Award-winning Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu’s has been under fire on social media for saying that she did not get support from Kenyans for her film ‘Rafiki’.
This after a publication by The Star reported that Wanuri said that she did not receive support from Kenyans for Rafiki something that she vehemently called out the newspaper for. She lashed out at the newspaper for lying to the public on the article and that they never interviewed her.
However, Wanuri was caught in her lies Monday after video emerged on social media of Wanuri’s lecture to a packed auditorium in the United Kingdom in which she blamed Kenyans for not supporting her work. “The reason ‘Rafiki’ is not watched in Kenya is that Kenyans didn’t advocate for it,” she told the audience.
It was, therefore, a shocker when the video of Wanuri’s speech emerged on social media claiming lack of support from Kenyans. She was forced to delete several tweets she had posted defending herself from making the claims. She later rectified that the Kenyan audience supported the film and made it one of the highest grossing Kenyan films in the opening week.
“I am incredibly grateful to their support and continue to make work that shows us as joyful, vibrant people.”
The film is about a young gay couple in a nation where gay sex is still a criminal offense. Early last year, the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) demanded that she edits out parts of the film that were deemed to promote lesbianism, contrary to the law and values of the Kenyans.
Wanuri refused and the film was banned nationwide. She went to the High Court in September 2018 and got temporary orders lifting the ban to allow the movie to be considered for an award at the Oscars.
Wanuri received overwhelming support from Kenyans who flocked cinema theatres to watch the movie after the court lifted the ban. Kenyans were also vocal on social media in condemning KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua for slapping the ban on the movie.