“Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.
Hotly anticipated at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Rafiki tells the story of two young women, Kena and Ziki, who find love despite mounting political and family pressures. Based on Monica Arac de Nyeko’s short story, which won the 2007 Caine Prize for African fiction, director Wanuri Kahiu (Pumzi) adds bold, cutting edge vision to produce one of the freshest Kenyan queer movies to date. Like its equally brilliant predecessor Stories of Our Lives, Rafiki faced a hostile response from the Kenyan government. Initially banned, international pressure and strong resistance from Kahiu herself won the day, and the film was eventually screened on home turf. Kena and Ziki face violence themselves, yet their story unfolds as an utterly contemporary affirmation for LGBTQ+ people everywhere.