Sidebar’s fire might be rekindled by Ken Mijungu


Ken Mijungu and his panel on July 17’s edition of Sidebar on NTV Kenya.

One of the most controversial political shows south of the Sahara is back. Sidebar is back.

After hyping and a strong marketing campaign to make viewers forget about Larry Madowo, Ken Mijungu took the reins of the show at NTV on Tuesday 10pm.

The show that had been pulled off air during the politically charged atmosphere and Larry’s uncertain future at the station, finally came back on the air — but it is missing the 8-9pm segment.

The show has been rebranded to suit what Ken Mijungu must have wanted it to look like.

New things have been put in and the shows colours revised a bit from the normal blue to a bit of yellow and blue blend. The segment “The Week in 60 Seconds” has been removed and the show now handles a multiplicity of issues, opposed to Larry’s style of tackling just one issue at every show.

The show started with Ken Mijungu’s new segment “My Take”. Here, he discussed the issue of school strikes and how he thinks the government should handle it. His almost three-minute-long opinion bordered on the failures by government officials and their lack of creativity; plus students being just unruly.

He then went to introduce his panel on the show: Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Arnold Maliba, who was introduced as an economics expert.

He delved on a few issues including the 2022 campaigns, Gideon Moi and William Ruto’s relationship, governors wanting to be given immunity and school unrest. Here are some of the things that you might have found to be interesting.

On Governors’ immunity

The governors have been demanding for immunity to be treated equally as the president. Senator Sakaja said that we would end up with governors who may run away from the country after their terms end and it is a ploy to go on with grand corruption.

Millie opposed the idea of the humiliation of governors and said people  need to be arrested with some decorum. She said that it is high time the police used some level of humaneness in arresting people.

Malinya’s very hard tackles

If Malinya is the new pundit for Sidebar, someone needs to retain him on that payroll. His very hard tackles make me love his analysis on issues. He was thorough on many issues and did not stutter. In case Ken fell ill (God forbid) during the show, he would have hosted it!

Ken’s rising star and burning flame finally came out

Ken Mijungu is a good journalist. However, he had not got a good platform to show this. However, his fiery questions will make me want to sit down and watch the show more often. Anyway, he appears to have some good potential. He has the follow-up questions and he is definitely a good replacement for Larry Madowo who was a good conversationalist.

My rating

The premiere episode gets a solid 8.5/10. Ken is very good but he has a lot to learn. He needs to cool his excitement a bit. He said “Let’s end the show almost 30 times” (not the exact number I am just kidding). He also needs to end the shouting matches. Though they were entertaining, the conversation needed to have some decorum.


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