Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva star in "Rafiki"'. Picture: Supplied
Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva star in "Rafiki"'. Picture: Supplied

Showmax adds banned Kenyan LGBTQI+ movie 'Rafiki' to celebrate Pride Month

By Entertainment Writer Time of article published Jun 13, 2020

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June is Pride Month, a celebration of all things LGBTQI+ and one area where there’s lots to celebrate is film and TV.

This year alone, "Somizi & Mohale: The Union" broke streaming records in South Africa; Sir Elton John's biopic" Rocketman" won an Oscar and a Golden Globe; and, earlier this month, "Gentleman Jack" was nominated as Best Drama and "Euphoria" as Best International Series at the BAFTAs. 

To celebrate Pride Month, Showmax has added a number of LGBTQI+ theme shows and movies, including "Rafiki", the controversial Kenyan produced movie which was banned in its home country.


"Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives," but Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva) long for something more. When love blossoms between them, the two girls are forced to choose between happiness and safety. 

"Rafiki" was nominated for the Un Certain Regard and Queer Palm Awards at Cannes 2018, as well as a 2020 GLAAD Media Award nomination for Best Limited Release Film. 

The movie catapulted director Wanuri Kahiu onto Time Magazine’s 100 Next list in 2019 and launched her career internationally. She’s now adapting Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed for Amazon Prime and Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish for Universal, among other projects.


In this adults-only high school drama series, Zendaya stars as 17-year-old Rue, who returns home from rehab with no plans to stay clean, and falls for the the new girl in town, Jules (played by trans superstar Hunter Schafer).


Two-time Comics’ Choice winner Schalk Bezuidenhout, who also won a SAFTA for his supporting role in the kykNET comedy "Hotel", stars in "Kanarie" as a small town boy during apartheid who is chosen to serve his compulsory two-year military training in the South African Defence Force choir, where he discovers his true self through hardship, camaraderie, first love, and the liberating freedom of music.

Boy Erased 

Jared Hedges is the son of a Baptist preacher in a small town, who is confronted with an ultimatum after being forcibly outed to his parents: attend a church-sponsored conversion therapy programme, or lose his family, friends, and faith. 

Based on author and LGBTQIA+ activist Garrard Conley's acclaimed autobiographical memoir, this true story is written and directed by Golden Globe-nominated actor Joel Edgerton.

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