Kenya bans lesbian love story film ‘Rafiki’ set to open at Cannes

Source: Reuters

By Maggie Fick

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan authorities have banned a film that tells the love story of two women on the grounds that it promotes lesbianism but activists said the ban would only promote interest in the movie.

“Rafiki”, a word that means friend in KiSwahili, was this week invited to premiere at next month’s Cannes Film festival — the first Kenyan film to receive such an invite.

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The Kenya Film Classification Board announced the ban on Friday and said in a tweet: “Anyone found in its possession will be in breach of law”, referring to a colonial-era Kenyan law under which gay sex is punishable by 14 years in jail.

Board spokeswoman Nelly Muluka tweeted: “Our culture and laws recognize family as the basic unit of society. “The (board) cannot, therefore, allow lesbian content to be accessed by children in Kenya.”

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