Ezekiel Mutua addresses being the “most hated man in Kenya”
There was a time when Ezekiel Mutua was in charge of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and he was one of the most reviled men in the nation. That is if you go by what one of the local dailies wrote about him.
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Add to that the fact that online he would always be the butt of every joke as most people perceived him as not just sitting pretty on his proverbial high horse but he was enforcing his ethics on people who didn’t care for his standard of morality.
Ezekiel Mutua took to his Facebook account to recently to talk about a gala event he was invited to and to which he was the keynote speaker. When he spoke about the event, he chose to focus on the experience he had as a “moral cop”.
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When I started the campaign for clean content and protection of children against harmful content in 2016, the media made it look old fashioned and archaic.
The nickname “Moral Cop” was meant to be a snide attempt to paint me as someone out of tune with the times. One national newspaper wrote that I was the most hated person in the country. Another did a headline saying “The train of morality derailed a long time ago. Mutua’s efforts are futile.” Gado, the then biggest cartoonist in East and Central Africa drew me numerous gory caricatures mocking me.The media went on an onslaught against me and the Kenya Film Classification Board which I headed, twisting the campaign on family values and arguing that my strict enforcement of content regulation was bad for the Government of the day and unpopular with the youth. Even Trevor Noah, Africa’s most popular media personality, featured me negatively in his popular Daily Show program, projecting me as an incorrigible homophobe.Years down the line, the campaign to protect children against exposure to bad content has become all the more popular. The debate on LGBTQ and the need to protect Africa’s culture, values and national aspirations has become more relevant. The need to change the African narrative and get the media to tell the African story has never been more urgent. Even more urgent is the need to develop and mentor young leaders who uphold values and stand unashamedly for their faith.So on Saturday, during the launch of Beyond Sucess EQUIP at Safari Park hotel, I encountered youths from Kenya and across Africa who celebrated me for defying the odds and standing firm in defence of family values through content regulation. My keynote speech focused on the need for value based leadership that recognises excellence and diligence.The ten minutes speech got a standing ovation and I ended up with invitations to speak at meetings in six countries abroad. Speaker after speaker said they knew me for my firm stand in defence of family and moral values. The youths aligned with the campaign and after Iepresided over the launch of the Beyond Sucess EQUIP program, it was difficult for me to leave as the youths wanted to take photos with me. I felt vindicated, knowing how only a few years ago the media vilified me and made me look like the enemy of the youth. They maligned me and nicknamed “Deputy Jesus,” in mockery of the campaign for clean content and family values.
LESSON: If you are a leader, follow your convictions and enforce the law without fear of favour. Do not do what’s popular. Do what’s right. Leaders are called to show the way. Do not seek to be popular. Seek to do what is right!
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