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Mediascape: KTN Farmers TV teaches you how to farm sperm whales

Someone asked: What is your beef with KTN Farmers TV?

Absolutely none. We don’t have any pork or chicken or mutton with KTN Farmers TV.

Perhaps we’ve got a duck against them. That KTN Farmers TV features more farmers from Europe than our very own farmers who, like many consumers of Kenyan news, find themselves asking – “What do we need to do to get covered?”

Here is a national TV station that opened with pomp and colour to cover Kenyan farmers’ issues, but which, despite a plateful of local issues – ranging from the storm in Kenya’s tea cup to proposed ‘radical changes’ in both the coffee and tea sectors – you will find it airing Wild Planet on a Tuesday afternoon… and a cartoons show at some point.

Well, the last time we checked, Tom and Jerry were not farmers, nor is there something like sperm whale farming in Kenya to get farmers to watch Wild Planet for hours…

We rest our case. Moving on…

Alex Chamwada, in case nobody noticed, ran a long TV series on the National Government Constituencies Development Fund.

Excellent series that was – how many of us knew that it is no longer called CDF but NG-CDF?

Still, like Shakespeare would say, a rose by any other name, smells the same, and a wilted rose by any other name looks the same.

Many Kenyans out there are yet to exorcise the ghosts of the CDF they knew before lawyer Suyianka Lempaa successfully went to court and had it declared illegal.

Then, our lawmakers quickly changed the name from CDF to NG-CDF.

Still, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is most probably a duck. And Alex, a genius of TV features no doubt, conveniently chose to ignore the dark past of CDF-turned NG-CDF – a monolith created and controlled by politicians for political convenience.

So, we had this white-washing, muosho mmoja story about NG-CDF that is the best thing after instant coffee for Kenyans; this even as stories of protesting Kenyans planting bananas on deplorable rural roads that have never been fixed since independence, and of classrooms that look like cowsheds, continue to emerge from our constituencies.

Anyone who watched Chamwada’s series on the NG-CDF will be forgiven for asking one question, who paid the piper to call the tune? Chamwada owes his audience an explanation on why little was said of the other side of NG-CDF.

And finally, our Mashujaa Day celebrations coverage…

Well, we started by playing the clip of Kisii Governor James Ongwae welcoming all Kenyans to Kisii… over and and over, never mind that the government had already announced that only a maximum of 3,000 people would be allowed into Gusii Stadium (the one we trumpeted that was all ready to host the celebrations but forgot to point out the utter ruins after battalions of our armed forces trampled it like a stampeding heard of elephants..)

And we reported that Kisii was reaping big from hosting the celebrations; that the town now had new roads and streetlights.

But, wait, why didn’t we question why, 10 years after devolution, it takes hosting a national celebration for a county headquarters to get new streetlights and freshly carpeted streets?

Did we ask, for example, coming hot on the heels of counties starved of devolution cash, where the money to fix the roads and streetslights in readiness for a one-off national event came from?

Oh, and when the speeches were finally done (did anyone notice the ‘please-stand-please-sit-please-stand-again-please sit’ drama at the climax?), we went on to interview each other (That was Stephen Letoo and Francis Gachiuri of Citizen TV) on the speeches, regurgitating what was said, even as ‘maelfu ya wakenya‘ whom we should have rushed to ask what they made of the winding  speeches, quietly filed past behind the cameras,  wondering why the media people were talking to themselves.

Ni hayo tu kwa sasa…..

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