Banned Kenyan lesbian film claims for an award


The star of lesbian love story Rafiki, Samantha Mugatsia, has won the best actress award at Africa’s largest film festival, even though the lesbian storyline caused a ban on the film being screened in the country where it was created. The actress picked up the honor at FESPACO (Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou) in Burkina Faso earlier this month, according to BBC news. “The oldest African film festival acknowledged a queer character and awarded @S_Mugatsia for her depiction! Well done @S_Mugatsia!!! So proud! So proud! Queerness cannot be silenced!” the film director Wanuri Kahiu wrote on Twitter, claiming to be happy, overwhelmed and unable to hold tears. “Winning Best Actress for RAFIKI at FESPACO is monumental. It is not only a recognition of Kenya’s artistry and adds Kenya to the history of African cinema, but a huge recognition of Freedom of Expression within Africa,” the filmmaker added, “We have the RIGHT to tell our stories, because they are precisely that — OURS. We have the RIGHT to have all voices heard because they are OURS. We have the RIGHT to create, because that’s how we share our humanity with the rest of the world.”


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