Why local dramas need to step up their game when it comes to election messaging

By David Mwenda

As we all know it, the election season and it is bringing a lot of changes in the television viewing. The changes have come both from the news room and even some changes in the local drama series. The local drama series seem to be pushing for an election narrative.

Why now?

This was the first question I asked myself when I sat down to watch last week’s Mother-In-Law. The series which transitioned from the daily life of the Mwamba’s to a political show which shows Lisa running for the MP position and is pitted against Mrs. Blackhart for the same position. There are many twists and turns and they have tried hard enough to make sure the show has a political outlook.

This is not the only show which has tried an election outlook. On Tuesday local hit drama series Auntie Boss had two weeks of a political themed series. These are just some of the two shows which seem to be adjusting the election scene and the temperature in the country.

However the main question we need to be asking ourselves is why now? The Kenyan local drama scene has always tried to fit in the season and they have tried to make sure every national season. However I have always faulted the way they present the issues.

Truth is boring and it needs to be spiced up

It sometimes does not hurt for someone to spice up the truth and make it wear some clothes. This is the same thing our directors need to do. There are many fantastic ideas that can be floated at making the scenes a little bit better. Take for example the same messaging has been going round looks like the same thing that goes on in news. This makes them miss out on the audience.

If they can change the messaging that has always been retained that this candidate loses the election and after the election he goes back to work. The directors can and something new such as a candidate winning the election and the next five years focuses on him being the leader.

Use it to shift the game

The media has the power to empower and this is thing that the local drama shows seem to be missing. They can use their platform to actually cause a lot of change. They can manage to set the agenda and get to be the change we want in Kenyan television. However to do this they must be willing to change the game and make it all about the right scripts and trying to organize the way they present their issues.

For a better viewing invest more

Production companies need to invest more in order for quality work. They can make reach out for more funding and try to make the movies and series they create much better. It is not just investing in money alone. They can try and get off some of the programs into seasons and be able to spend a little bit more time shooting and making sure they can dedicate their time to quality production. This way they spend less time trying to spin off current affairs in unorthodox manner.


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