She’s celebrated abroad – but at home in Kenya, the director’s film Rafiki has been banned for ‘promoting lesbianism

‘I’m going to start crying,” says Wanuri Kahiu, waggling her hands and smiling. She’s telling me about a Twitter thread in which a bunch of people responded to the question “What was the happiest day of your life?” A young Kenyan woman replied: “Watching Rafiki with my mother and coming out.”

Rafiki is Kahiu’s new film – a gorgeous romance about two teenage girls falling in love in Nairobi. It’s a sweet movie, with a sex scene so tame you could watch it with an elderly relative. But in Kenya, a conservative society where 534 people were arrested for same-sex relationships between 2013 and 2017, Rafiki has been banned.

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