Nairobi News


‘Rafiki’ director Wanuri gets another role in Hollywood film

Film director Wanuri Kahiu has landed a second Hollywood film to direct just months after she was tapped to direct Covers, a romance set in the Los Angeles music world, for Working Title and Universal.

According to media reports from Hollywood, Wanuri will team up Millie Bobby Brown to adapt acclaimed YA novel The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.

Wanuri , who rose to international stardom following the huge success of her controversial gay film Rafiki, has been picked for the new role by Universal.


Universal has optioned the rights to the 2015 book published by Little Brown and is developing the adaptation with producers Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane of MWM Studios, Bruna Papandrea, and Reese Witherspoon.

Wanuri announced the good news on social media, saying “Soooo… this happened!”

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 book was Benjamin’s debut novel. It was not only a commercial success, but also a literary smash, named as a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award.

Wanuri made history in 2018 when her LGBTQ movie Rafiki became the first movie from Kenya to be selected to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.