Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is the state-run media organisation of Kenya.[2] It broadcasts in English and Swahili, as well as in most local languages of Kenya.

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
TypeTerrestrial television and radio broadcast network
Founded1928; 96 years ago (1928); as East Africa Broadcasting Corporation
by Colonial administration of British Kenya
  • 4.26%
    (TV by viewership)
  • <2%
    (Radio by audience)[1]
HeadquartersKenya Broadcasting Corporation, Harry Thuku Road, Nairobi
Broadcast area
OwnerGovernment of Kenya
Launch date
1928 (radio)
1962 (television)
Official website

The corporation was launched as a radio service in 1928 when Kenya was a British colony, making it the first radio station in Kenya.

The radio station was launched as the East African Broadcasting Corporation (EABC) which relayed BBC News. In 1964, when Kenya became independent, and the corporation's name was changed to Voice of Kenya.

In 1989, the Kenyan parliament reverted the corporation's name back to Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

During the rule of president Daniel arap Moi, KBC became the mouthpiece of the government. Each broadcast opened with a piece on what the president had been doing that day. Under the then president, Mwai Kibaki, KBC took a more objective approach. The corporation helped most of Kenya's notable journalists especially before the liberalization of the airwaves in Kenya. The pioneer broadcasters post independence were Maurice Mwendah (TV), Simeon Ndesanjo (Radio), Dalail Mzee (Radio), Aziz Yakub, (Radio & TV), and Aish Jenneby (TV).

English service broadcasters who pioneered the service were Peter Clare, David Kelly, Hassan Mazoa, Sammy Lui, Norbert Okare, and Martin Billy Mutta, followed later by Peter Njoroge Mwaura, Elizabeth Omolo, Esther Kanyago, Yakub Ishaq, Amos Njogu amongst many.

In the 80s and 90s names such as Khamisi Themor, Leornard Mambo Mbotela, Omuga Kabisae, Ngulamu Mwaviro, John Obong'o Junior and Enacled Araba, were also heard. The English service had its share of KIMC graduates, Serah Kihara, Gladys Erude, John Karani, Wanjiru Kago and Johnstone Omurunga. Opportunities were also accorded to other KBC Technical employees such as Ike Mulembo, William Kiamba, Larry Wambua and others on the English Service.

The modern day KBC boasts of presenters like Rashid Mwamkondo, Cynthia Anyango, Rebecca Cherotich, Beatrice Gatonye, O' Brien Kimani, Isaac Lemoka, Edward Kabasa, Jeff Mwangemi, Catherine Ndonye, John Karani, Jeff Muya, Nick Ndeda, Ann Lemaiyan. Some of the renown producers include award-winning broadcaster Carolyne Gachacha, Geoffrey Onditi, Julia Wanjiku, Weldon Kirui, Nagayo Nura, Wamoyi Merciella, Ben Kamuti among others.

After many decades of dominance in the Kenyan market, KBC has been overtaken in programming content and ratings, especially with the advent of private TV stations and digital satellite television in the early 2000s. These new platforms brought more content options by airing classic TV shows (sitcoms, action thriller series, weekend movie nights), more children's entertainment (more allocation time and wide variety), and more refined local content.

KBC has however fought back and is among the leading stations in Kenya. KBC was particularly praised for being neutral in the coverage of the 2022 general elections. The KBC digital platform is very active and it has given a boost to its traditional media i.e. Radio and Television. The digital department is headed by Jared Ombui who was a presenter at KBC English Service. The newly elected government of President William Ruto promised to help KBC to overcome it's financial challenges. KBC is expected to be upgraded in parastatal rankings. This is expected to boost morale among its staff.

KBC aired the popular Vitimbi comedy and drama show for more than 30 years before the show was taken off air on the national broadcaster in 2015.[3]

