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WHERE ARE THE SCRIPTWRITERS IN KENYA TO WRITE GOOD STORIES?

Gerald Langiri
May 14 / 2014

I cannot stand Kenyan TV shows. The whole lot of them. Not because I am unpatriotic or I do not support local talent, but because they are all so poorly scripted. Some have superb production values. Camera work is great; Actors are gifted. But the stories being told leave folks dissapointed.

I am sure by reading this article many of you will tell me “si uandike show yako.’ One day, I will. But for now let me express my displeasure.

Whenever I watch a TV series from the UK like Hustle or one from the US like 24 I anticipate a linear plot. I know Jack Bauer will start out running and will finish as the hero after 24 episodes. Yet amidst this predictability I am left at the end of each episode wanting more. I can’t wait till the next time I go to PirateBay for my illegal download of the following episode. I know I will watch Breaking Bad and wish it never ended when it ends. Even the silliest of Mexican novellas have a story that girls will tell their schoolmates the next day.

But Kenyan script writers do not seem to have any story to tell us. I was a HUGE fan of one particular show when it began. It begged me to watch the next episode. This only lasted a few weeks till I found out that the script writer had ripped off the producers by giving a rival station the same first pages of the script. Then they started on a spiral of wanting to stick on our screens forever with nothing interesting to say. Another show is well known for having a student cast that has never graduated. Can’t Kenyan writers be content with a 13-episode script then go on a break and come back after a year?

Can’t they script intelligent humour, aside from the goofy, worn out tribal stereotype jokes? Does comedy have to be goof comedy or must I have to endure over-the-top accents, actors wearing multicoloured or sticking black tape on their teeth?

Before you bash me for having nothing positive to say, let me say I entirely enjoyed Better Days. I remember the story till today. Shiku from the slum meets the guy from the Barbie estate, the parents do not approve. She has to refuse advances from the character of Raymond Ofula and keep her dignity amidst all her woes. It made us cry, it made us laugh. It was linear. It lasted 13 episodes and it concluded.

We want linear, we want sense, we want conclusion. And then we will support Kenyan content. Kenyan script writers will have to do more to engage us. Meanwhile we, remain regular visitors of PirateBay for the latest American series and Mexican soaps.

By Barasa Jay Ongeti

Actor| Theatre enthusiast| Film Lover

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