Early this week, Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) banned the airing of DJ Afro movies on Gikuyu TV during the watershed period (5am to 10pm).
The popular DJ Afro movies were banned alongside two adverts from Pwani Oil Products and Marie-Stoppes Hospital. The Pwani Oil advert was said to be 'sexualised' while the Marie-Stoppe Hospital advert was said to be encouraging teenage girls to embrace 'abortion as an option' for unwanted pregnancies.
"The rationale behind content regulation is to promote Kenya’s culture, moral values and national aspirations and to ensure that children are protected from premature exposure to harmful and adult content," said KFCB CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua on Tuesday.
The big question now is, will KFCB purported ban or regulation of DJ Afro movies achieve much? The answer is a big NO! Here is why.
1. KFCB ban came a little bit too late. DJ Afro movies did not gain traction because of airing on Gikuyu TV during the so-called watershed period. The movies were popular even among children before the advent of digital television broadcasting in Kenya.
Every DJ Afro fan has at least a DVD packed with those 'naughty' messages that KFCB is trying to regulate. Children can comfortably continue watching such movies when say parents are away.
2. What children watch or otherwise depends on parents: As noted above, children can take advantage of parents' absence to watch all manner of things they want including pornography. If parents are not concerned about what their children watch, regulation of Afro movies will end up being taking coal to Newcastle.
3. DJ Afro movies are widely exhibited in rural and 'ghetto' video halls where the majority of the attendants are underage school-going children. Unless KFCB is ready to crack down on these businesses, which will be a tall order, children will continue to have unlimited access to these movies.
4. Past experiences have shown that KFCB ban on anything only serves to increase demand and popularity. Could, therefore, this ban be like adding fuel to the fire? Time will tell.