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Rafiki

  • Romance
  • Drama
  • 2018
  • Wanuri Kahiu
  • 82 mins
  • 12A

Summary

Romantic drama starring Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva. In Nairobi, two teenage girls begin a tentative relationship, as their respective fathers engage in a race for political office.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Content trumps style in Kenyan Wanuri Kahiu's sophomore adaptation of Jambula Tree, an award-winning story by the Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko. While Kahiu and cinematographer Christopher Wessels capably capture the bustling atmosphere of the Slopes district of Nairobi, she struggles to tone down the more melodramatic aspects of tomboy Kena's romance with Ziki, the pink-braided daughter of a conservative businessman, who is running against Kena's liberal shopkeeper father in a neighbourhood election. An intriguing subplot about an acrimonious divorce also allows Kahiu to explore the status of Kenyan women and the role religion plays in sustaining the patriarchy. Kahiu had to keep things chatty and chaste between the lovebirds to avoid offending the censor (who banned the film anyway, as Kenya prohibits same-sex relationships). But there's much more spark between the lively Kena (played by Samantha Mugatsia) and her footballing buddy Blacksta (Neville Misarti) than there is with the skittish Ziki (Sheila Munyiva).

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Kena MwauraSamantha Mugatsia
Ziki OkemiSheila Munyiva
John MwauraJimmy Gathu
MercyNini Wacera
Peter OkemiDennis Musyoka
BlackstaNeville Misarti

Crew

rolename
DirectorWanuri Kahiu

Details

Theatrical distributor
Africa in Motion Film Festival
Released on
2019-04-12
Languages
English | Swahili
Guidance
Violence, swearing
Formats
Colour
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