XYZ Show controversy: Kenyan politicians forgetting ‘Hakuna matata’?

Politics no longer a laughing matter?
Politics no longer a laughing matter?

“The trouble with political jokes is that they keep getting elected!”

Ayesha, a regular reader of this blog, left that one-liner comment in response to my blog post of 13 August 2009 on an interesting experiment in political satire on Kenyan television that ended its first season on 9 August 2009.

It’s a show called the XYZ Show, broadcast weekly on Kenya’s Citizen TV. Started in mid May 2009, the first season introduced Kenyan viewers to a new form of satire television, with life-sized puppets made to resemble famous persons, mostly politicians.

Now comes the report that the show has riled some Kenyan politicians – surprise, surprise! I have only just come across this Citizen TV news report, broadcast a couple of weeks ago:

Controversy Over The XYZ Show

The satirical puppet show XYZ on Citizen Television every Sunday night, has attracted the attention of non other than the Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno. The Minister says the caricature show is depicting politicians in bad light. The Director of Communication Ezekiel Mutua avers that, the show is representative of just how free the media is, in Kenya.

Well, what can we say? We thought politicians in general had thicker skins. Perhaps some Kenyan politicians are in danger of forgetting that timeless piece of Swahilian advice: Hakuna matata!

Hakuna matata is a Swahili phrase that is literally translated as “There are no worries”. It is sometimes translated as “no worries”, although is more commonly used similarly to the English phrase “no problem”.

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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