The Kenya Film Classification Board has issued a strongly worded statement on the rise and rampant sharing of explicit content on online platforms. 

Taking issue with recent cases including content shared by local artists Chris Embarambamba through his latest “Niko Uchi” and William Getumbe’s“Yesu Ninyandue”, KFCB CEO Nelly Muluka said the freedom of expression would not be tolerated as a catch-all excuse.

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“Some of the content is being propagated as art and freedom of expression, and disguised as religious songs, contravening the law, in utter disregard for the interests and safety of children and the public at large,” the statement read.

Explaining the song’s unpalatability the board further called the new trend dangerous.

“To cite but a few, the culprits include local artists going by the names, Chris Embarambamba, whose latest title is, “Niko Uchi” among other songs, and William Getumbe, of the blasphemous song “Yesu Ninyandue”.

“The song titled “Niko Uchi”, which is a purported gospel song invites ridicule to the Christian religion, also contains nudity and vulgarity. 

“It has further been noted that some of the artist’s dancing styles are violent and others present imitable behaviour, which if copied by children/minors, can be dangerous and disastrous.”

The statement went on to condemn adults such as Johanna for using their religious platforms as a cover.

“Other depictions of inappropriate content doing rounds include recorded religious acts by a Bishop going by the name ‘Johanna’, who is among the adults, using their religious influence to mislead the public through indecent exposure performances with sexual innuendos in a religious institution, where minors are likely exposed. 

“It is more appalling that adults who should be gatekeepers in protecting children to exposure of harmful content are taking the lead in circulating these inappropriate videos.”

Keeping within its mandate as an advisory board, the statement brought up the following laws governing the sharing of content:-

  1. Section 4 of the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222, Part III, Section 12,  Act 4: No film or class of film should be distributed, exhibited or broadcast, either publicly or privately unless the Board has examined it and issued a certificate of approval. 
  2. Article 33 of the Kenyan Constitution – Freedom of Speech. In the statement, they said, “(it) is not absolute. It has certain limitations and must be interpreted within the broader context of other provisions of the Constitution, including Article II on culture, and Article 24 on the limitation of rights and fundamental freedoms.” 

Appealing to parents and caregivers, KFCB also reiterated the importance of paying keen attention to the content children were consuming online, urging guardians and parents to take “responsibility to ensure minors do not access inappropriate content.” The board further urged creatives to strictly adhere to Cap 222 and not to “compromise our culture, moral values and national aspirations.”

To conclude the board said it wished to inform the public that it had-:

  1. Issued a demand letter to Chris Embarambamba and William Getumbe asking them to pull down any inappropriate content from their various platforms failure to which, they would face the law in line with the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 of the Laws of Kenya. 
  2. Issued letters to relevant platforms to pull down the inappropriate content by Chris Embarambamba and William Getumbe.

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