Kenyan TV Shows: A Review

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I am a HUGE supporter for Kenyan programming. Leo am gonna say a bit about what I think of some of the shows I’ve been watching.

Tabasamu

Old Cast. Only Maya (right) remains.

Its a soap revolving around three room-mates/house-mates i.e. Wivina, Maya & JB. At the moment, Maya is in South Africa. She was transferred there by Raha Zetu tours where she works. In her place is her sultry and seductive cousin —. she’s dating an MP at the moment and she knows what she wants! I simply love her. The other one Maya is another one who also just jazzes me. Especially the way they fight with her rival Penny haha!! Then ofcourse there’s Wivina’s mother Rosemary who is a sugar mommy! She goes out with young toy boys n she loves it! Oh, and we recently discover that chances are that she ain’t the real mom to Wivina! It airs on CITIZEN on Mondays at 10.10pm just after XYZ Show (which by the way is the ish!) and is produced by KenTV.

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Nairobi Law

Nini Wacera

Nairobi Law is a law show revolving around Mwako & Co Advocates. Mr Mwako is the senior partner and is played by the infamous Raymond Ofula. Nini Wacera and Eddie Kimani are the main lawyers and cast in the show too. Me thinks its a good show, tryning to capture scenes from our own law courts considering that the episodes are mostly borrowed from actual court cases. I like it and the attempt is to be lauded. Shows on Tuesdays after 9pm news and produced by KenTV.

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Mheshimiwa

 

Mheshimiwa

Honestly I have nothing to say about this show. Fine, I watch it at times but every time I watch for like 3minutes I can’t help but tsk, nkt and change channels immediately! Its just awful! As in, maybe the best I’d say is that they are trying to have a funny show… in the ranks of akina Scrubs but nooooo yao ni mbaya tu sana! Yuck! Ata afadhali I watch Inspekta Mwala! #WhyLie!! The jokes are almost always off and bland. Fine, they do try to kinda show us the intrigues about being a ‘Mheshimiwa’ in Kenya but seriously, I’d rather stick to XYZ!!! Mara that!!! It shows on KTN on Mondays at 7.30pm and is produced by Insignia Productions. It also has reruns over the weekends. (don’t ask why!)

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Changing Times

Changing Times

Now, here we have another (IMO) very well done show. It revolves around uni students and a certain rich dude who’s one of the kid’s dad. It also has bad guys, kidnappings, that kinda stuff. Me likey so far. One ubaya I’d mention is that the chics have make-up all the time! Mpaka when its clear wametoka bed! #FAIL! But all in all, I like the intrigues, the drama and what not. I haven’t shikad the names of the characters yet, mostly because it comes at a time when am still out n

about nikijenga nchi so… but its still good to me. The point is that its Kenyan and they’re trying. Why not support them? It shows on KTN on Tuesdays at 7.30pm and also has reruns over the weekend. Its produced by Insignia Productions.

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Be The Judge

Cast of Be The Judge

Some tell me that this is by far the best attempt at very good production of TV programming. Its like a cleaner, more upmarket version of Nairobi Law and includes a Jury that judges the case being shown before the Judge on the bench gives her ruling. The jury is usually guided by the main man lawyer (guy in front on the picture) and (I presume) they are ordinary Kenyans who give views and finally a verdict on the case at hand. I like what they are doing and from what I saw, it being supported by Ford Foundation means that its meant to be like an information portal on the laws of Kenya. Quite a noble initiative I must say!

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Well, that’s it ladies and gentlemen. I did my best. I could wright more, critique more and complain here and there but I don’t see the need for it. In my view, the programs are a huge step towards the right direction and the best we could do is support them. Not watching sijui Ramsay on Naija films! Watch akina Nini and company do their thing. And just to reiterate, a lot more needs to be done IMO. Some of the actors really need some work! Eg. Rosemary, Wivina’s mother just sounds like those peeps who act in school plays! And am so so sure you can find all manner of mistakes n stuff you’d like to poke n prod at.

I hope I have made an attempt at wooing y’all to watch n support more local talent! P.S. Check out MM for more! He’s views are … err… well just go & check out! And special thanks to them for the pics! Oh, and NTV shows ain’t here coz… well… haven’t watched much of theirs!

*Over & Out*

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27 Responses to “Kenyan TV Shows: A Review”

  1. amarieadhis Says:

    Be The Judge is my absolute fave 🙂

    • Joliea Says:

      @amarie,

      I’m yet to decide! But my top ones are definitely Tabasamu, Changing Times & Be The Judge!!

      Thanks for commenting though 😀

  2. coloseum Says:

    be the judge is my best though i dont do mucho tv these days..the guys on it argue from a point of intelligence and that’s a huge plus.

    the next for me has to be changing times (im biased coz one of the hotties is my cousin)…

    local programming has come a long way. from times when you could almost catch the actors staring at the cam wondering if their cue to speak had come, shoddy editing and bad scripting.

    you don’t like Beba beba? the mama who pulls of slang JAZZZZZZES me..

    • Joliea Says:

      @coloseum,

      As i said, NTV has bad reception where I stay so I can’t say anything about them.

      • coloseum Says:

        oops, had skipped that bit..

  3. JesusPiano_Ke Says:

    @colloseum that mama is called sasha. Even me i like bebabeba. Its awesome. I hate mheshimiwa! And you could still have added xyz even though we don’t know who the actors are.

