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Ezekiel Mutua’s doublespeak on ‘Rafiki’ leaves Kenyans confused

Kenya Films and Classification Board CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua addresses a recent press conference in Mombasa. PHOTO LABAN WALLOGA
Kenya Films and Classification Board CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua addresses a past conference in Mombasa. PHOTO LABAN WALLOGA
Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua has been chided for being two-sided with regards to the now banned Kenyan film 'Rafiki'.

Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua has been chided for being two-sided with regards to the now banned Kenyan film Rafiki.

Just a week after praising the producer of the film, Wanuri Kahiu, Mutua on Friday banned the production whose content he claims promotes lesbianism.

Mutua, during an interview with Hot 96 on April 17, waxed lyrical about Kahiu’s talent which he compared to that of Oscar winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.

He described Kahiu as a “goddess in the Kenyan film industry” whose work was unmatched adding that she had mentored fellow filmmakers.

Mutua during the same interview said he had a meeting with Kahiu and knew that her movie was telling the story of young Kenyans as it is.

“It’s (Rafiki) a story about the realities of our time and the challenges that our kids are facing especially with their sexuality and issues of homosexuality. It’s a story put in context that speaks about our reality and the challenges our kids are facing and we are trying to sweep it under the carpet and make it look like that it’s not happening or we react with shock and we forget its actually a reality,” said Mutua.

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He added that KFCB was handling the aspect of classification and once they gave the decision the film would be their story.

Mutua also said the film had already been nominated and it was upon Kenyan to start celebrating it.

But on Friday the KFCB boss was singing a different tune while slapping a ban on the film whose depiction of homosexual practice, he said, runs counter to the laws and the culture of Kenyan people.

“It is our considered view that the moral of the story in this film is to legitimize lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law and the board’s content classification guidelines,” Mutua’s statement read in part.

The film was adapted from the short story Jambula Tree by Uganda’s Monica Arac de Nyeko, which was awarded the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing in 2007.

On social media Kenyans were left confused by Mutua’s doublespeak.

 



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