Nark-Kenya leader Martha Karua says she has watched proscribed Kenyan lesbian-themed romance film ‘Rafiki.’
Karua, a lawyer by profession, said she watched the film after US-based Kenyan scholar Makau Prof. Mutua shared a link of the movie on Twitter last week.
Through Twitter on Thursday, May 7th, Karua gave her opinion on the film that was banned by Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Ezekiel Mutua in 2018 over claims of promoting homosexuality, which is illegal in Kenya.
Karua wrote: “Thanks for sharing, Prof. Enjoyed watching this well-acted production by Wanuri.”
She added: “Our double standards on what is appropriate/acceptable for viewing is our undoing.”
But a Twitter user begged to disagree with Karua, noting: “On this, Mama, let’s just agree to disagree. Let male human beings remain male as female ones also remain female. Some behaviors have been assigned the males; others the females. Let it remain so.”
In response, Karua said “the movie does not ask you to behave in any particular way just like when you watch the violent movies on our screens daily there is no requirement that you become a batterer or murderer.”
Last week, High Court Justice J. A Makau upheld the ban imposed on the movie, saying it did not violate artistic freedom of expression and that it was meant to protect the society from moral decay. He noted that the petitioners failed to prove how the ban violated the right of expression.
“The jurisdiction of the court was prematurely invoked. Freedom of Expression is not absolute, but subject to limitations under article 24,” the judge said.
“Kenya Film and Stage Play Act – Cap 222 and the Kenya Film Classification Board Classification Guidelines 2012 are constitutional and do not offend Article 24. The discretion of the Kenya Film Classification Board to restrict Rafiki is constitutional. Petition dismissed in its entirety with costs.”
The film, which tells the story of a young lesbian couple in Nairobi, was a major success abroad. It became the first Kenyan film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France.