For the past few decades, these corny soap operas have been dominating your TV’s and my question is: Why?
Why do you tune in, night in and night out, to watch yet another predictable, badly scripted, unrealistic, low budget program that is a rehashed version of the one you’ve been watching for the past five years?
I have a theory.
Kenyans are a relatively smart bunch, or so I like to think. So when I began investigating this phenomena(yes, I investigated it) I carried out some basic surveys. I would go to people’s houses around the time the shows were on and ask them “Why are you watching this crap?”
While most of the answers were bland and similar, the best had to be from my little cousin who said “It’s something stupid that relaxes me after a long day in school.” I laughed and began patting my strong genes on their back. Then I remembered something. Kids are very often the only people that will tell you the truth. Now granted, she isn’t an infant, but she is pretty frank. So I continued questioning her, culminating in the question: “So why do you think Kenyans love these shows so much?”
I could not believe that I had been so narrow minded as not to notice. Apparently there is nothing else to watch. See unlike most Kenyans, we
steal have DSTV and options therein. For the majority though, at that critical time when they sit down to unwind, it’s either the MexSoaps or local productions. Yes, our homemade entertainment, which for the most part are shot with cellphone cameras and had a 2 man production team. And no script whatsoever. No budget either. Just some guys that got together after a party and said “You know what we should do? I know a guy at NTV that can hook us up.” and the rest is history.
I watched this one show the other day and this was the scene from it.
[Open scene. Crying lady picks up her phone. she’s supposedly angry because she’s saying “I’m so mad.” over and over, but she doesn’t look it.]
Lady: Pick up the phone. I’m so mad.
[Guy on the other end sees the phone ringing and picks it up. someone whispers to the cameraman to hang up the phone because he’s messing up the audio quality.]
Guy(sarcastic laugh): Surprise….(pause)… Surprise
Lady: Why did you do this to me? To us?!?
Guy: Sometimes you have to kill…(pause)…two birds with one stone.
Lady: But why me?
Guy: What goes around…. (pause)….. comes around.
Lady: But what did I do to deserve this?
Guy: You bit off more than….(pause)…..you could chew.
Lady: But why me?
Guy: If you can’t take the heat, (elongated pause) stay out of the kitchen.
[Guy hangs up. End scene.]
Eurgh. I died a little bit. I wanted to laugh, but instead I felt a warm tear run down my cheek. I was in pain.
So I changed the channel and saw some hispanic dude in a suit with a cowboy hat and a mustache handcuffing some chick named Catalina or something. The voice overs were horrible, translation was shifty at best and on a normal day the production would look ass, but today, it looked OK. In fact, compared to what I just saw, this was pretty good. Then I realized what was going on.
Children, the Kenyan media giants are fooling us. They know it costs too much to get the rights to dope TV shows that are still running abroad until they are 2-3 seasons old. But they are also aware that Kenyans are a bright group and hence very in-the-know. So they throw you in for a loop; a classic Kansas City Shuffle. They get these local shows that cost coins to pay for and that are fully covered by sponsors and then pay for some cheap MexSoap as the “better” alternative. Then they run re-runs of old seasons of new shows at an hour when nobody is watching so that no one can complain.
And they’re probably going to keep doing it until somebody says something. My bet? Nobody from this group will. We download, bootleg, and don’t care. We change the channel, turn off our tellies and turn on the Internet and let everybody else suffer.
Leaving some poor soul with no options no choice but to fall in love with whatever new MexSoap is being dished out by Citizen TV. Glory!