History of KBC edit

  • 1924: English radio broadcasting began. The broadcasts targeted white settlers who monitored news from their home and other parts of the world.
  • The first radio broadcasts targeting Africans came during the Second World War to inform parents and relatives of African soldiers what was happening at the war front.
  • 1953: The first broadcast service was created for Africans. African Broadcasting Services carried programmes in Kiswahili, Dholuo, Kikuyu, Kinandi, Kiluhya, Kikib and Arabic.
  • 1954: Kenya Broadcasting Services was established. Regional stations were set up in Mombasa (Sauti ya Mvita), Nyeri (Mount Kenya Station) and Kisumu (Lake Station).
  • 1961: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation was formed to take over broadcasting services from the government controlled Kenya Broadcasting Services.
  • 1962: Television was introduced in Kenya. The first transmitting station was set on a farm house in Limuru and the station transmitted to a radius of 24 kilometres (15 mi).
  • 1 July 1964: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation was nationalised into Voice of Kenya through an Act of Parliament.
  • 1971: Television broadcasts are extended to Mombasa, with its own schedule.[4]
  • 1978: Kenya television transitioned to colour.
  • 1980: a new television station opened in Mombasa to relay programmes and produce local dramas, music, cultural and other programmes
  • 1989: the Voice of Kenya changed back to Kenya Broadcasting Corporation through an Act of Parliament.
  • 1989: a contract was signed between KBC and Japan Telecommunications Engineering consultancy service (JETC) for improvement and expansion of the national medium wave frequency radio broadcasting network.
  • 1991: KBC signed a contract with Marubeni Corporation of Tokyo, Japan for upgrading of medium wave transmitting stations and construction of new ones.
  • 1993: KBC embarked on a major modernisation project to upgrade its transmitting station, construct new ones and improve on switching and routing network.
  • 1996: KBC commissioned Metro FM as a 90% music radio.
  • September 2000: KBC commissioned Metro Television as a sports and entertainment channel.[5]
  • December 2000: KBC started Coro FM, transmitting in Kikuyu language to Nairobi and Mount Kenya Region.
  • 2001: Pwani FM[6] was started to cater to the Coast Region.
  • 2009: Signet subsidiary is first launched.
  • 2021: KBC TV rebranded. A line-up of changes were unveiled, including a new logo. The station brought on board fresh faces and returned former news presenters including Catherine Kasavuli, Fayyaz Qureishi, Badi Muhsin, and Pauline Sheghu.

Radio stations edit

Station Language Launch date Website
KBC English Service English 1928
KBC Western Service Pokot and Teso 1952
Radio Taifa Swahili 1953
KBC Eastern Service Turkana, Rendille, Burji, and Borana 1972
Coro FM Kikuyu 2000
Pwani FM Swahili for the Coastal region 2001
Nosim FM Maasai 2011
Minto FM Kisii 2011
Kitwek FM Kalenjin 2011
Mwago FM Meru 2011
Mayienga FM Luo 2011
Mwatu FM Kamba 2012
Ingo FM Luhya 2012
Iftiin FM Somali Archived 17 March 2022 at the Wayback Machine
Bula cadaan FM Somali

Programs edit

Current edit

Local shows edit

News edit
  • Good Morning Kenya
  • Lunchtime News
  • Prime Edition
  • Sunday Express
  • Legends Edition
  • News Check
  • Score Card
  • Darubini
  • Darubini Wikendi
  • Tamrini
  • Dira ya Magwiji
  • Kurunzi Mashinani
Sports edit
  • Sports Check

Imported shows edit

Soap Opera edit

  • Corazon miente

Former edit

Domestic shows edit

Gospel edit
  • Joy Bringers
  • Sing and Shrine
Soap Opera edit
  • Tausi
Children's edit
  • Children's Variety Show
Comedy edit
  • Classmates
  • Kinyonga
  • Vioja Mahakamani
  • Family Affairs
  • Mahoka
  • Plot 10
Magic edit
  • Kiini Macho
Annual edit
  • Ring Us Up

Imported shows edit

Animated shows edit
Children's Programmes edit
Comedy edit
Drama edit
News edit
Telenovelas edit
Soap Opera edit
Reality edit
Anthology edit

References edit

  1. ^ Kabuacha, Frankline (26 April 2022). "Top TV and Radio Stations in Kenya – Q1 2022". GeoPoll. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  2. ^ "CAP. 221". Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  3. ^ Mwaura, Samora. "This is vioja, 'Vitimbi' minus Mzee Ojwang Hatari". The Nairobian. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  4. ^ "World Communications" (PDF). UNESCO. 1975. p. 71. Retrieved 19 April 2024.
  5. ^ "New channel for Kenya", Africa Film & TV Magazine, nº. 27, November 2000-January 2001
  6. ^ "Pwani FM Live- Listen Online Here | My Radio".

External links edit