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English and Swahili, Partial Subtitles
On the edges of Nairobi, Kena is a sharp teenage girl who’s considered just one of the guys; her father is a shopkeeper running for local political office, her mother a bitterly divorced religion teacher. But when Kena eyes Ziki, with her carefree attitude and cascade of pink braids, the two fall into a fast friendship. Friendship soon melts into first love bursting with uncontrollable joy, an innocent desire still considered a crime in Kenya. Dodging local gossips, and the fact that Ziki’s father is running against Kena’s in the upcoming election, the two remain in the shadows not knowing what fate will bring. A story that reverberates with notes of classic tragedies while also ringing loudly with Afropop and vibrant cool. Originally banned in its country of origin for promoting homosexuality, RAFIKI speaks to a new generation of film and of life.
Wanuri Kahiu is a film director, producer, and author. She is the founder of AFROBUBBLEGUM a media company creating “fun, fierce and fantastical” African art. RAFIKI is her second feature and the first Kenyan film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.