Kenya’s Ban of Two Songs with Explicit Adult Lyrics is Move “to safeguard Children"

Dr. Ezekiel Mutua, CEO Kenya Film and Classification Board

The move by the Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) to ban the playing of two Tanzanian songs with explicit adult lyrics outside of children-restricted areas has been lauded as a good step in safeguarding children.  

On August 27, the CEO of the Kenya Film Classification Board Dr. Ezekiel Mutua announced through a Facebook post the board’s restriction on the two songs saying they “are strictly forbidden outside of clubs and bars.”

“The lyrics are dirty and not suitable for public consumption, especially mixed company or where children are likely to be watching or listening. Both songs are pure pornography,” he added.

“While we may not ban the songs because they are coded, it's important for the public to know that they are dirty and unsuitable for mixed company. Let them be restricted to clubs, for adults only!” he stated.

Reacting to the restriction, Fr. Emmanuel Chimombo who has just overseen the publication of a manual on safeguarding children in the Eastern Africa region has hailed the move saying, “I applaud and congratulate the bold step taken by the CEO of Kenya Film and Classification Board.” 


“In fact, this is the direction that all members of society (Families, Church, Government, Community groups, Institutions and even media people, etc.) should take to safeguard children,” the Nairobi-based Malawian priest added.

Noting the role that music plays in the society and which includes shaping and influencing behavior, Fr. Chimombo who Coordinates the Pastoral Department of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) described the songs as having the ability to “do more harm than good to the developing minds of children and even the entire society as far as morals are concerned.”

On his part, the President of the Union of Catholic African Press (UCAP), George Sunguh told ACI Africa that “when it starts with those young ones in kindergarten, they might not understand the implication but it will be instilled in their minds.”

“When I started understanding the music and I saw a YouTube version of it and working in a neighborhood I saw kindergarten kids singing and dancing to the same, I said, now we are in danger,” Mr. Sunguh lamented.

The Mombasa-based Catholic journalist explained the effects that such content could have on children if exposed to them saying, “they will grow with it.” 

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“At a certain stage gyrating sexual overtone dances in public will be no big deal because they did that when they were young and nothing happened,'' Mr. Sunguh said adding, “Corruption of the mind is the corruption of the society.”

In an exclusive interview with ACI Africa, Dr. Mutua explained that the songs they have restricted “are not illegal; they are just not suitable for children.”

“If artistes do not wish to have their content restricted, then let it be suitable for all ages,” he advised.

“Content with scenes or language meant for adult audiences should not be aired during the watershed period (5 am-10 pm),” he stated.

The decision by KFCB is in line with the call to action of October 2017 Rome Declaration, which called on various stakeholders in the welfare of children to ensure that children do not have access to adult content.


In March 2019, the regulatory board banned another song by one of the artistes from being played in schools on obscenity grounds.

“Dances and discos must be regulated to ensure foreign artists do not flock to Kenya to erode our values, cultures, and traditions,” Dr. Mutua was quoted as saying.

In 2018, the government of Tanzania through the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) banned 15 songs by its artists for eroding national values. Among the songs were two from one of the artistes affected by the Kenyan restriction.