Obscene Media Content: A Real Danger!

Odd story lines in movies suggestive of strange sexual orientations have been creeping into public space in Cameroon with the benediction of foreign content providers. They even touch on the sensitivities of kids with cartoon heroes carefully crafted to appear kind, lovely, caring and so on. Such characters are in effect designed to promote transgender and all other lewed visions than expressing the humaneness that they claim to demonstrate. In the days of old, these would have been an abomination in most of our African communities, Cameroon inclusive. Like several estranged ideological values over the centuries, Africans have been seen as passive absorbers of such disparaging notions intended to scale down most, if not all of her cultural realities in exchange for peanuts. Yes, come to think of it, what compensation can atone for Slave Trade, Colonialism, Neo-colonialism and other forms of pillages that the African continent has suffered from? All atrocious treatments meted out on Africans throughout history, with complicities from even unsuspecting quarters, have either left mankind indifferent or in a cynical posture about the ability of Africans to have any iota of self-opinion. This has been depicted through the imposition of values and demands capable of over-stretching every human imagination across Africa. The wake-up call by the National Communication Council in Cameroon (NCC) on 12 June, 2023 against homosexual messages in foreign movies in the country might have been seen by some as a routine complaint. But no! Promoting such practices in our society is contrary to national laws. That is why the media watchdog in the country pointed out that; “These programmes, generally broadcast by foreign editors, which mainly involve ordinary series, are featured more and more in cartoons meant for children and minors. These practices include a breach to propriety, customs and Cameroon laws. As a matter of fact, according to articles 3 and 4 of the decree of 23 January 2012 reorganising the National Communication Council, the Council ensures on the one hand, “the respect of the freedom of mass communication in accordance with the Constitution, respect of laws and regulations in force” and on the other hand, ensures the “protection of the dignity of persons, particularly of children and youth in the media”. No one could put the issues in a better way. Images and film characters that tend to deform and misinform, especially children have no place in Cameroon like elsewhere across the globe. That is the basic principle and added to it is the fact that different communities have the right to select their models and value systems. When attempts are made to impose behavioural patterns on others, it becomes suspicious and loathsome. By conceiving mass media content for children with the avowed intention of getting them to accept ideological orientations that do not form part of their norms and customs speaks of the determination to mislead innocent individuals towards options that are not familiar within their cultural spheres. Yet, it is a well-established truth that freedom of expression consists in accepting others for who they are on condition that they do not disrupt public order. In other words, one man’s freedoms, they say, end where those of the other persons begin. Under such conditions, how could it be possible that the truth can only come from certain persons or groups in total neglect of what the others think? If the laws of a country go against certain principles, can that be viewed as wrong because some communities think otherwise? Specialists of international relations have pointed out severally that non-interference in the internal affairs of any nation should be sacrosanct. This means any country has the right to fashion out its legal system based on its socio-cultural and political guidelines intended to create internal harmony, peace and stability. Any violation of such legal provisions must be treated as such, until such a time that the people deem it fit to make necessary readjustments as it is best for them Unfortunately, through shrewd mass media broadcast with clear agenda settings, messages keep being churned out to the masses to corrupt young and innocent minds in Africa that only wan...



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