In Summary
  • Wanuri now joins other top Hollywood personalities as one of the members.
  • She had impressed masses with her speech during the 71st Cannes Film Festival back in May at her movie’s premiere.
  • Her film Rafiki was banned after scenes not in the script originally submitted for approval were sneaked in.

Kenyan film Rafiki seems to be getting more international attention. Just months after it was banned in the country, and a few weeks after premiering at the Festival de Cannes (Cannes Film Festival) in France, its director and producer, Wanuri Kahiu, has been picked to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy is known for its Academy Awards, officially known as The Oscars.

Wanuri now joins other top Hollywood personalities as one of the members. She had impressed masses with her speech during the 71st Cannes Film Festival back in May at her movie’s premiere. She took to her Twitter handle to share the big news, tweeting, “I am now a new member of The Academy!!! Yaaaaass!!! So proud! So happy!”

Rafiki was banned after scenes not in the script originally submitted for approval were sneaked in. A statement issued by the Kenya Film Classification Board then indicated that the director Wanuri Kahiu was called when the movie was finally submitted and asked to remove them but she refused.

This year, in its effort to counter criticism of its mostly white and male membership, the Academy went out to invite 928 new members from 59 countries, Wanuri being one of them.

Among top celebrities invited include Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish, The Big Sick co-writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, comedian and actor Dave Chappelle among others.

If all those invited accept the invitation, female membership would rise to 31 per cent from the current 28. People of colour (non-whites), who have majorly criticised the Awards, will increase to 16 per cent from 13.

Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 2018 CFDA Fashion awards June 4, 2018 at The Brooklyn Museum in New York. PHOTO | AFP

Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 2018 CFDA Fashion awards June 4, 2018 at The Brooklyn Museum in New York. PHOTO | AFP

Lupita to be on Walk of Fame

Celebrated Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o has been named among Hollywood Walk of Fame 2019 honourees. Lupita is among the list of 28 honourees that only has three black actors. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced the Walk of Fame Class of 2019 on Monday and the Black Panther star was among those selected in the film category.

Lupita, who bagged an Oscar in her debut year for Best Supporting Actress for the movie 12 Years A Slave is listed alongside Alan Arkin, Kristen Bell, Daniel Craig, Robert De Niro, Guillermo del Toro, Anne Hathaway, Tyler Perry and Gena Rowlands.

In the television category Alvin and the Chipmunks, Candice Bergen, Guy Fieri, Terrence Howard, Stacy Keach, Sid and Marty Krofft, Lucy Liu, Mandy Moore, Dianne Wiest, and Julia Child (posthumously) will receive stars along Hollywood Boulevard.

Some have expressed that it was too soon for her to receive a walk of fame star, considering that other actresses, having been in the industry longer than she has, are yet to be honoured.

However, during the release of the list, Chairman of the Walk of Fame Selection Committee, Vin Di Bona, said, “The Committee always tries to select a group of talented honourees that appeal in various genres of the entertainment world.”

“I feel the Committee has outdone themselves and I know the fans, tourists and the Hollywood community will be pleased with our selections. We are excited to see each and every honouree’s face as they unveil that majestic star on Hollywood’s most famous walkway.”

Dates for the star ceremonies are yet to be confirmed.

Joe Jackson, who died on June 27, 2018 at the age of 89. PHOTO | FILE | GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA | AFP

Joe Jackson, who died on June 27, 2018 at the age of 89. PHOTO | FILE | GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA | AFP

Joe died two days after anniversary

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