Kenya: 'Skika' Finally Hits the Screens This Evening

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After months of shooting in Nairobi, DSTV's Channel O will this evening air Skika, an entertainment programme designed to showcase East African popular youth culture. Created for Channel O by a Nairobi-based production house, Mondeas, in collaboration with two others production companies, Skika (be heard in Kiswahili) is expected to shape trends in the Kenyan music industry.

Kenyan artistes hope to connect more easily with music fans across the continent through the programme. "It is a content revolution in Kenya and we are proud to be a part of it," Channel O General Manager Yolisa Phahle said at a Press preview of the programme last week.

Mondeas will produce music videos that are up to standard instead of relying on those produced by the artistes, which are often sub-standard. In the last two years, local content has been the focus of the Kenyan television industry, with experts saying it was the only way to attract the attention of television viewers in an increasingly competitive market. In an apparent attempt to lure more Kenyan viewers, DSTV has created several programmes with a local touch.

They include Catwalk Kenya, which was exclusively shot in the country using Kenyan models and designers and Deal Or No Deal. Although its format is not totally new, Skika enters the scene with rare dynamism and gusto. Also interesting is the fact that it will be presented by Kenyan theatre personality Aimee Ongeso. This is a break from the past where similar productions have been presented by foreigners. The programme will focus on the region's youth culture by shining the spotlight on emerging and established stars. Each episode will feature three music videos, along with a news segment and behind-the-scenes footage.

(Business Daily (Nairobi), 12 March 2008)