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Wanuri Kahiu’s Lesbian Love Story “Rafiki” is the First Kenyan Feature Film to Screen at Cannes Festival

The Cannes Film Festival has released its official selection of films that will be showing and this year’s features six female filmmakers, including history-maker Wanuri Kahiu whose film ‘Rafiki’ marks the very first Kenyan feature film to debut at the festival.

According to the film’s website, Rafiki follows Kena and Ziki who, despite the political rivalry between their families, resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls are forced to choose between happiness and safety.


Wanuri says the film was inspired by the 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko‘s Jambula Tree, which chronicled a story of two girls in love in Uganda.

The filmmaker added that making a film set in Kenya, about two women in love, means challenging deep rooted cynicism about same sex relationships among actors, crew, friends, and family.

The filmmaker excitedly wrote on her Instagram page;

We did it!!!! RAFIKI my new film was invited to Cannes Film Festival!! It’s the first Kenyan feature film to be invited to the festival. What joy! And the talent…. Wa! The wondrous, special, beautiful leads… @[email protected]_munyiva the supporting cast… the crew! Thank you! Trust we will bring all our 🖤 fire to that red carpet! #AKenyanFirst#Cannes2018#Cannes2018Women

The festival is set to take pace from the 8th to 17th of May 2018.


Written by PH

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