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Keff’s vitimbi on screen showed he should have rested that Sunday

We checked it out. There’s only one Keff Joinange in the world and Kenya has the singular privilege of being his home. Anyone who says Keff is a household name in Kenya has no idea what he or she is talking about. Keff Joinange is television news, period.

Only Keff can do what Keff does. To say he has swag is to be unfair to him. Keff is swag. In the annals of Kenyan TV history, no news anchor ever took off their jacket on the screen before starting a live interview. No one ever stomped around the studio with a proprietorial air, like he owned the place. Or laughed with such uproarious abandon with a guest, as if they were in their local.

Extensive research shows that no other Kenyan news anchor ever pronounced people’s names with anything close to Keff’s throaty drawl, dropped a jaw while at it, pulled faces and rolled bulbous eyes like a veteran thespian on stage at the Kenya National Theatre on Harry Thuku Road.

So, when Keff hits the screen, folks sit back and watch – not just the news but also his inimitable performance. On Sunday, September 20, everyone forgot about the news and stared at Keff.

His regular co-host Victoria Rubadiri is away. So, Keff was coupled with Lilian Muli. Oh, my! It was smoooking hot! People rolled on the floor of their living rooms with laughter.

Kenya’s online army of body language experts launched into an analytical spree. They delivered a unanimous verdict: For some reason, Keff was not his usual self. His usually smooth tongue sounded thick and couldn’t roll out the syllables fast enough. He slurred. Oh my, was he forgetting some familiar names?

Keff appeared distracted by something the experts couldn’t quite put their finger on. He stared at Lilian too long, mouth half open, leaning in. Those long pauses suggested his brain was taking time to shikanisha things. Part of him was in the live studio reading the news, while the rest of Keff wanted to be away doing other things.

Either the writing on the teleprompter was unreadable or there was dust in Keff’s eyes. “A week after the ban on politics in churches, politicians are today [confirmed, conferred, converged?] that the pews as churches guarded the pulpit. Deputy President William Ruto and his troops ref, ref-ra-i-ne-d and had to need to call to dis respect the altar [pauses, moves head sideways] instead took his play raw outside the church after attending a church service at Gituuu-nguri”. Phew!

Why did Keff drag the notorious “Team Mafisi” into his little banter with Lilian? Could Keff be a closet member? Why were his hands crossed and resting on the table before him? Was he feeling a bit cold? He seemed to be running low on blood sugar.

“That’s right, plenty more ahead folks, eeerrr, including Part Two of the interview between, eeerrr, Chief Justice Martha K, Martha Koome, and our very own Yvonne Mtoo, eerr, Okwara Mtola…” Vitimbi! Yvonne Okwara Matole is his colleague.

Maybe Keff needed to be somewhere else that Sunday night. He should have been left where they dragged him from to read the news.

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