The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua has blasted media personality Anita Nderu as a “cheap, attention-seeking public figure, who lacks moral decency to play a role model character in the Kenyan space”.
Dr Mutua’s remarks come a day after Kenyans took to microblogging site, Twitter, to call out Anita Nderu for promoting the gay agenda in the country.
In what has been termed by a section of online users as one of the most controversial adverts Kenya’s online space has ever seen, Anita Nderu, who is dressed in a white see-through robe with a black pair of underwear beneath, entertains -- in her kitchen -- two men, speculated to be homosexuals based on their mannerisms. On the kitchen island, is a Fresh Fri container, which Kenyans on social media believe was the product being advertised by Anita and her company.
Strong language was employed in the production, with sexually-suggestive dance moves adopted. In one of the controversial conversations, one of the presumed gay actors says: “Let’s bend, I like sitting on it”.
In yet another conversation, Anita asks her company: “What are your favourite categories on Pornhub?” One of the two men responds: “I do not watch Pornhub, I am Pornhub, honey!”
Anita, based on the message at the tail-end of the video, could have intended to promote her YouTube production titled The Overdressed Cook. However, it is the theme of the advert that rubbed a section of Kenyans the wrong way.
A Twitter user who goes by the handle @ERIKIIH2 said: “If you are pro-LGBTQ, it doesn’t mean all of us are. So, this stupidity of constantly pushing your agenda should stop. You (Anita Nderu) have your own views about that sh*t, and we have our own views about it.”
Another user, @muthoni_njakwe, said: “Anita Nderu should apologise for ruining Pwani Oil brand’s name.”
@Leighn_Lyn said: “Did Anita Nderu script this advert? I love Fresh Fri, but this looks more of a condom advert than a cooking oil advert. We cannot sexualize everything!”
Hundreds of Twitter users tagged KFCB boss, Dr Ezekiel Mutua, on their complaints and demanded he takes lawful action against Anita Nderu.
The film board boss, however, did not respond on Twitter. When K24 Digital reached him on phone on Friday, July 3, he said he couldn’t respond on Twitter because “the foolish and obnoxious production, which has no place in our society, wasn’t worth my attention”.
“It was wrong of Anita Nderu to produce such type of content,” he said.
“She chose a lazy way of looking for relevance, which I consider very foolish and obnoxious. Her bizarre and crazy attempt of forcing the gay agenda down our throats has no place in our society. That is madness! That is the type of creativity that we, as Kenyans, do not need!
“It is unfortunate that Anita Nderu thinks that she is famous, and, therefore, has the free pass of breaking the law with impunity. If she thinks she is immune to the law, why did she not pose naked and distribute the videos? What she did is annoying. That is personal madness. And, it is sad that such a person will be given airtime tonight on a national television station. I condemn her actions in the strongest terms possible,” said Dr Mutua.
Asked on whether, as film content regulator, they would take action against Anita Nderu, the KFCB CEO said: “Her production falls under user-generated content, which is outside our regulatory spectrum. And, because her content wasn’t aired on mainstream channels, it would be challenging for us, as KFCB, to go after her.
“However, I would urge media houses not to give Anita Nedru airtime until she comes to her senses. She should do self-introspection and apologise to Kenyans for trying to push an agenda that is against our cultural fabric. Homosexuality remains illegal in Kenya. Anita represents the generation that reveres fame and [online] views at all costs. She tested the waters by attempting to push the gay agenda. We won’t allow her,” said Dr Mutua.
The film board chief says he suspects Anita Nderu has received funding from the LGBTQ community to promote their activities in Kenya.
“In my opinion, she must have gotten the dirty LGBTQ money. As a Board, we expected to see an influx of the LGBTQ activities in the country in the months of June and July. But, as KFCB, we are prepared to tackle them head-on.”
Dr Mutua says KFCB will write to Pwani Oil, the manufacturer of Fresh Fri cooking oil, seeking to find out whether the company had any involvement in production of Anita Nderu’s controversial film.
This comes after Pwani Oil on Thursday, July 2 distanced itself from the frowned-upon 55-second video.
“Fresh Fri would like to state that we have not engaged Anita Nderu for product placement or any other advertising of any kind. However, we would like to thank her for being a Fresh Fri consumer. Fresh Fri is keen on delivering quality products that promote healthy living,” tweeted the cooking oil manufacturer.
Dr Mutua, however, terms the Pwani Oil statement as “weak”, and that “they have to issue a clarification to the KFCB in writing”.
“In their statement, they said they did not pay Anita Nderu for the advert. However, they put a rider that they ‘thank her for being a Fresh Fri consumer’. We are now investigating whether Pwani Oil was involved in the production process of Anita Nderu’s video. Should we link the company to the production, then we will take action against them as per our regulations,” said Dr Mutua.
Meanwhile, Anita Nderu took to Twitter Thursday evening (July 2) to state that the backlash directed at her was meant to “bully her into silence”.
“I will never be bullied into silence. As human beings, we have the right to refuse to be defined by what other people think; rather, we must define ourselves. As people, we should celebrate our differences, encourage authenticity and wonder at the diversity of humanity. We all have a right to love and be loved,” she said.
Dr Mutua took issue with Nderu’s statement.
“She is trying to portray herself as a role model to our young girls. Deep down, she is struggling. Sexualizing content and adverts starts with what she did, including introducing gay expressions to the promos,” said Dr Mutua.
“Even without our intervention, Kenyans called her out, and I applaud them for that.”