Kenya’s so-called moral policeman is facing criticism for banning the hit song, Wamlambez, that includes slang references to oral sex.
Ezekiel Mutua, the Kenya Film Classification Board boss, said the lyrics were deemed to be “pure pornography” and should not be played where children could hear them.
This means it cannot be broadcast on radio and TV or in public places such as on public transport.
Nightclubs and bars are now the only places that Wamlambez, by the music group Sailors, can be heard.
Mr Mutua also banned Tetema, a song by a musician from the neighbouring Tanzania, on similar grounds.
Tetema and Wamlambez songs are strictly forbidden outside of clubs and bars. It’s embarrassing to see even national leaders singing and dancing to the obscenity in public. The lyrics are dirty and not suitable for public consumption, especially children. @InfoKfcb
— Dr. Ezekiel Mutua, MBS (@EzekielMutua) August 27, 2019
The video on YouTube, which has had nearly four million views, also features lewd dance moves.
It has become hugely popular in the last few months: it was chanted in the stadium after Kenya beat Tanzania in the Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo in June and at Kenya’s national stadium last month when local team Kariobangi Sharks played Everton from the English Premier League:
Discipline, hard work and dedication +big love from our fans, and @MwalimuRachel believing in us got us here. 64,000 spectators. God ni msoh! ?????? Thank you @SportPesa for this opportunity and big up @Everton @k_sharksfc our champs! You did us proud!???? #Wamlambez! pic.twitter.com/lZEkl2csx6
— @Sailors254 (@sailors254) July 8, 2019
It is played at many celebratory events – even one funeral – the hashtag #WamlambezChallenge has become a craze.
This is a call-and-response sequence when someone shouts out: “Wamlambez”, and those around all respond by exclaiming: “Wamnyonyez” – both references to performing oral sex.
Video editors have had fun on Twitter, some using footage of Kenya’s founding father Jomo Kenyatta and characters from the animation Ice Age doing the chants: