KFCB chair quickly revokes demand letters sent to YouTubers after backlash


• Oga Obinna, Jacky Vike alias Awinja, Njugush, Abel Mutua, YY Comedian and Mulamwah confirmed via social media handles that they had been served with the notices via email.

Terence, The Mutuas, Awinja and Obinna
Image: courtesy

Kenya Film Classification Board chairperson Njogu Njoroge has come to the rescue of YouTube content creators and directed the board to withdraw demand letters directing them to acquire filming licenses or face legal action.

The letters were dispatched on Friday by acting chief executive officer Paskal Opiyo who gave the creatives 14 days to acquire the licenses.

In a statement hours after the ultimatum, Njoroge said in a statement that he has directed the board to recall the notices to pave way for stakeholder engagement.

“Our content creators should be supported all the way. They should be encouraged and supported 100 per cent,” Njoroge said.

“We should be training our youth on monetisation, and we are deliberate on that matter. I have directed the management to withdraw the notices and organise for an engagement with all the stakeholders,” he added.

“We should be talking about thousands of opportunities, if not hundreds of thousands of jobs in the digital media.”

Oga Obinna, Jacky Vike alias Awinja, Njugush, Abel Mutua, YY Comedian and Mulamwah confirmed via social media handles that they had been served with the notices via email.

In the letters, Opiyo informed the content creators that they have all along been operating in contravention of Section 4 of the Films and Stage Plays Act by operating without a filming licence.

“Our attention has been drawn to your YouTube channel where you have continuously uploaded audio-visual content for purposes of exhibiting and distributing it to the public without acquiring the requisite filming licenses from Kenya Film Classification Board,” he said.

“Additionally, he pointed out that Section 12 requires that all classes of film being distributed, exhibited or broadcasted within Kenya must be examined by KFCB and a certificate of approval issued.

The acting CEO said the board was acting within its mandate to regulate the creation, broadcasting, possession, distribution and exhibition of film and broadcast content in the country.

“Consequently, we demand that you strictly comply with the requirements of the Films and Stage Plays Act by obtaining filming licenses for your films and submitting them for examination and classification before the same is exhibited and distributed to the public through your YouTube channel,” the acting CEO said.

 “Take notice that unless you comply with the above in the 14 days, we shall institute legal proceedings in accordance with the provisions of the Films and Stage Plays Act and other relevant laws, without any further reference to you and at your own risks as to costs and other attendant consequences thereto,” he warned.

The warning drew mixed reactions from the creatives with some remarks sounding indifferent.

“KFCB, mnajua nacheka nini? Hii ni maajabu,” Abel said.

“KFCB says there's a trend, I quickly shoot a clip on my phone to run with the trend but I first send it to you to approve the two-minute "film" Instead of using YouTube's own checks. Jameni guys, gagging ama ni hali ya kutafuta? Kama ukona YouTube channel unaona je?,” Njugush said.

Wololo. Sasa hii ni gani tena?? Hebu mniupdate jamani, mimi nimechanganyikiwa. Lemme halla at my friend Ezekiel Mutua anichanue before kinirambe,” Obinna chipped in.

Awinja called out the board for not having sought stakeholder engagement prior to issuing the ultimatum.

“Yani the moment there have been increased positive content creation, job creation and international recognition, KFCB mnafufuka,” she said on X.

“The fact that you have not even considered a sit down with content creators, you have just gone straight to red-taping us, it says so much about your intentions,” she added.

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