• Reality TV is fast-rising in Kenya
Reality TV dates back to the 1940s but it was only in the early 1990s that it was given serious attention.
Hollywood has set the standards high with popular shows such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Wags, The Bachelor and Got Talent, among others
A search on Google defines reality TV as “a genre of television programming that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, often starring unknown individuals rather than professional actors.”
But how real is reality TV? Critics say the cast generates stories, some events are stage-managed or the cast is told what to do or say. Basically, scripted. Others say reality TV gifts fame to untalented people.
Reality TV shows are on the rise in Kenya and have received mixed reactions.
Some of the reality TV shows that have kept Kenyans glued to their screens in 2019 included:
It follows the daily life, family and music career of gospel singer Bahati. Initially the show was titled Being Bahati but was rebranded to Bahati Reality.
The show airs for 20 or so minutes on NTV at 7.30pm on Saturday. This year fans got to see the birth of Bahati’s second child with his wife Diana Marua.
The singer has landed deals through the show.
Nairobi Diaries thrust the likes of Mishi Dorah, Bridget Achieng, Risper Faith, Brian and Pendo to the limelight.
The show is dominated by the drama revolving around the lives of the cast. At the beginning it featured some of Kenya’s biggest personalities in entertainment such as Vera Sidika and Prezzo.
The show was criticised for featuring too many fights and for putting people down. That has since been toned down and the cast now showcases their lives, products and businesses.
East Africa’s Got Talent
The show made its debut in East Africa this year and showcased talents from four countries in the region.
Two Ugandan siblings, Esther and Exzekile Mutesasira, walked away with the $50,000 (Sh5 million) cash prize.
The finale took place on Sunday, October 6. The judges included Kenya’s Jeff Koinange, Tanzania’s Vanessa Mdee, Rwanda’s DJ Contact Makeda and Uganda’s Gaetano Kagwa.
Hundreds of women were given an opportunity to battle it out for the ‘Ms President’ title but only one winner was chosen. The show aired on KTN Home and gave women an opportunity to hone their skills to be better leaders.
The winner of the first season was Homa Bay MCA Nereah Amondi Oketch.
Who doesn’t love weddings! Citizen TV’s The Wedding Show and Maisha Magic’s Our Perfect Wedding serve us our weekly dose of couples’ love journies as they finally say ‘I do’. Sigh.
KTN’s I Can Dance was well received by viewers, especially dance lovers. Needless to say, it has been one of the most widely accepted reality TV show in Kenya.