    • Joliea Says:

      @possumkeys,

      As u noticed, I did mention them quite a few times. XYZ is rather on anaa scale for me

    • coloseum Says:

      imma look for sasha’s digits!!! lol…

      some of xyz’s actors were part of the KU travelling theatre team. they made my stay at campus hilarious. talented characters.

  4. kachwanya Says:

    I don’t watch much tv these days but i like to see many people talk about the local programs. I think to some extent the local programs have helped citizentv gain market share or the viewership form the other rivals like KTN and NTV. The local programming space is still wide open for creativity, time for creative Kenyans to come up with great programs and sell them to local stations. Make $$$$.
    Investors too have opportunity here

    • Joliea Says:

      @kachwanya,

      Thanks for commenting. I completely agree with you on that. I also believe that that’s how Citizen TV have gained market share: Local programming.

      Couldn’t have said it better.

  5. bankelele Says:

    i watch Nairobi Law, Tahidi, & Churchill. I used to watch Tabasamu, but they ran out of plot ideas, and have non of the original actors left in the current cast

    • Joliea Says:

      @bankelele,

      1st lemme thank you for commenting here for th 1st tym (I think) *maexcitos!*

      Yea, the fact that the three original protagonists are no longer there leaves much to be desired. Makes the plot loose taste. I still support them though.

  6. Rainmaker Rain Says:

    I would say that Tahidi high and Be the judge are the setting the bar high enough for the others to catch up. Mweshimiwa is shoddy and the jokes are as u say bland.

    One thing though is that Kenyan programs are yet to be decided on their genre. That is whether they are to have the shows are dramas, comedy, police procedural, crime investigations and so on.

    Look at Inspekta Mwala for example, the show should ideally be a police procedural but instead, they guys try to go for comedy which (IMO) fails.

    Kudos for the article Joliea!

    • Joliea Says:

      @Rainmaker,

      Thanks for commenting & thanks for the support 🙂

      I have never liked Tahidi High. I tried and it failed. Something about the plot just doesn’t get to me. About genres, I believe that production houses and the writers themselves should be free to pick whatever genre they want, the major issue is making the show itself, no matter the genre, good enough for the audience to accept and respond to.

  7. willpress Says:

    Tabasamu: Took them a while to get into the setting and now the cast is somehow solid although sometimes the storyline gets cyclic but the latest season is pacy, racy and very daring too!

    Be The Judge: SOLID through and through. I no longer watch the travesty that is Nairobi Law.

    I always fail to catch Changing Times so I don’t have much to say about it.

    What local producers have not really considered is a proper sitcom, with just the right jokes and proper casting… they should give it a try!

    Joliea: Thanks willpress! Well said! 😉

  8. rainkenya Says:

    With the popularity of Naija Movies and the Mexican Soap operas, I believe it is time for Kenyan producers to come up with a really good soap opera. I remember when I was young I used to enjoy watching Tausi…………….

    Or maybe I should take up that challenge……..myself!

  9. Kawi Says:

    Imagine I never make it in time to watch T.V , but when I do, I like
    Tahidi High, Makutano Junction, Mheshimiwa, Papa Shirandula mainly because they make me laugh, while others bring out some societal issues affecting the Kenyans. I’ve always liked how they act in swahili, it just sounds nice plus excellent production and script writing, plus cast totally take up their roles.

    I watched Nairobi Law once and I thought it wasn’t nice at all, poor production, plus someof the casts don’t relate with their role well..from the review inakaa they’ve improved??

    • Joliea Says:

      @Kawi,

      Aaw.. that must suck. Am a TV buff, #whylie so I practically watch anything! But only if it interests me. If I get bored (e.g. Mheshimiwa) I hate it to the core.

      Thanks for commenting.

  10. benji Says:

    compared to the new crop of shows that i know will soon be hitting the screens…..the above shows, except of course “BE THE JUDGE”….. all suck major balls

    • Joliea Says:

      @benji,

      Hmm… someone has insider information eh? Ok lets wait and see.

  11. salim Says:

    hlw thanx 4 the nyc reviews i wud like 2 comment on sumthin firstly i wud like 2 congratulate the kenyan film industry wametoka mbali kudos there bt y do some kenyan shows lack originality? For instance changing times most of the actors speak in un-kenyan and unafrican (american mostly) accents nd they portray a lifestyle that’s unlike ours. We have close to 43 tribes, 43 cultures, 43 identities surely with a production like insignia’s we could whip up sumthing gr8. Nd we also need sumthing inspirational nd covering both sides of the kenyan spectrum nt just the lifestyles of the rich nd famous in kenya… Neways BIG UP again

    • Joliea Says:

      @salim, I agree with you. However, I wonder what you mean by “Un-Kenyan” and “Un-African”. Please elaborate.

  12. elsaphan Says:

    there is a saying that goes like, ‘spend monery to make money’. pay the cast and crew right and they will get it right. it will also create competition for the roles and competition though not always attracts quality.

  13. Breezy Marongah Says:

    changing times is the best,and by the way-here i come to rock your auditions on sato even tough i dnt knw the venue!

  14. L_avy D_avy (@L_avy) Says:

    I think after you gave Nairobi Law such a star review it just took a nose dive coz after watching it now and then I wonder how a lawyer in court can just hear another one address a point of law or something and then just say, “What!?”

    • Joliea Says:

      @Lavi, Hahaha!!! Wait, kwani it came back?

  15. stanley Says:

    wea can i get the dvd’s of these progs


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