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Kenya’s Own Oprah Captures Global Audience

Posted by Administrator on January 7, 2012

”]Mukami Kinoti Kimotho, founder of Mukami.TV [Photo/Standard]When Oprah announced a talent search for a talk show host on her OWN Network, Mukami Kinoti Kimotho, 37, entered the competition. Though she did not win, she made herself a media personality and launched Mukami.TV, where she commands millions of followers. She spoke to ALLAN OLINGO

When you meet her, the first thing you notice is her beautiful spirit. She talks in an inspiring tone that is uplifting and informs me that her work is encouraging people to keep pushing past all the obstacles and to achieve big things.

“Over the last few years,” Mukami begins with a smile, “I have always found myself disappointed by the lack of programming around positive, thought-provoking messages on television channels.”

Mukami says she felt a need to change the television watching experience and instead have life changing real stories on a web platform.

Mukami says she decided to use an online platform because she wanted to create an impact globally and that is what the Internet offers.

“I wanted to leverage my passion and talent to create a show that makes a difference in people’s lives,” she offers.

In May 16, last year, she launched the Mukami.TV on a webTV platform, which offers original programming, initially delivered exclusively via its YouTube channel.

Says Mukami: “The channel is available online. Our premiere episode is now available on our website and features the powerful story of Kimberly Merrell, an ovarian cancer survivor and mother of two, who overcame great odds to achieve her personal dream. It’s an incredible moving depiction of courage under fire, the power of self realisation and the miracle of hope.”

Personal stories

 

Mukami.TV delivers on-demand shows that are not only entertaining but also thought provoking and insightful.

The web television strategy, she says, meets the growing global demand resulting from a shift in consumer attention from contemporary television viewing to online platforms.

Says Mukami: “I did my research and realised having a web based TV will give me a global audience. At Mukami.TV, we have unique stories, which everyone globally can associate with.

“When we host cancer survivors, victims of war and poverty, HIV stories and others, we are also sharing with the same world that has been affected by all these problems so our global audience can identify with our content,” she says.

Mukami.TV allows the audience to connect with the individuals and associate with their stories. The bubbly Mukami says that her dream is to make a global impact just the same way Oprah has.

“I am a firm believer that we can do anything as long as we are passionate and determined. We can fight cancer, create peace around the world, fight for the rights of women, children and the disadvantaged, and all this is possible through sharing people’s stories,” says Mukami.

“How has it been?” I ask her.

“It has been one of the most difficult tasks I have indulged in but I am happy because of the fulfilment I get from doing it,” she says, adding: “It involves being up for long days with a lot of hard work but I am glad because the challenges have strengthened me.”

Financial demands

 

All has not been rosy though, and despite the success of having this web based TV Mukami admits that she still has monumental challenges.

“One of my challenges has been getting let-downs from known personalities whenever I want to host them. It dents my morale but it does not kill the spirit,” says Mukami.

Mukami says that as a woman, she has been able to work more than she thought she could, and balancing her demanding shooting and editing sessions and her family has been another great challenge.

Having a reality television is demanding capital-wise and when I asked her how she has managed to financially hold this concept together, Mukami says sacrifice surpasses all.

“When it is about passion, one is willing to sacrifice. I literally dug into my pockets to make it work. What helped me was that web television is cheaper than contemporary television,” says Mukami:

Mukami is optimistic that the Kenyan audience will take to her idea and support her because the topics she handles also affect them.

“The issues we articulate have a global face, and we deliver stories and content that any individual can relate with. I have faith that Kenyans will support one of their own and be proud about it,” she offers.

In fact, Mukami.TV has attracted a lot of interest from the mainstream media and Mukami is optimistic that it will soon be hosted by one of the local channels to the Kenyan audience.

“We have seen a growing interest from the mainstream media channels and if all goes well, Mukami.TV will be showing on your screens very soon,” she offers.

The future is bright for this concept and Mukami has already developed a lifestyle segment to add flavour to the real life stories that they share.

“I have learnt a lot since I started this. Greatest of all is being dedicated in chasing my dream. There are many times I felt overwhelmed and I prayed a lot. The result and response from the audience showed that my sweat was worth it,” Mukami says.

Ordinary people

The former Kenya Television Network (KTN) news anchor has not yet achieved her dream for she wants to be remembered as the Oprah of the web based reality television world.

“I still want to amplify the voices of everyday people doing extraordinary things. I want to showcase their stories as individuals who have overcome significant challenges and are sharing their gifts and talents to help others,” Mukami concludes.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000049534&cid=300&

Here is a link to MukamiTV; http://www.youtube.com/user/MukamiTV

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