After the High Court ruled to lift the ban for 7 days; Kenyans have flocked the cinema halls to watch the film that was feted at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. A large number of the cast were present at the private screening of the film at the Goethe Institute on the 25th of September 2018.
As the curious Kenyan public gathers in cinema halls to watch the story of two young girls fall in love; it is palpable in the auditorium that the screening was a historic moment for Kenya’s storytellers. Directed by Wanuri Kahiu, the screening, and many others set to take place over the next week could mean that the emotional story is eligible for an Oscar nomination. Adapted from the Ugandan novel “Jambula Tree,” the 82-minute film is set to redefine love in conservative Africa.
From conversations with The Sauce, the cast present for the iconic moment including lead actress Shiela Munyiva, who plays Ziki and Nini Wacera who plays Kena’s mother, it is clear that they are excited and proud to share their work with the Kenyan audience. Industry heavy-weight Muthoni Gathecha, Music Supervisor and actress Patricia Kihoro and Nice Githinji, were also present to share the joyous moment.
Nini Wacera spoke out against the ban stating, “I don’t listen to Ezekiel Mutua.. the ban is ridiculous. This (movie) is not about whether you are gay or not, this is about freedom of expression and as an artist, we tell stories about things that are happening in society. As filmmakers, we are activists in a way because we bring issues that need to be highlighted to the public.” She went on to add that ban fronted by the Kenya Film Classification Board and laws that continue to gag artists only serve to stifle creativity and the content that Africans project to the world.
Although the coming of age story has been popularized by the KFCB ban, the cast is keen to point out that the film is a Kenyan production, for Kenyans by Kenyans; an important accomplishment for the local industry. The film also carries through its storyline pertinent themes of family, love, courage, and heroism that are essential in a world that is often dark and dreary.
There are only a few more days are left to watch this moving picture.
Follow @RafikiMovie on Twitter for details to book your tickets.