Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki takes us onto the vibrant streets of Nairobi with this tale of a dangerous love in a conservative community. Young women Kena and Ziki both want more from life than the prospect of marriage and becoming a ‘good wife’. A political rivalry between their families suggests that the girls should be enemies, but when Kena meets the free-spirited and ambitious Ziki, she is drawn to her. This will be no easy love, as the couple face pressure from their families and prejudice from the broader community. As she gently tells this story of the lovers, Kahiu cleverly showcases the distinctive aesthetic sensibility and music of Nairobi.
Unfortunately, our film has been censored in Kenya, because it deals with matters that are uncomfortable for the Kenya Film Classification Board. But I truly believe that an adult Kenyan audience is mature and discerning enough to be able to watch this film and have their own conversation. [Rafiki is] a reflection of society, and we need to be having conversations about what is happening in our society. But unfortunately, because the film has been banned, we’ll be unable to have these conversations. – Wanuri Kahiu in Variety