Eric Omondi demands apology from KFCB in 14 days, threatens to remove CEO from office

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 27 May, 2024 15:41 | 4 mins read
Kenyan comedian Eric Omondi. PHOTO/@ericomondi/Instagram
Kenyan comedian Eric Omondi demands KFCB to issue a public apology to content creators within 14 days. PHOTO/@ericomondi/Instagram

Kenyan comedian and activist Eric Omondi has called for an official apology from the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) acting CEO over recent regulations targeting YouTubers.

The comedian’s demand follows the issuance of notices that required content creators to get their YouTube channels licensed, content approved before uploading and other regulations.

In an interview with YouTuber Trudy, Omondi expressed his frustration noting that simply withdrawing the notices was not enough to address the "disrespect" shown to content creators.

"Hawa watu wametuzoea, na imefika mahali we will stop them, jana waliposema ati we have a license to shoot and post on their social media accounts and send content to them to approve, that was an insult to the industry, walitutukana, walitudharau," Omondi said.

Loosely translated as;

"These people have gotten used to mistreating us, and it has reached a point where we will stop them. Yesterday, when they said we need a license to shoot and post on their social media accounts and send content to them to approve, that was an insult to the industry. They insulted us, they disrespected us."

Without mincing words, the comedian-cum activist demanded that the acting CEO publicly admit to liability within 14 days failure to which he would be forcefully removed from office.

"It's not enough that they withdrew the letter they must apologize to all content creators. If they don't apologize, we will uproot them from office within 14 days. The tables have turned, those 14 days, if the acting CEO of KFCB does not apologize within 14 days, wembe ni ule ule. He must go to the mic, and say 'I was wrong, to intimidate, to frustrate young people who are looking for a livelihood after the government has failed to provide a livelihood and employment'," Omondi declared.

KFCB retracts notices

Eric Omondi's sentiments comes days after the KFCB chairperson Njogu Wa Njoroge revoked the controversial notices and encouraged talks between the stakeholders.

Taking to his X account, Njoroge noted the importance of encouraging and supporting content creators in Kenya.

Njoroge urged KFCB to organize discussions with stakeholders involved in the digital content creation industry.

He stressed the need for the board to focus on training the youth on monetization and creating job opportunities in the digital media sector.

"Our content creators should be supported all the way. They should be encouraged and supported 100%. We should be training our youth on monetization, and we are deliberate on that matter. I have directed the management to withdraw the notices and organize an engagement with all the stakeholders. We should be talking about thousands of opportunities, if not hundreds of thousands of jobs in the digital media," Njoroge stated.

KFCB to content creators

In letters addressed to these top creators in the industry dated May 22, 2024, KFCB emphasized the legal requirements under the Films and Stage Plays Act, Cap 222.

KFCB said that according to Section 15 of the Act, KFCB is mandated to regulate the creation, broadcasting, possession, distribution, and exhibition of film and broadcast content in Kenya.

"We refer to the above matter and write to you as follows: 1. THAT our attention has been drawn to your YouTube channels where you have continuously uploaded audio-visual content for purposes of exhibiting and distributing it to the public, without acquiring the requisite filming licences from Kenya Film Classification Board," the letter reads in parts.

Adding;

"That Section 15 of the Films and Stage Plays Act, Cap 222 mandates the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) to regulate the creation, broadcasting, possession, distribution and exhibition of film and broadcast content in the country."

Additionally, Section 4 of the Act requires all filmmakers producing films within Kenya for public exhibition or sale, both locally and internationally, to obtain a filming license.

Section 12 further mandates that all classes of film being distributed, exhibited, or broadcasted within Kenya must be examined by KFCB, and a certificate of approval issued.

"That further, Section 4 of the Act requires all filmmakers producing film within Kenya for public exhibition or sale, locally or internationally, to obtain a filming licence. Additionally, 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," KFCB stated.

"Consequently, we demand that you strictly comply with the requirements of the Films and Stage Plays Act by obtaining filming licences for your films, and submit them for examination and classification before the same is exhibited and distributed to the public through your YouTube channel," the board added.

A letter addressed to YY Comedian from KFCB. PHOTO/@yycomedian/Instagram
A letter addressed to YY Comedian from KFCB. PHOTO/@yycomedian/Instagram

The content creators were then given a 14-day ultimatum to comply with these regulations.

"Take Notice That Unless You Comply With The Above In The Next Fourteen (14) Days, We Shall Institute Legal Proceedings In Accordance With The Provisions Of The Films And Stage Plays Act And Other Relevant Laws, Without Further Reference To You And At Your Own Risks As To Costs And Other Attendant Consequences Thereto," the board warned.

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