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It is not Ezekiel Mutua's mandate to protect children

Thursday August 29 2019

By ABIGAIL ARUNGA
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In a bid to remain relevant to his conservative pseudo-Christian superiors and fans, the Kenya Film Classification Board Chief Executive Ezekiel Mutua has once again stuck his nose where it does not need to be.

It is interesting that Mr Mutua is constantly coming out to protect the children, when in reality, it is not his role to protect them. In fact, he seems to be intent on protecting his own sensibilities first.

What is he doing this time? Insisting that certain songs in the public sphere be banned from being played outside nightclubs.

As the KFCB boss, Mr Mutua’s role is to watch and classify films as suitable or unsuitable for Kenyan audiences, and then rate tem in terms of age and appropriateness accordingly – among other functions that include licensing, etc.

IMAGINATION

It takes a great stretch of the imagination to think that this must also include music, that is not in a film, or needing to be classified. It is, once again, directly out of his mandate.

I am not here to argue about the appropriateness of the songs he is banning.

Certainly, the lyrics are not the most educative for supposed young minds.

But again – this is not his role. Ask those in charge of what airs when on television.

Ask those in charge of answering the questions from these children. Focus on actual proper civic and sexual health education in schools, so that these kids are not learning all they know about sex – yes, I said it – from lyrics of a hype song, yes?

INTERNET

And protecting children is a bit of a fallacy at this point in the age of the internet, unless parents will now ban television, school, music, and all human interactions and even then, children will find what they want to see.

Historically, banning something is the quickest way to get everyone to see it (but don’t tell Ezekiel that, please).

Indeed, the use of the ‘think of the children’ line has been historically used as a logical fallacy argument, in terms of invoking emotion such that logical thought goes out of the window, particularly in terms of encouraging censorship in the past.

This is not and cannot be the focus of the original argument – just because in the first place, how many things are you protecting the children from?

How can this really be implemented?

PROBLEM

And what is the real problem at hand, outside of Mutua’s, and Kenya’s, obsession with non-existent purity?

I can’t pretend to understand where Ezekiel Mutua’s saviour complex stems from, but I think what he is trying to do in a misguided way is call for more protocols in terms of what children are exposed to –and I use this term very loosely.

If that is the case, can whoever is supposed to do that take charge before Ezekiel creates a docket for himself with a pay that he can steal?

Twitter: @AbigailArunga