There are things that are still taboo topics in Africa. Things you can only openly talk about behind closed doors or where only those of same open mind are or thanks to the internet, on social media platforms. Among these is sexuality and the sensitivity of it all. When I first heard about the film ‘Rafiki’ I was excited by the mere thought of the conversations that were about to be started around LGBTQ in our country. I thought about Wanuri a lot and her vision for it. I thought about every girl and boy who has had to keep their sex orientation a secret for fear of persecution of any kind by society.
I watched the trailer 5 times and looked forward to its premier in Kenyan cinemas. I imagined how comforting it would be for any gay Kenyan boy or girl out there to know that their story is being told to the world and that it’s okay to love who you love.
To ban such an important film, the first ever to premier at the Cannes Film Festival, at home where it’s needed was the height of sanctimony only our society can display.
Early May I received an inbox on my Facebook page highlighting that in his search for Njoki Karu’s music and stories, he had landed on my blog and wanted to know more about her and maybe work with her on a few projects.
Andreas Ryser the CEO at Mouthwatering Records ,the team behind Rafiki’s soundtrack album compilation, had reached out to me to get to know Njoki more. You could tell he was a little disappointed by how little there was available online about such a talented songbird. It was for this reason that he had mailed me the album, bios of the featured artists and the Rafiki Press kit.
I was thrilled by the fact that the album was female dominated with some of the best vocals you hardly get to hear on our airwaves. The playlist ranges from Afro-house/dance to R’n’B with a little dancehall here, Hip Hop and pop over there. These incredible acts include Muthoni Drummer Queen, Sage, Njoki Karu, Trina Mungai ,Mumbi Kasumba and a special feature of one of Kenya’s club bangers by Blinky Bill, Mayonde and MDQ.
Do you think this film will ever make it to our cinemas, Kenyans? What must happen before that?
Here’s a Soundcloud stream to the album, let me know what you think about it in the comments.