New Online Shows: TV, Radio Personalities go Digital

  • Combination image of Jalang'o, Betty Kyallo, Jeff Koinange and Abel Mutua
    Combination image of Jalang'o, Betty Kyallo, Jeff Koinange and Abel Mutua
  • While the global Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted practically every sector, it has brought with it opportunities that have been latched onto by enterprising individuals.

    The media industry in Kenya has been no exception, with headlines on pay cuts, lay-offs and boardroom battles now the norm.

    Adjusting with the times, several popular personalities on mainstream media have quickly found their footing online, building up large audiences with their online shows.

    The surge in popularity of these shows can be attributed to a number of factors; among them, the new adventures shows hosted by famous figures take fans on.

    The increased time people are spending at home is also undoubtedly a factor, evidenced worldwide by the surge in new users signing up for video streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu.

    Among various mainstream media personalities who have found success with new online shows during the Covid-19 pandemic are Betty Kyallo, formerly of K24, Jeff Koinange of Citizen TV, Jalang'o formerly of Milele FM and Abel Mutua, a celebrated screenwriter and producer.

    Others such as Mercy Milanoi, who was among journalists who lost their jobs in mass lay-offs at Mediamax which owns K24, excited fans after hinting at focusing on Youtube after leaving the station.

    Betty Kyallo - Betty Lately

    In just a month, Betty Kyallo has racked up over 100,000 subscribers on her Youtube channel thanks to her new web series Betty Kyallo Lately.

    The reality TV-Esque series so far has over 10 episodes, all of which see cameras follow Betty as she runs various errands and attends to other matters.

    One of the reasons cited for its success has been the access it offers fans into Betty Kyallo's life and family, with moments such as her daughter's birthday caught on camera.

    The presenter announced her exit from K24 on Sunday, May 31 shocking viewers who had grown accustomed to her Weekend With Betty show.

    Jalang'o - Bonga na Jalas

    Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang'o has garnered a large following on Youtube where he hosts a talk-show, Bonga na Jalas.

    On the show, Jalang'o has hosted everyone from artists such as CMB Prezzo and Nadia Mukami to politicians including Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and his Embakasi East counterpart Babu Owino.

    With over 100,000 subscribers already, Jalang'o has revealed plans to expand the operation by bringing on board more creators including journalists and designers.

    This is despite the former Milele FM presenter's expected return to radio on the Radio Africa-owned Kiss FM.

    Abel Mutua - Young and Stupid

    Abel Mutua, the actor who made a name for himself on Citizen TV's Tahidi High, before venturing into screenwriting and production, has also earned plaudits for his new online show.

    In each episode of the show, Mutua tells a different story from his life and career including about his time on Tahidi High.

    His nostalgic trips have become a favorite for many Kenyans who anticipate new episodes to hear the comedic, true tales.

    Jeff Koinange - A Chapter a Day

    Citizen TV anchor Jeff Koinange is another mainstream media figure who has quickly captured attention with an online series.

    His show A Chapter a Day, sees Jeff read and reflect on various chapters from his book Through my African Eyes which chronicles his life and career.

    The show has offered Jeff's fans a look into his rise to become one of the most acclaimed journalists in the region, and the hurdles he faced along the way.