KFCB CEO Ezekiel Mutua

Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) chief executive Ezekiel Mutua is at it again, this time banning ‘taka taka’ a song whose lyrics have been deemed to be obscene and distasteful.

Taka taka was banned on Tuesday three months after it was released in January. The song composed by Alvindo, a newbie in the Kenyan music industry, is a diss track dedicated to his ex girlfriend who took him for a ride despite being loyal to her, albeit with very vulgar lyrics.

In a statement posted on the commission’s official pages, Mutua said that the song is lewd and was not submitted to KFCB for examination before being released for public consumption.

To be fair to the ‘moral police chief’, the song is far from ethical and should not be played by any broadcast outlet, but Mutua’s latest move shows how oblivious he is to lessons drawn from his past experiences.

Experience has taught us that whenever you ban artsitic work by virtue of being lewd, you only make it more popular, remember The Wolf of Wall Street?

When the commission banned the biographical black comedy in 2014, the film was even watched by non-film fanatics, a clear indication of the perils of such an action.

Distributors and cinemas were threatened with a Ksh100,000 fine, jail time or both, but that did little to stop Kenyans from pirating the Martin Scorsese film.

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That is simply how communication works, the forbidden fruit is always the sweetest and there is very little that regulators can do about that.

Mutua’s reactions to subjects of public discourse have also showed us that he is reluctant to let an opportunity for rare public attention pass him.

When attention hungry artist Akothee’s leg spreading antics became the talk of the town, Mutua, quite predictably fired back at the artiste cum socialite saying that ‘public space must be regulated’ but how will the commission regulate social media?

Conversely, when Mutua threatened to ban Melanin,an afropop hit by popular boy band Sauti Sol, traffic was quickly re-directed to the music group’s You Tube Channel where the song garnered views in hundreds of thousands within a matter of hours.

He described the song as ‘pure porn’.

However. he is best known for banning Rafiki, a film directed by Wanuri Kahiu which tells a story about two girls who grow up together and fall in love, something that does not augur well with their families.

While banning the film, Mutua said the film promotes lesbianism.  One week before the film was banned, Mutua had lavished praise on Kahiu ahead of the movie’s screening at the Cannes Film Festival only to backtrack on his original position.

“I had a great meeting with Wanuri Kahiu, one of the greatest Kenyans that we have in the film industry and her movie has been nominated. Cannes is big, other than the Oscars, Cannes is the best,” he said in an interview with a local radio station.

In February 2018, the ‘moral police chief’ also threatened to ban Samantha Doll adverts at a time when none of the country’s media stations had said they would broadcast any such commercial.

In short, all his public pronouncements end up being counter-productive and cuts the image of a man who is paying too much attention to side shows rather than his mandate.



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