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Kenyan Film Director is on a Mission to Break Stereotypes

The director of the first Kenyan film to ever be selected for the Cannes Film Festival is on a mission to make the the image of Africa “fun, joyous and full of hope”.

Ahead of her film, Rafiki, being premiered in Cannes on Wednesday, Wanuri Kahiu told AFP that the idea of modern Africa is riddled with stereotypes.

“Africa is always depicted as a place with lots of pain, suffering, war and disease,” she said. “Usually when you see Africans you see them in villages carrying water on their head. I have never carried water on my head in my life.”


“We want to celebrate African urban pop culture.”

Her film is a step in that direction. It follows the love story of two middle class, music-obsessed Nairobi girls.

But the film was banned by the head of the Kenyan Film Classification Board, Ezekiel Mutua, for its “happy ending” and showing “the resilience of the youngsters involved in lesbianism”.

“They said it wasn’t remorseful enough, “Mrs Kahiu said. “But it’s important to fight for joy.”


Written by How Africa

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