Bursting with the colorful street style and music of Nairobi’s vibrant youth culture, Rafiki follows Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), who have been told that “good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives.” When love blossoms between them, they must choose: happiness or security. Initially banned in Kenya for its candor in portraying a lesbian relationship, Rafiki won a landmark supreme court case challenging Kenyan anti-LGBT legislation.

“A vibrant, pulsing piece of work, keying off the joy of young love and unexpected discovery.” —Flavorwire

“Reminiscent of the early work of Spike Lee.” —Screen Daily

“The director has produced a wholly new vision of African filmmaking that is vibrant, compassionate, and joyous.” —Cinema Scope

“A burst of unfiltered teenage energy. Lively and full of vision!” —Vulture

Reviews: Screen Daily and BFI Film Forever

• Interview with director Wanuri Kahiu

• How the “Afrobubblegum” movement brought the director to Hollywood.

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Watch on YouTube

Wanuri Kahiu
English and Swahili with English subtitles
Kenya/South Africa/Germany/ Netherlands/France/Norway/Lebanon
Running Time
83 minutes
Digital, Color