By David Mwenda
Reggae is one of those genres in Kenya that have literally grown from a small-time genre which most people once gave a lukewarm reception. Reggae has had a huge fan base. It is not odd to find a group of people listening to a jam by Bob Marley, Etana, Collie Budz, Chris Martin and other artistes.
Even with the growth of these artistes the media is needed to make these guys known (even with the rise of the internet the media is still influential). The media from the beginning of the reggae revolution has tried to make it possible for people to sing along to their songs in their favorite radio stations. This has seen the establishment of popular figures such as Mbusi of Radio Jambo, DJ Ras Luigi of Capital FM, Talia Oyando of HomeBoyz and Citizen TV and many others.
The battle going to TV
Up to a few months ago, Radio was synonymous with having full shows that played reggae only. This seemed to put a lot of pressure on TV producers to come up with TV programs. This is why in 2016 Citizen came up with a 3 hour concept of a reggae show. This was the second show I have seen with a complete reggae setting after the popular Riddim Up which has been on the air since 2011. After the two shows released their show ideas NTV also came up with their own show which was Jamrock.
The diversity in the shows seems to cause a lot of trouble. Due to their different ideas they seem to attract different crowds in the process. However their separation in the time they air then it makes one to watch with ease and not feel like they are being pressured to choose. This has seen the rise of the growing fan base of reggae and people do not have to choose whom to support.
What culture do they support?
Though they seem to be generating a lot of people to listen in to the shows there has been criticisms of the reggae culture. For instance I talked about Citizen using crowds for their shows. This seems to be causing a lot o trouble for me. This is why I think they need to make sure they have tried something to control these crowds and make sure they have done their job in the long run. This crowds though happy go lucky seem to be an important element to the show they need to be controlled or given a chance to talk about some of the issues and influence the way we think. Other shows also need to work on their shows. For instance for Jamrock they need to make sure their interviews are better and talk about revolutionizing the way we think. K24 also needs to set the stage for such things also.
How do they help the Kenyan artiste who is out there?
This is another thing that the reggae shows need to work on. There are many growing artistes out there. This is why they need to make sure they are supporting the reggae artistes who are out there. Though they are responsible for the growth of brands such as Wyre and Nazizi they need to bring in other people who are out there in the process. They have done a great job but they can do better in the long run.