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Film classification boss says film industry is worth billions of shillings

Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ezekiel Mutua Wednesday said that film is the next frontier in resolving the high level of unemployment currently experienced in the country.
Mutua said that as a government Agency under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), they were keen in aligning their mandate to the government’s Big Four Agenda to create employment.
Mutua said that they were keen in promoting local content which would make people consume their own stories and were in the process of developing talent centers in various counties among them Kisumu, Bungoma and Isiolo.
Mutua who was making submissions to the David Makali task force formed by ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru to look into ways through which communication in government could be revamped to the modern age, observed that KFCB would create a database for the local content for future reference.
“We will give value in the next five years on the number of employments that have been created as a result of film. The industry is worth billions of shillings,” Mutua stated.
He revealed that currently, the board is engaging celebrated icons in the film industry such as Daniel Ndambuki aka Churchill who has in fact moved their shows from Carnivore to Kenya Cinema for ease for publicity and reach, as well as to build the industry.
He pointed out “cinema mashinani” as a key element of job creation in the country because the aim of the film is to promote Kenyan culture as well as national aspirations, and would ensure that the culture created must speak to the dominant value of the people.
“Films nowadays are aired in homesteads and acted by the owners. The people involved get to have a source of employments and as a result, we grow as an industry,” he observed.
On matters of government communication, Mutua called for enhanced synergy and close collaboration between different agencies of government to ensure cohesion.
He said that in as much as there were cross jurisdiction overlap between KFCB and Kenya Films Commission (KFC), he was keen on ensuring that they work in synergy.
“We have to support one another to ensure that this sector of film and communication grows,” said Mutua who further revealed that they have in numerous occasions supported their sister Agency KFC.

Mutua revealed that what had derailed robust communication in government was bureaucracies which have made it almost impossible for government communication.
He urged the task force team to benchmark with countries such as China as a model so as to get a glimpse on how issues are articulated in different levels of government, for them to “feel effective communication”.
“There is a sense of command in seniority. You must ooze trust and credibility. People listen to people. They will only articulate issues if you give them proper exposures,” said Mutua who recommended that communication and information officers be empowered to be able to deliver on their mandate.
By Alice Gworo

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