Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Rafiki (lit. "Friend") is a 2018 Kenyan drama film directed by Wanuri Kahiu.[1] Inspired by Ugandan Monica Arac de Nyeko's 2007 Caine Prize Winning short story "Jambula Tree", Rafiki is the story of friendship and tender love that grows between two young women, Kena and Ziki, amidst family and political pressures. The film had its international premiere in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[2][3]

Film poster
Directed by Wanuri Kahiu
Produced by Steven Markovitz
Written by Wanuri Kahiu
Starring Samantha Mugatsia
Sheila Munyiva
Release date
  • 9 May 2018 (2018-05-09) (Cannes)
Country Kenya
Language English

Rafiki was banned by the Kenya's Film and Classification Board (KFCB) "due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law"[4]. KFCB warned that anyone found in possession of the film would be in breach of the law in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by 14 years in jail. The ban raised international outrage by the supporters of LGBT rights.[5][6]


  • Samantha Mugatsia as Kena
  • Sheila Munyiva as Ziki
  • Neville Masati as Blacksta
  • Nini Wacera as Mercy
  • Jimmy Gathu as John Mwaura
  • Charlie Karumi as Waireri
  • Muthoni Gathecha as Mama Atim
  • Dennis Musyoka as Peter Okemi
  • Patricia Amira as Rose Okemi


  1. ^ "Rafiki". Cannes. Retrieved 6 May 2018. 
  2. ^ "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 12 April 2018. 
  3. ^ "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018. 
  4. ^ "KFCB on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  5. ^ "Ban of Kenyan film over lesbianism criticised". Daily Nation. Retrieved 3 May 2018. 
  6. ^ "Kenya bans Rafiki ahead of Cannes debut over lesbian scenes". BBC News. Retrieved 8 May 2018. 

External linksEdit