List of TV Shows That Got Kenyans Glued to Screens

  • From Top Left: A collage of posters of Kina, Selina, Machachari, and Maria TV shows.
    From Top Left: A collage of posters of Kina, Selina, Machachari, and Maria TV shows.
    File
  • Over the years, Kenyans have been drawn to entertaining shows aired on various television stations. Some of these shows remain memorable in the minds of Kenyans because of the emotions they elicit.

    Additionally, some of the TV shows have contributed to the growth of many Kenyan actors who are now superstars signing mega-deals with leading companies. Others have also made a name for themselves in other careers.

    Here is a list of TV shows that caused disruption among the Kenya TV audience;

    1. Selina 

    An image of Selina TV show actors Celestine Gachuhi (Selina), Pascal Tokodi (Nelson) at an event in 2018.
    An image of Selina TV show actors Celestine Gachuhi (Selina), Pascal Tokodi (Nelson) at an event in 2018.
    File

    Selina is a Swahili family drama series that tells the story of Selina, a young and ambitious fashion designer who hails from a poor background and who moves into a wealthy family, the Mackenzies. She is constantly at loggerheads with some of her new family members who believe she does not belong to the family because of her background.

    The show started in 2018 and airs on Maisha Magic who have been renewing the series every year because of the traction the show has gained over the years.

    Among the lead stars in the TV series include Celestine Gachuhi (Selina) and Pascal Tokodi (Nelson- Selina’s husband).

    2. Maria

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    Maria cast pose for a photo with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho in Mombasa County on Friday, January 29, 2021
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    Maria is a TV drama soap opera that aired on Citizen TV. The show's first episode premiered on the Kenyan screens in 2019. The show was produced by Jiffy Pictures which is managed by Citizen TV anchor Lulu Hassan. 

    The story was about young girl, Maria,  who is taken from the ghetto to live with a rich family. She later causes a rift between brothers who fall in love with her.

    A report in 2019 by Geopoll on Television and Radio Audience Ratings revealed that the TV show was the most popular TV show in Kenya at the time at 31.77 percent. The report also indicated that the audience cut across both men and women.

    Its popularity earned them awards with the show being named as the Best TV Drama during the 2020 Kalasha awards.

    The show is also credited to the rise of Yasmin Said who acted as Maria. At the Kalasha awards, she was also awarded as the Best lead actress. The popular show ended with the last episode running on March 18.

    3. Tahidi High

    Tahidi High was a show that hit the Kenyan screens in 2009. The show depicted the day-to-day life of a typical Kenyan high school. From mischievous students like OJ to focused students like Tanya, the show was relatable to the audience.

    Among the popular actors who are memorable to Kenyans include Joseph Kinuthia (Omosh), Dennis Mugo (OJ), Sarah Hassan (Tanya), Ferdinand Omondi (Mule), and Makena Njeri. Upon the show's ending, some of the actors went ahead to star in other films while others like Omondi and Makena became journalists at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

    Former Tahidi High cast members Shirleen Wangari, Kamau Kinuthia, Angel Waruinge and Philip Karanja
    Former Tahidi High cast members Shirleen Wangari, Kamau Kinuthia, Angel Waruinge and Philip Karanja
    File

    4. Auntie Boss

    In 2019, the show was named as the second most-watched TV show in Kenya after Maria by GeoPoll. Aunty Boss was a comedy-drama show that was aired on NTV and told the story of the relationship between rich families living in the leafy suburbs of Nairobi and their househelps. The show was centered around the life of an air hostess, Vanessa, and her househelp, Shiro.

    Shiro was played by Nyce Njeri. However, she quit the show in 2018 to venture into other interests. Another notable star in the show include media personality Eve D'Sousa (Varshita).

    5. The Real House Helps of Kawangware (TRHK)

    TRHK aired on Kenya Television Network (KTN) and portrayed the lives of domestic workers living in the ghetto and their day-to-day interactions with their bosses. 

    The show brought together a number of comedians such as Timothy Kimani (Njugush) and Stephen Oduor Dede (DJ Shiti). The show is credited for the rise of Njugush who has grown to become among the top comedians in the country.

    After running on KTN, the show was moved to NTV before hitting Maisha magic with new actors being brought on board.

    A poster of the Real Househelps of Kawangware TV show
    A poster of the Real Househelps of Kawangware TV show
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    The Real Househelps of Kawangware

    6. Machachari

    Machachari was a TV drama show centered around the lives of kids from the ghetto and their friends who lived in a high-end estate in Nairobi.

    Among the kids that dazzled Kenyans with their talent were Tyler Mbaya (Bahati), Malik Lemuel (Govi), and Ian Nene (Almasi). However, over time the show saw some of the actors exploring other opportunities after the show ended in 2020.

    7. Vitimbi

    In the early 2000's most Kenyan families were hooked to the Swahili family drama series, Vitimbi, which aired on the national broadcaster, KBC. The show revolved around the life of a couple of Mzee Ojwang and Mama Kayai. The show became famous among Kenyans that the actors were often hired to entertain Kenyans during public holidays. 

    At the time, the other TV stations did not have an audience reach as compared to the national broadcaster. Another actor who is a product of the show is Davis Mwambili alias Inspector Mwala.

    On  Benson Wanjau alias Mzee Ojwang passed on after suffering from pneumonia.

    8. Kina

    Another TV drama series that has become popular over time is Kina. Kina is a TV show that tells the story of an ambitious woman, Nana, who is willing to go to arm's length to amass wealth for herself and her company. Nana owns Kina waters, a water company that is built on a foundation of power, deceit, and greed.

    Among the popular actors of the show are media personalities Sanaipei Tande(Nana) and  Jimmy Gathu (Nana's husband). The show airs on Maisha Magic.

    A file image of a poster of Maisha Magic's family drama show, Kina.
    A file image of a poster of Maisha Magic's family drama show, Kina.
    File