Twaweza has partnered with Buni Ltd to produce Season 5 and 6 of XYZ Show, as well as Africanism 101, both cutting edge media innovations that tap into the twin power of research and satire to stimulate public debate through well-presented information and imaginative ideas that stir citizen agency. With a national scope, attainable through reliance on mass media and multiple other channels like mobile telephony, social media, the web and commuter buses, Buni Ltd’s products are designed to reach over 4 million people.
XYZ is a political satire that Godfrey Mwapembwa a.k.a Gado, an acclaimed cartoonist, created for the Kenyan market after a 2003 trip to Paris where he visited the set of ‘’Les Guignols de l’Info’ or the ‘News Puppets’. Les Guignols, just like XYZ, is a spoof newscast featuring latex puppets. To Gado it was obvious that the same concept would not only be a huge success in Kenya, but could also have an important social impact by exposing, with humor, the rampant corruption and mismanagement in the country. Since 2004, the set of XYZ has had a great number of sculptures modelled after top Kenyan politicians, as well as ordinary wananchi.
Africanism 101 blends sharp research with a satirical style of presenting difficult situations, without diluting their significance in the lives of Kenyan people. Tapping from the runaway success of Michael Moore’s style, the show is likely to be an important trigger for incisive debate on some of the topics it sets out to address.
Resulting documentaries, while poking fun, show the need for public action to steer change. The analysis and the proposed actions are articulate about negative ethnicity, official corruption, impunity and a captive state in the hands of powerful elites, when explaining lack of government accountability. The films also highlight the lack of adequate citizen engagement in facing official failure, as a factor which contributes to the persistence of the core problems, corruption and impunity.
The platforms created by Buni Ltd and their use of powerful, stimulating satire offer themselves to other social change oriented groups. This feature allows the two productions to encourage citizens (as fans, followers, members and contributors to well established innovative platforms/virtual communities) to take action in an ecosystem involving millions that have been captivated by Buni Ltd’s productions.