RAFIKI is the talk of the town at the moment – no surprise given the remarkable distinction it has received following its invitation to the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. We spoke about that a few days ago.
Yes, it’s directed by the marvelously accomplished Wanuri Kahiu and is the first Kenyan feature film to be invited to the festival – but what else do you know about the production. Here’s a little information to keep in your head and wow your friends with over dinner:
The film was inspired by the 2007 Caine Prize Winning short story “Jambula Tree” by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko, that focuses on a community affected by a relationship that blossoms between two young women.
Wanuri joined forces with co-writer Jenna Bass and together they added further elements to the screenplay that speak to the present-day concerns and conflicts affecting people like Kena and Ziki in a young, vibrant, millennial Nairobi.
The film stars both emerging as well as established artists including Samantha Mugatsia as Kena, Sheila Munyiva as Ziki, Jimmi Gathu, Nini Wacera, Patricia Amira and Dennis Musyoka.
Set in a Nairobi neighbourhood, the story celebrates music and fashion of Nairobi. Costume designer Wambui Thimba pulled from local clothes brands like Peperuka and redesigned clothes for each character to create pieces aimed at being truly representative of the city.
The musical score is by all-African, all-female musicians including Afro-electro award-winning powerhouse Muthoni Drummer Queen “MDQ” and newcomers Njoki Karu and Mumbi Kasumba.
Kudos to everyone involved – here’s looking towards the big debut at Cannes 2018!