously terming it as a ‘non-issue’ for Kenyans.
Gay persons are openly held in contempt and are at times roughed up by authorities and the general public. Case in point is Uganda, where in February 2014 gay persons were outed in a local daily and some arrested on arbitrary charges.
This is not the first time KFCB is banning a film for ‘deviant’, ‘nudity’ or ‘sexual’ content.
Some international films and TV shows banned in the country include ‘Loud House’ ‘The Legend of Korra’ ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and ‘The Wolf of Wallstreet’ ‘Paradise Love’ and ‘Mon Amour.’