• Celebrities open up on their experiences with scams in series by Flick 7 Pictures.
The highly anticipated new web series, Janjaruka (Wisen Up), will launch at Pawa 254 and online on Wednesday. It is produced by Flick 7 Pictures.
Janjaruka is an entertaining series but with a serious message: Should we accept that conmanship is a part of life in Nairobi and, bigger than that, why do those paid to protect us often take advantage of us when we seek their help?
"Our aim with Janjaruka is to begin a conversation about being conned in Nairobi. And to ask the question, is there anything we can do about it?" Flick 7 director Aggie Nyagari told Word Is on Friday.
"By exploring this question, the series exposes the ubiquity of con, the corrupt values within all levels of police and the power of money."
The series advises the audience to question things before they part with their hard-earned cash. "If something sounds too good to be true, it's because it almost always is. So we all need to wisen up," Aggie said.
As part of the promotion for Janjaruka, several big names in Kenya's entertainment industry have come forward to share their experiences, including Jua Cali, Nice Githinji and Pascal Tokodi.
Tokodi said he was conned as he sought to move to a new house. He got an agent online who claimed to be in Karen. The con game started right there.
"The guy told me there was a house ready but it had already been booked, although the person had not moved in for one week. So I asked how much more I could pay to get the house," he said.
Although he had not met the agent, Tokodi sent the cash as he felt the "agent" was "very nice".
"The agent told me to go to Karen and someone would pick me up," he recalled.
Upon reaching there, he called the "agent", who changed the story, saying the guy who had booked the house earlier sent more cash to get it.
"Since I wanted the house, I said I would send more. He tells me the wife is coming to pick me. I call him again and the wife picks and asks who I was. I introduced myself and hang up and tried to reverse the money but they had withdrawn the cash," he said.
"I decided to call him again but I soon found out that it was a person from Umoja. He became hostile towards me afterward."
It is at that point it dawned on Tokodi that he had been conned of his cash.
"I hope the money helped him. Experience is the best thing and I learnt my lesson," he said.
"Having a conversation about the deeply entrenched con culture in Nairobi is long overdue, and the more we continue to stay silent, the more the conmen and women are winning. So, it's time to speak out."
There will be a live screening of the first five episodes of the series, which will also be released online on YouTube channel Janjaruka Series at the same time.
After the launch, episodes will be released every Tuesday from August 27, with a new celebrity con story every Thursday.
This is the first time Flick 7 Pictures have produced a web-series after having made TV series 'News Just In' in collaboration with Historia Films Productions that aired on South Africa's Kwese TV and iflix app and that will be airing on Showmax starting October this year.
More about the company and its directors can be found on their website www.flick7pictures.com