Rafiki, a Kenyan movie

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Rafiki testifies to the desire to follow his dreams and passions to the end.

On Thursday 25th July, the Kenyan movie will be broadcasted by Yorck Kino. Rafiki is part of this Summer open air cinema program.

We tell you more about this film.

Synopsis

A suburb of Nairobi, Kenya, during the middle of an election period. Two young girls, with different hobbies and backgrounds, get closer and quickly fall under each other’s spell. However, their entourage does not intend to let them live their idyll. Their paths cross in the middle of an election campaign during which their respective fathers clash.
This Kenyan movie is the cinematographic adaptation of Nyeko’s new Jambula tree by Monica Arac.

As you will have understood, Rafiki highlights a love story between two African teenagers. On a continent where homosexuality is at best tolerated, Kena and Ziki will be forced to choose between love and security.
Powerful and fully contemporary, Rafiki goes far beyond the “simple love story” between two young girls. Indeed, this film highlights several themes, little or no coverage in African cinema, and just as taboo in contemporary African societies.
Powerful and fully contemporary, Rafiki goes far beyond the “simple love story” between two young girls. Indeed, this film highlights several themes, little or no coverage in African cinema, and just as taboo in contemporary African societies.
– the love life and sexuality of young girls
– the love between two women
– homophobia and collective violence
– and many others.

Rafiki

Rafiki, a Kenyan movie
credit: Rafiki

Everything starts from the title. Rafiki is the Swahili word used in Kenya to describe a relationship in which you are involved and whose nature you do not want to define. We just say it’s my/my “rafiki”. By highlighting the difficulty that can be felt in defining relationships, the viewer is more easily identified. Indeed, at a time when relationships of all types are being made and broken at the click of a mouse, conventional norms are being challenged everywhere. So the task is even more difficult for two teenagers like Kena and Ziki.

When love is female

If love between two people of the same sex becomes more visible in the cinema, it is very rare to see love between two women, let alone between two black women. Here too, Rafiki goes beyond expectations and surprises with the staging of this love. Sensuality and Tenderness. All the love and even sexual language is imbued with it. Thus, Wanuri Kahiu* twists the blow to another prejudice. The myth of the African woman with feline sexuality.

The film also shows the struggle of two young girls: between following what is expected of them, as a woman, and their personal dreams and desires. A struggle between conservatism and patriarchy, freedom to think, to do, to exist as we wish.

Beyond the clichés

We find the gestures, looks, delicacy and modesty of love and sexuality, as expressed in many African societies. It’s so well orchestrated and filmed that it makes you shiver! “For us, the metaphor of the state of love is not the fact of being crazy, of having unpredictable behaviour, but on the contrary calm and silence. “says Wanuri.

At the same time, this Kenyan movie is blowing an innovative wind on the screens of Western cinemas: Black Love. For the time being, this theme is only present in the media, which are mainly aimed at African and Caribbean communities. We bet that Rafiki will reach a wider audience. This can only be beneficial for the representation of Black people, in general, in the collective imagination.