The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has initiated discussions with the National Council of Elders across the country aimed at reviving the family and community structures in a bid to protect children from exposure to harmful content and promote Kenya’s moral values.
The collaboration comes in view of the rising cases of homicide and deaths related to negative effects of the media and the recent clarion call by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for parents and caregivers to pay attention on the content consumed by children.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Nairobi Film Center (NFC) on Friday 12th February 2021, the Board’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ezekiel Mutua said the engagement with the council of elders is part of the Board’s wider strategic plan to work with likeminded public and private organizations to tame the rising moral decadence in Kenya.
“As the Board mandated to regulate film and broadcast content with the aim of promoting moral values and culture, we are persuaded that there is need for revival of the community and family structures to effectively weed out moral decadence and establish a society that is strong on morals,” the CEO noted, adding that the battle against moral decadence must be taken to the grassroots.
The CEO revealed that KFCB and the National Council of Elders will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a framework for cooperation that will focus on family as the basic unit of society, adding that the Board’s collaboration with the council of elders also seeks to establish a framework for recognizing and honoring Kenya’s heroes and heroines.
“The two institutions have established a working Committee to guide the collaboration and identify other state and non-state actors to drive the campaign. A comprehensive roadmap will be soon announced by the two bodies once the working committee submits its initial report in 14 days,” Dr. Mutua said.
While noting the need for a national conversation on moral values, Dr. Mutua observed that the Board is committed to creating more engagements for public sensitization amongst stakeholders, especially parents, stating that parents and caregivers should play the role of foot soldiers and constantly and effectively monitor what children are consuming on media.
“Parents must be alive to the fact that to nurture is a deal greater than to birth since our parenting, or its lack thereof, has a direct bearing on how children turn out. We are to blame when our children cannot uphold common decency, even going to the highest heights of deviance by abusing leaders, establishments and worse, taking the lives of their relatives and indeed saddening, their own parents and siblings,” the KFCB CEO said.
At the same time, Dr. Mutua urged media houses to comply with laws and provisions of the Kenya Information Communications Act KICA 46 (I) that requires that the Watershed Period (5 am to 10 pm) be free of any adult content for the free to air TVs and radios.
He noted that the media as societal watchdog has the responsibility not only to set agenda for the society but also to give meaning, cement culture, and explicate Kenya’s identity to the watching world.
On his part, National Council of Elders Patron, Captain Kung’u Muigai, said as elders they are the custodians of morals and collaboration with KFCB is timely as it aims to strengthen the family unit as well as reverse the moral decadence, especially among the youth.
“We must walk together in this journey; morals are the cornerstone of any stable society. The fourth estate should use its power to ensure that the public, especially children consumes the right media content,” Captain Kung’u noted.
The National Council elder’s chairperson, Mr. Phares Rutere, on his part noted the need for collective responsibility in ensuring safety of children against exposure harmful content.
Present at the press conference were elders representatives from Garissa, Rift Valley, Ukambani region (Kitui, Makueni, Machakos), Embu, Narok, Kwale and Kiambu.