Where were you? How old were you when these KTN News Presenters ruled the air? The year is 1991 when if media did not start its broadcast with reports about the Head of State, some people would not have peace. This was only a year after KTN opened its doors and soon after become influential to the extent that other African countries used it as a model tool to liberalization. In fact, they also invited the Kenyans to help them set up private TV and Radio.
It was the only privately owned TV station, before the ruling party KANU acquired some stake. I was a young boy from the village where TV sets were a luxury and only owned by a few who mattered in society. I never cared much about the news or the state of the nation but a well-kept calendar of the dates I had with the neighbors for watching certain programs. I remember the TV sets were black and white, but the owners tried to fix a Lucozade film wrapper to develop some color. My old man bought a black and white Greatwall TV set when my siblings and I became too much for the neighbors, but that was not until seven years later.
Most of the programs I had planned to watch came between 7-9 p.m. meaning that I had to get to my neighbor is a few minutes after seven and leave shortly after nine. I would always, therefore, overlap with the newscast. I do not know how you know John Sibi Okumu or Raphael Tuju, or Njoroge Mwaura but I started seen them when they were a bit camera shy. Some of you might only know the bald Okumu, the Minister cum-politician, Tuju. Some have never seen Catherine Kasavuli read the news. This was when Njoroge Mwaura and his KTN News Presenters colleagues kept an afro and a man who looked like Smriti Vidyarthi reading the news. Jimmy Gathu was like Size 8 today- he was on everything.
Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son, Bless This House are some of the programs I remember watching. I also enjoyed some local content on the national broadcaster once in a while. What I have never come to terms with is some programs I watched and up to date have never understood what they were about. Falcon Crest, Escrava Esaura, and neighbors, just to mention but a few; but if I could get them I would follow the story. Interestingly the Franco songs my dad listen to then, they still rock.