Kenyan actress Samantha Mugatsia, who starred in ‘Rafiki‘ has won the FESPACO Film Festival Award. The lead actress of the banned film was feted in Burkina Faso as ‘best actress‘. The film, directed by Wanuri Kahiu, was the first Kenyan film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
FESPACO is Africa’s longest running film festival and it celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Mugatsia played a lesbian lover in the Kenyan film which received international acclaim. The premise of the movie, which was about two Kenyan lesbian lovers, saw it banned by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB). The ban was then lifted for a week for the movie to be submitted for the Oscars but it was not nominated.
Samantha’s win shows that acting is a craft leads to amazing opportunities. Lupita‘s success is a testament that Kenyans are wonderful at what they do and this win also proves that Kenyans work ethic is impressive.
— Tamsin Ranger (@tamsinranger) March 3, 2019
It is unfortunate that the movie had a short run at the cinemas. The movie director, Wanuri Kahiu, is still in court to have the film fully unbanned. Here is to Kenyans doing the most.