CHANGING TIMES (KTN, HOW TIMES ARE CHANGING!)
Directed by Jennifer Gatero and co-owned between KTN and Insignia Production, the show first aired on April 2010.It has had a fanatical following and critics in equal measure. Blame it on the cast, the fan base is mostly women; Ian Mugoya (plays bad boy George Moca) is one of the hottest men in the Kenyan showbiz (a sister confessed to me).True to her word Ian has bagged a series of endorsements (Recall the Nescafe 3 in 1 face) and a contract to co-host Str8up, a program in the same station. Kevin Ndege was part of the first actors to feature in changing times and he is going places. He will be traveling to South Africa after he was selected to take the lead role in a film about HIV/Aids. And it is a stellar cast that includes Kendra Etufunwa of Jacobs cross, Hakeem kazimof of 24 and Faka Mokoena of Blood diamonds. Produced by South Africa based- curious pictures Ndege stars as Kalu, a gifted footballer, who moved from rural Kenya to urban Johannesburg to follow his dream. His path becomes more challenging when he falls in love with the coach’s daughter and also finds out that he is HIV positive.
The female cast of changing times has had guys glued to their TVs. However with the kind of exposure the show has given them, some have attracted attention elsewhere and have since left the show for better roles. Joey Muthengi the beauty also known as the queen of street swag acted in the award winning programme as Elizabeth Kanyi. Although she was reluctant to confirm this news, reliable sources have confirmed that she called the producers and informed them of her departure. Joey is said to have her hands full with her radio career and also her recent appointment as Kenyan Channel O's VJ which has seen her go to South Africa for training.
She will join other Channel O VJs like former Big Brother Amplified housemate Weza, Dineo, Lungile and SK. Her departure follows that of Brenda Wairimu who played Shareefa. Brenda had to leave Insignia productions where she was playing Shariffa due to the terms of the contract of the new project she has embarked on with her lead role in Mali and she has also starred in acting in the movie MTV Shuga 2.Rumour has it her departure was not well received by her previous production house. Perhaps the reason why not a single picture of hers can be found on the changing times facebook page. Plus, rumour has it that she has not been paid for a couple of episodes by Insignia due to the breach of contract of going to do another Mali project.Nice Githinji who plays Lisa got a Kalasha nomination, best lead actress TV category and actually won it.
Recently introduced Kelvin Mbithi Mwendwa who plays Jaymo is one the biggest acts as far as screen acting is concerned. He got Kalasha nominations a short while after hitting the screens. His ability to merge the characters of a ghetto kid enrolled in a university on a scholarship with comic is legendary (no exaggeration.)
There however have been awkward moments in the show; with the introduction of guns, drugs and crime gangs. I have quite not followed the concept of introducing a female drug lord whose role is to torment the Kanyi’s.In an interview Brenda Wairimu claims the show is about social issues and each character plays a role a part of the society we can all identify with. That would explain the not so much loved drugs related concept. The exodus of the original cast, the short running time of the show (8.35-9p.m); have really gotten to the viewers. With a fan base of about 21,000 likes on Facebook, the commentary is dwindling with only a few giving their views when asked to.
Well enough said, one can never have enough. Most of the endearing viewers go through a lot to catch the show.(It airs the same time as Mexican soaps on rival station Citizen TV).To hold a remote and flip the channels in a room where the population is more than 1 or worse female, calls for the strongest of character. As they say, keep it locked.Written by : Githaka Mbui