The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ezekiel Mutua has said the film regulator will be scaling up the fight against film and media content that offends public sensibilities.
Mutua said KFCB is not out to impede film and creative industry in the country as it creates jobs for young people but seeks to regulate film and media content in a bid to enhance national values and aspirations.
He challenged the media to discourage film content that is capable of promoting moral decadence in the society.
Mutua noted KFCB is committed to making all efforts to promote the film industry but urged the media not to expose the youth to unnecessary foreign culture which are detrimental to their development in the country.
The CEO was on Friday speaking at Mombasa Beach Hotel during a meeting between KFCB and the county security chiefs led by County Commissioner (CC), Evans Achoki.
The KFCB officials briefed the security chiefs on the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 that fights the screening of unsuitable content.
Mutua said KFCB believes that film and creative industry can be turned into engines of economic growth but that does not mean the sector be left to its own devices.
“We want to mainstream film and art into the national development agenda,” he said adding that the film regulator will be creating an enabling environment where film entrepreneurs can flourish as they tell the Kenyan story of hope and resilience.
He went on, “you don’t have to be vulgar and obscene to make it to the international fame,” he said adding that there is need for local content that promotes moral values in the society.
Mutua said following the recent executive order No.1 of 2019, KFCB will roll out a national campaign to fight moral decadence in the 47 counties.
He said the campaign with the stakeholders will seek to address radicalisation, pornography and inappropriate film and media content.
“As a board we will partner with all stakeholders in the country to ensure that wrong, distorted and misleading information does not reach the public especially the children and the youth,” said Mutua.
He noted exposure of inappropriate film and media content to young people would lead to increased violence in the country adding that there is need to tackle increasing cases of addiction to pornography and gambling among the youth.
Mutua said the film board will partner with county administrators to help fight all forms of negative practices against good societal norms and the values for posterity.
He said inappropriate film and media content was a big threat to the country’s moral values and national aspirations and attributed to runaway corruption to the breakdown of moral values.
The KFCB boss at the same time said the board will not allow the country to be the dumping ground for foreign music and performances that promote immorality.
He said it was unfortunate that some Tanzanian artists have in the past been allowed to perform in Kenya despite their music being banned in their country for being deemed to be pornographic and a negative influence.
He said the film board will not entertain foreign artists out to undermine the national culture, customs and values laws by promoting profanity through their performances.
On his part, the CC warned video show operators not to screen pornographic movies to young people who patronise such centres adding they risk losing their regulatory license to operate if found.
Achoki asked parents and guardians to closely monitor the activities of their children and stop them from patronising video dens and entertainment spots which do not help them in achieving success in their academic life.
He said some video shows operated well past the stipulated time of 9 pm and are becoming a favourable hangout for criminally minded individuals who mug people at night.
By Hussein Abdullahi