The Director, Licensing Department of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Cornell Agim, has reacted to a controversial video from Nigerian rapper, Falz, titled ‘This is Nigeria’. The video which has been much talked about features some ladies dancing Shaku Shaku while putting on Hijab. In the song, the rapper talked about the ills in the Nigerian society as he claims all Nigerians are criminals.
According to Cornell Agim, one of the reasons why NFVCB is yet to do something about the song is because the rapper didn’t bring it in for licensing and rating before he released it to the public. And unfortunately, the agency’s monitoring team hasn’t reported the video to the directorate.
He said that, though it is their job to censor and rate videos before they get to the public, they can’t be everywhere. That is why journalists and members of the public affected by the visuals are expected to notify them. With that, they can investigate the videos.
In his words, ‘the agency do censorship and rating of music video before it gets to the general public. We ensure we do analysis of those videos. We also try as much as possible not to tamper with the creative intention of any artiste except they come with some obscenity, which we most time kick against. BUT Falz didn’t bring his music video for licensing before it gets to the public. As the Director of Licensing, I haven’t seen the video. Same as the agency. None of our monitoring team has brought it to my notice. Hence, we didn’t censor it before it gets to the public.
He added that, ‘the truth is, most time we can’t reach out. We are handicap because we are not everywhere and we can’t be everywhere. That’s why people like you (journalists) should notify us once you see things like that. Bring them to our notice and we’ll investigate it and bring the perpetrators to book. Often time, we get complain from Nigerians, saying what’s the agency doing? We are trying our best though our best might not be good enough. That’s why we need people like you to supply us with information about the affected song.
The agency do organise sensational programmes for filmmakers and music video doctors. We held one recently in Bauchi, we called it consultative forum but many of them didn’t come. You invite them, they won’t come. Some of them will even ask you for transportation fee. We also print out handouts containing guidelines. If you visit our website, there are relevant materials on licensing and rating. But are they visiting the site? Are they reading the uploaded materials? Despite our efforts in sanitizing the industry, some of them would prefer to break the rules’.