Some are controversial. They talk about topics that cannot be discussed on radio or any television show. Others are educational and uplifting, sounds you can listen to while cruising. Doreen Wamugunda explores the players, money and popularity of podcasts in Kenya.
If you tune in to any popular radio show, you will likely find a discussion about politics, relationship drama, or celebrity gossip. Why? Most listeners find these conversations entertaining.
Fresh and unique audio content can be rare, but thanks to the internet and social media, podcasts are catching on as the hot, new option in audio entertainment.
Before 2015, podcasting was uncommon in Kenya. This relative ‘newness’ of podcasts is perhaps why they are more popular among younger audiences. According to a survey by Forbes in 2018, podcast listening is growing rapidly among 18-34 years age group.
In the USA, 44 per cent of the podcast listeners are between the ages of 18 and 34 years. The most popular podcast apps globally are iTunes, Stitcher, Google podcasts, Soundcloud and Podbean.
In Kenya, podcasts are catching up as fast. Because most podcasts are hosted privately, the conversations can be very daring and even slightly opinionated.
An example is the controversial Kenyan podcast, The Spread (hosted by Kaz Lucas and Nini Wacera). As the hosts put it: ‘It is a show about sex, positivity and open conversations.’ Some episodes are so ‘open’, in fact, that in 2016, Kenya Film Classification Board CEO, Ezekiel Mutua found fault with the hosts’ “sexuality” and the sexual content in their discussions.
The Spread was, consequently, dropped by the What’s Good Network but has been privately kept alive by the hosts. Like The Spread, another ‘immodest’ podcast is The Mics Are Open. The hosts, G Money, Andy and Calvin, hold very raw, highly sexual conversations about relationships, sex and Nairobi social life.
Even today, most radio stations only broadcast shows like The Spread and The Mics Are Open in the gloomy hours of the night, for an audience of night-shift workers and “night-crawlers”.
Unlike radio presenters, podcasters get to choose topics they are passionate about. For, Lavin Asego and Jazz, hosts of BenchwarmerzKE, podcasting is a way to channel their love for sports.
“We have a strong passion for sports and radio,” say the hosts.
The BenchwarmerzKE, is a funny yet detailed sports commentary podcast focussing on Kenyan and international sports, ranging from football to rugby and even car rallies, once a week.
So, does podcasting pay?
In some cases, podcasters are offered sponsorship which may include a studio, a crew and equipment.
An example is the podcast Otherwise? (hosted by Brenda Wambui). This interview-style, informative podcast, breaks down social and governance issues with helpful insights from experts. The conversations are sober and thought-provoking yet simple enough for anyone to understand.
Most podcasters, however, go into podcasting as a hobby with the hopes of getting sponsorship and/or partnerships along the way.
“Everything pays with the right kind of partnership or sponsorship. But if you mean like ad revenue then no, not really, the Google algorithm doesn’t really cater to Africa,” say the hosts of the popular Omenerds podcast.
The Omenerds is a hilarious pop-culture podcast that is guaranteed to have you laughing your heart out in every episode. The hosts (Laureezy, Tim, Max, Thuita and Jimmy) take on all kinds of discussions from movies/TV shows to Kenyan life and social issues.
Right from the title you can tell that it is a light-hearted and casual podcast.
“The podcast started from a Telegram group for nerds that is run by Laura (Laureezy). The origin of the name ‘Omenerds’ came from the nerd groups’ constant arguments as to whether omena is is good food or not, the argument has yet to be resolved.”
For literature lovers, the Nipe Story podcast, hosted by Kevin Mwachiro, will definitely tickle your fancy. This podcast is a collection of beautiful short stories from across Kenya. On a lazy afternoon or as you sit in traffic on your daily commute, these stories will allow you to escape to fascinating imaginary worlds.
Paukwa Stories is another interesting literature podcast, where the rich and authentic stories of Kenya’s history are narrated, one county at a time. These short but captivating stories will be the history lessons you never knew you needed.
For a musical challenge, the Ado Veli podcast, hosted by Ado Veli and Pesh is the podcast to look out for. The hosts analyse Kenyan music (with occasional input from other music professionals) and you will most likely discover a song/artiste (or two) that you had no idea about.
For the ‘techies’, the 24Bit podcast is definitely one to look out for. The podcast’s hosts Nixon, Kaluka, Dickson and Chenze explore all matters tech and the tech space in Kenya. You will definitely need to hear their opinions on how to identify fake phones in the market.
The Kenyan podcast scene grows every day. With more than twenty refreshing podcasts to choose from, here are a few notable ones to look out for: 2 girls & a pod (an enlightened literature review podcast), She shapes the city (a podcast celebrating strong women making the world a better place), Kenyan Queer Questions (A podcast tackling the presumptions and curiosities about the LGBTQ community) and Surviving Nairobi (Yes, a podcast about surviving in Nairobi).
Whatever your curiosity is, whether film or politics or sports, there is most likely a podcast that will suit you.
If you are new to the world of podcasts, all you is a good device, an internet connection and maybe some good quality earphones to dive into these fun Kenyan conversations.
The top 5 most downloaded podcasts globally:
1. The Daily.
2. The Joe Rogan Experience.
3. Stuff you should know.
4. TED Talks daily.
5. The American Life.
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11