Why Kenyans don't watch local content – report

Why local content viewership is low

In Summary
  • In Kenya however, reports by the Kenya Film Commission reveal that only 40 percent of the respondents have ever watched a film with local content; as compared to 87 percent who watch international films.
  • Addressing these challenges would require concerted efforts from various stakeholders, including filmmakers, distributors, government agencies, and audiences, to support and promote the Kenyan film industry effectively.
Someone watching t.v.
Someone watching t.v.
Image: Handout

The viewership of local Kenyan movies and songs is still low, according to a report by the Kenya Film Commission.

KFC has revealed that only 40 per cent of the respondents they interviewed have ever watched a local film compared to 87 per cent who have watched international films.

The question is why is there a huge percentage of Kenyans viewing international content compared to the local movies and songs available.

The Star interviewed a few Kenyans to get their insights on the report.

The Kenyan film industry does not produce good content, Maggie Owande said.

"The local film industry has no good content in terms of picture quality, we have a long way to go as we have not yet advanced technologically to be able to produce high-quality content and that is why Kenyans do not consume local content," Owande said.

Maggie Wanjiku another respondent said Kenyan films are too predictable and have no sense of uniqueness.

Wanjiku added that the films usually have the same storylines for example a poor girl meets a rich boy and they fall in love.

She also said that Kenyan movies may have limited access to distribution channels, both locally and internationally.

"This could include fewer theatres showing Kenyan films, limited availability on streaming platforms, and insufficient marketing to promote these movies to a wider audience," Wanjiku added.

"We face stiff competition from popular international films, especially those from Hollywood and other major film industries," James Kimani said.

These international films often have larger budgets, more extensive marketing campaigns, and well-known actors, making them more appealing to audiences.

"There might be a perception among audiences that Kenyan films are not as engaging or entertaining as international films," Kevin Maina said.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star