Kenya Bans “I am Samuel” a Gay-Themed Documentary Film

The Kenya Film Classification Board has banned I Am Samuel, a documentary about a gay Kenyan man’s struggle to be accepted by his family

The Kenya Film Classification Board has banned I Am Samuel, a documentary about a gay Kenyan man’s struggle to be accepted by his family saying it “propagates values that are in dissonance with our constitution, culture, values and norms.”

KFCB, whose role is to regulate the creation, broadcasting, possession, distribution and exhibition of film content said the film was an affront to the constitution, which codifies marriage as heterosexual.

“Worse still, the production is demeaning of Christianity as two gay men in the film purport to conduct a religious marriage invoking the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” the board’s head, Christopher Wambua said in an emailed statement.

“In the course of examining a film titled I Am Samuel, which was submitted to the Board for classification, the Board noted a clear and deliberate attempt by the producer to promote same-sex marriages as an acceptable way of life.”

“This attempt is evident through the repeated confessions by the gay couple that what they feel for each other is normal and should be embraced as a way of life as well as the characters’ body language.”

However, Neela Ghoshal, who is the associate director in the LGBT Rights program at Human Rights Watch, posted: “Kenya’s government once again shows hostility to LGBT people by banning an acclaimed documentary.

“KFCB can continue violating freedom of expression by silencing queer Kenyan voices, but it can’t erase them,” she added.

In 2018, KFCB banned Rafiki film citing that it promotes lesbianism contrary to the law.

According to KFCB, the film was altered to promote homosexuality contrary to the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 of the Laws of Kenya, the Penal Code and the Constitution of Kenya (2010) which defines marriage as a “union between two people of the opposite gender.”

In Kenya, same-sex relations remain illegal and punishable by 14 years in jail.

Kenya is losing Ksh 100 Billion annually to LGBT+ discrimination, Open For Business Report