Rafiki Film Maker Wanuri Kahiu Lands Hollywood Job

  • Controversial Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu has landed a role in an upcoming Hollywood movie. 

    She will team up with English actress and model Millie Bobby Brown in an adaptation of the acclaimed novel The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.

    Jellyfish tells the story of a young girl named Suzy as she enters seventh grade. When her former best friend dies in a drowning accident — and not believing her mother who says that sometimes "these things happen" — Suzy becomes convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting.

    She retreats into a silent world of her imagination and begins crafting a globe-trotting plan to prove her theory, with the book exploring the ideas of life and death, the frailty of friendships and the potential of hope right next door.

    The new role is just one of the many accomplishments Wanuri has bagged following the release of her controversial lesbian film, Rafiki

    The film bagged two awards at the 23rd Annual Twist; Seattle Queer Film Festival in October 2018. 

    The movie was also screened at New Zealand's Parliament in the same year. 

    Samantha Mugatsia, an actress in Rafiki, also received an award at the FESPACO 2019 film festival on March 1, in Burkina Faso for the best actress for her lead role in the film.

    Homosexuality remains illegal in Kenya. Gay sex is punishable by law in the country with imprisonment of 14 years.

    The term “Rafiki” means friend in Swahili. The film traces a coming-of-age love story between two young Kenyan women.

    Their love and consequent romance unfold against a backdrop of homophobia even as their families are on opposing sides of the country’s political divide.