By Prudence Minayo
Many refer to him as ‘deputy Jesus’ due to his determination to preserve Kenya’s moral fibre by ensuring no questionable content finds its way on the local media and YouTube. Dr Ezekiel Mutua is the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB), a job he takes very seriously. He has rubbed a section of Kenyans and musicians the wrong way because of his strict policies.
Under his reign as CEO of KFCB, a lot of content has been banned, including advertisements. Many think that he oversteps his mandate. However, he argues that central to his work is the protection of children from harmful content, such as, foul language, obscenity and violence.
He was also featured among 100 most reputable Africans alongside others, like the late UN secretary General Koffi Annan and Tanzanian media mogul Reginald Mengi.
Within a few months of his election at KFCB, Kenyans could already feel the weight of his rule. Ezekiel Mutua has a thick skin and no amount of criticism has made him relent. During his tenure as CEO, a lot of things termed immoral have been banned and he definitely will be remembered as a no nonsense CEO. Below is a bit of information about him and all the film’s banned under his guidance:
The KFCB CEO was born 54 years ago in Kaloleni, Mwala. He is the fifth born in a family of 11 children. His father was a traditional liquor Brewer:
“My father brewed Karubu, the Kamba traditional liquor. He was Kaloleni’s finest, and his Karubu brought imbibers – from all walks of life – to his joint. A customer noticed my aptitude and told my father, “Tomorrow this one should go to school,” said Ezekiel Mutua.
Dr Ezekiel is married to the lovely Jane Mutua and they have two sons. Jane is not only beautiful but also an accomplished career woman. She works as an education advisor with save the children international and previously worked as an education specialist with UNICEF Kenya.
The KFCB CEO started primary school at the age of 10 before proceeding to Tala High School. He aced his exams and went to Kenyatta University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Linguistics. Dr. Mutua is also holds a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from the school of journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nairobi and PHD from a reputable university.
In 1994, he was a trainee reporter and rose to become a sub editor at the Nation Media Group in 1998. He then became the secretary of Kenyan Union of Journalists (KUJ) in 2001. KUJ is a professional Union of Journalists that defends both the interest of journalists as workers, and of freedom of the press.
In 2007, he joined the government as the director of Information and Public Communication before becoming the information secretary prior to becoming Kenya Film’s and Classification Board CEO.
Since taking the role as KFCB, CEO, he became a household name. Ezekiel is a strong Christian that believes in morality. His stance has led many think he lets his religion influence decisions. The world today is different from that in the 21st century. The new generation of millennials are becoming bolder and bolder. Topics, such as, sex, which was once a taboo is now being embraced. The Kenya Films and Classification Board has been mandated to classify every film before releasing it to the public. The CEO takes this role to heart and has banned a lot of content he feels shouldn’t be broadcasted during the watershed period.
These includes even advertisements. Some advertisements have been banned such as, the Durex condom advertisement and the coca cola advertisement that showcased to people locked in s passionate kiss.
Songs banned under Ezekiel Mutua’s reign include:
- Diamond platinumz hit song “Tetema” (Twerk) has been banned in public. It is only allowed in pubs and bars.
- Wamlambez Wamnyonyez ( lick and suck) is also allowed to be played in pubs and bars only
- Alvindo’s (Alvin) song “Takataka” (Trash) has also been banned. According to Dr. Mutua this song is filthy and belongs in the sewer. They say the song stinks of misogyny , violence and crude language. In “Takataka” the main character tells the woman whose heart is as evil as the devil that he will bewitch her and attend the funeral.
- He also chided local musician, Akothee after pictures of her pulling raunchy stunts during a public performance went viral. He said the stunts were filthy, stupid and demonic.
Songs and advertisements are not the only things that have been banned. Some movies, he believes go against Kenya’s social and cultural values gave been banned:
- Fifty Shades of Grey, a novel adaptation movie from USA was prohibited in Kenya due to it’s erotic scenes
- “Rafiki,” a film directed by Wanuhi Kahiu was also banned. It depicts the story of two young women, Kena and Ziki, who meet and fall in love. The homosexuality theme did not resonate well with the board. Homosexuality acts are illegal in Kenya and punishable with 14 years imprisonment.
- The international film “Wolf of Wall Street” was banned because of extreme scenes of nudity, sex, alcohol, drug taking and profanity.
If you think the moral cop stops there then you’re mistaken, he has previously banned parties. In 2016, he banned a party after its organizers circulated publicity posters in Nairobi declaring “no one is going home a virgin” and it would be “one night to lose your virginity.”
The former journalist also insists that music played in public Service Vehicles should be fit for General Viewing.