I have been dismayed by the endless ‘classroom setting’ shows that are currently a trend on our local television networks, or the sloppy ‘copy pasted’ prank shows that are slowly becoming the ‘in’ thing.
For a nation that grew up on Tausi, Tahamaki, Vioja Mahakamani, Vitimbi and Mizizi, the Kenyan ‘visual’ scene has fallen into a deep slumber.
‘Content is King’ is a catchphrase thrown around in the marketing and communication sector, but what sort of kingdom does it rule? Well, the phrase is not new; it’s been around for a while.
We live in a world where content is overwhelming in its abundance but the case is different in Kenya. It’s almost as if content has become a foreign thing.
Here its the same script and cast in every show; are we that scared of thinking? Switch on your TV during the weekday and apart from the news, which is also running on the ‘anything for hits’ slogan — even stretching to using sex appeal to get viewership — the rest of the programming is sad.
If it’s not some cliché Spanish/ Mexican soap opera it’s a West African movie or a local version of Gags; Just for Laughs. But there are a few good local shows that get airtime.
Just like in the radio sector, programme controllers have been afraid to ‘risk’; either that or the media just needs new people. Radio was flat in the past - apart from the quality of music being above par, there was zero content. It wasn’t until one station ‘risked’ by incorporating comedians as co-hosts that radio became interesting.
That was new to the market and as expected over the months that followed, every radio station had comedians in their roster, proving that we are a ‘copy paste’ industry. But back to television.
How many times do you watch foreign TV shows and just smile at the brilliance of the brains behind them? Kenya has a lot of talent but many talented directors and producers fail to make the cut because they are not ‘famous’ or not friends with the ‘TV people’.
NAIROBI HALF LIFE
Nairobi Half Life is evidence enough. Not many people knew Tosh before his movie but I’m glad the spotlight is now shining on him. This is a hot-button issue; it’s almost as if a handful of household names are given a spot on every TV channel flooding our living rooms with poorly done shows.
It’s more like throwing the dice — no target audience (look, we just caught them off-guard!)