On Monday I saw a series of tweets by one Dan Aceda on the Film and Stage Plays Act 1962 which governs the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB). I have to say that i was was shocked that such rules existed in 2016 yet our government purports to support the creative industry. 1962 was the year that KFCB now governed by Ezekiel Mutua was created, it is worth noting that the laws were created before independence. The import of this is that the colonialists must have put the laws in place to stifle the creative industry at that time in a bid to prevent them from producing films or acting plays that would further fuel the agitation for independence.

Here are some of Dan Aceda’s tweets;

The charges and licenses required to film are very punitive to say the least and many talented Kenyan filmmakers cannot be able to afford the same. No wonder other countries in Africa like Nigeria are so ahead of us when it comes to films. Despite having some of the most scenic film locations, foreign filmmakers  still give Kenya a wide berth preferring to go to South Africa where the conditions are more favorable. This is due to such policies and the lack of incentives provided in these countries.

Other than supporting filmmakers, a repeal/amendment of the 1962 Act can boost the industry to become a good revenue stream for our cash strapped government. In Nigeria for example their Bureau of Statistics estimates the industry’s share of Nigeria’s GDP at 1.4 percent, It is also the country’s second biggest employer after agriculture. Whereas in South Africa’s case the film industry contributes about $305 million to the country’s GDP according to the country’s National Film and Video Foundation.

You can find the Film and Stage Plays Act here.