Just watched my first episode of Shuga…..yes eons later. But better late than never right? Haiya I have to give it up to them. Yaani, Kenyans produce something like that? (Not that I don’t think Kenyans can produce anything good but I’ve been watching a lot of Nigerian movies, and watching a Kenyan tv series without seeing mikes and cameras or hearing the crew talk in the background, I feel like I’m in movie heaven)
Wonder why we aren’t producing movies and high end tv series when we can do so well. Maybe if we produced more movies people would give up on Afro-cinema and all the Chineke madness. Back in the day, I used to love Papa Shirandula and Tahidi High but before these came up they had tried upgrading the old programs to bring Better Days on KTN (found it on youtube by the way, can’t wait to watch); Asali (that was like the most upgraded swa program); Makutano Junction (is it still on KBC?). Problem though was the irregularity in providing these kind of shows, I think the only reason the Kenyan and African Market consumes so much of Nollywood films is cause they are hungry for something they can identify with. Remember in the 90s we were all hooked to South African tv shows: Generations, Eboli, Isindigo etc and a few Tanzanian and Ugandan shows also aired and people loved them.
American/European/Australian programs might be high quality and entertaining but after a while you realise you can almost never identify with the lifestyles and issues discuss. Most of us have never been to Naija nor met enough nigerians to understand their culture but from their movies you can tell they are more like us than all those other movies we’ve been watching since TVs were introduced in Africa.
I’d love to see more Kenyan movies and TV series; thank God today with youtube you don’t need to be in Kenya to catch up with them. Here is a short list of some of the interesting African shows I love, click on them to go the program’s page: Not all are mainstream shows, some are from “citizen” broadcasters.
Better Days – I can’t remember what the storyline was (the link goes to the KTN Classics page on Youtube)
Churchill Live – Kenyan comedians (best bet would be to search on youtube, different people have uploaded different episodes, sadly there’s no system for it nor consistency. Same goes for Tahidi High and Papa Shirandula)
Growing Up African– a story about a Tanzanian family living in the US
Home Sweet Home – story about a middle class Ghanaian Family
Makutano Junction – based on the lives of characters living in Makutano (just found this today, I’m yet to watch any of their episodes, can’t wait I’m so excited didn’t know they were on youtube)
Papa Shirandula – based on the story of a watchman, his wife, their friends and relatives from the village
Tahidi High – adventures of high school kids
Ten Minute Fix – a group of Kenyans in the US, meeting up to discuss world affairs
Here’s the first episode of Shuga, check it out tell me what you think. Other episodes are on vimeo though I’ve seen a couple on the KTN Classics page as well. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Shuga Episode 1 from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.