YEAR 2023 IS HERE!
The Deep Dive 40th Edition
Happy new year! We're not too far into 2023 for those wishes from us to you to be dated, so please accept our best wishes to you in this new year. Thank you for subscribing to this newsletter and to our work. We hope that 2023 will see us become better at giving you great content, and that you continue t walk with us.
Speaking of content, we kicked the year off with a bang, starting with our new true-crime series, "The Last Door". The series focuses on infamous crimes committed in Kenya, with the goal of re-telling these tragic stories with new insight, deeper focus, and hopefully a story arc that brings our audiences closer to a sense of closure in each episode. The series premiered on January 8th 2023 and is available exclusively on DSTV channel Maisha Magic plus, with uploads to streaming platform Showmax later in the season. We'll be hosting twitter spaces to discuss some of the episodes, and publishing a few behind-the-scenes stories about our experiences, so look out for that.
Also premiering in January is an investigative series that our team, led by Joy Kirigia and Sam Munia worked on for a good part of 2022. As electricity bills stubbornly remain high ( in spite of global oil prices falling slightly), Kenyans living in informal settlements experience even more exploitation and risk as they access electricity. Our series, titled "Ghetto Gava" digs into the subject of electricity and water cartels in some of Kenyas largest informal settlements. We uncovered networks of individuals that straddle the line between legality and pure crime who are unofficial service providers, damned the risks (and there are some very serious ones). The four-part series will premier on our YouTube Channel and local TV station , KTN as from January 26th to 29th. Set your reminders!
We're also working hard on a number of new investigations that we'll be publishing between January and April. For our stories to have the kind of impact that they should, your subscription and shares are crucial. The bigger our channel gets, the more we can do, so please share our work. We're working hard to make every endorsement worth your while.
For the first time in 2023, dive in!
The last door;
The true-crime genre of television is one that, warts and all, has been among the most popular documentary formats across the world in recent years. it is, in a sense, a cousin to the investigative documentary in that some of the same skills required to do an investigative doc are needed to break down that murder mystery. We felt strongly that there were a multiplicity of stories that deserved re-telling under this format, and from those feelings "The Last door" was born. The 8-part series features some of Kenya's most infamous crimes, and the ball is already rolling in terms of aired episodes. Our first two episodes, which focused on the death of Kenyan heiress to the Keroche alcohol business, Tecra Muigai, and the horrifying revelations of multiple homicides and dumpings in River Yala in western Kenya have elicited strong reactions from our audiences. If you've watched the series, what did you think of our first two episodes? Drop us a comment in the comment section of this newsletter.
New Content Alert: Ghetto Gava
The informal settlements serve as the entry point for many people migrating to cities and urban areas. However, access to safe and inexpensive water and electricity continues to be a daily struggle for Kenyans who live in the slums and other urban encampments. Additionally, the high levels of unemployment and poverty in these settlements make it challenging for the residents to pay for connectivity and monthly bills leaving many of them to rely on dangerous illegal connections strung up by organized gangs for survival.
In our new investigative series-Ghetto Gava, we go undercover in Kibera and Mathare, two of Kenya’s biggest slums , we expose the network and cartels involved in the illegal distribution of water and electricity and the victims of these underworld's dealings. Catch this series on Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th January on KTN News and Africa Uncensored YouTube channel at 8.30pm. Don’t forget to engage us on all our social media platforms using the hashtag #GhettoGava."
Before our investigative series ‘Ghetto Gava’- premiers on our Africa Uncensored Youtube platform and Kenya’s Television-KTN this week, we have produced a podcast episode featuring Africa Uncensored’s Joy Kirigia and Sam Munia who produced the documentary, and Aflyne Maureen from HUYO. We unpack the informal structures and the festering inequalities that leave residents in informal settlements at the mercy of electricity and water cartels. Join us then to get insights into the making of ‘Ghetto Gava’ from the brave journalists at the centre of the in-depth and investigative documentary.
Piga Firimbi: Monitoring Disinformation and Exposing Fake News
Have you heard? Piga Firimbi's podcast, Verified, is up on Spotify! Therein are episodes exposing disinformation trends that spread ahead of Kenya's August 2022 elections, as well as definition and illustration of terms such as misinformation, disinformation and malinformation; Propaganda and Imposter Content. Plus, content on Sexual Misinformation and the all-too common Job Scams.
More short video content coming up in 2023. Did you know that Former U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt is the one who coined the ‘First 100 days’ concept? Fact-checkers Tracy Bonareri and Calvin Rock capture this in a short video fact-check published here, backed up by an in-depth analysis in an article here.
We also explain what Inauthentic Coordinated Behaviour is on the Verified. Check the episode out here. A topic which we shall dig deeper in 2023- attempting to uncover the people calling behind disinformation trends. In the works is an investigation on a ponzi scheme called the Future Football Finance. We also published here an investigation exposing the evolution of job scams and how phoney recruiting links circulate on Facebook.
You can join and engage in our work by the Piga Firimbi disinformation unit by flagging any suspicious fake posts you come via our Twitter handle @pigafirimbi
Filming The Next Door by Elijah Kanyi
Filming The Last Door Docu-series was like reading the chapters of a book, you start somewhere hoping that that the narrative leads you somewhere, but unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. You would expect your favourite book character to reveal some secrets or act in a specific way, to at least to push the story forward, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes you are left to ponder on possibilities. Every episode in the series, brought with it a series of challenges, some expected, some unexpected.
Honestly speaking, the stories we were following, were not the easiest to tell. Some weeks would pass by without any filming despite having planned for shoots beforehand. Our characters, (to whom we really value and respect for their vulnerability in sharing their stories), would sometimes change our schedules at the last minute, sending us back to the drawing board. Ever wondered what it feels like to have the pressure of delivery on your shoulders and nothing seems to be working in your favour? I guess that is what it means to “work well under pressure”.
The impact that these stories would have was enough motivation to keep pushing through every stumbling block. To be in a position to not only educate the public but also be part of the change you so much hope for, gives me a sense of satisfaction that it is all worth it in the ends. I desire that every episode brings with it the idea of personal reflection to every person who watches the episodes, some sort of learning experience.
But further away from the shooting experience, its the idea that the entire world sits to watch (and perhaps analyse) your work. A friend and colleague, Dickon Le Marchant, the Executive Director at BBC Africa Eye told me it’s normal to be scared. All in all, what matters is that the people around me, believe in the work that I do, I do hope that it in the end it is worth your watch.
Catherine Muema on The Last Door Partnership with MNET.
At Africa Uncensored, documentaries play a crucial role in our signature work to provide public interest content. For years, we’ve always aimed at delivering high quality and thought-provoking documentaries. MultiChoice partnership with Africa Uncensored continues to expand and evolve following the successful delivery of three seasons of Maisha Mkanda, a documentary series that delivered different topics of interest to the audiences.
Most recently, Multichoice and Africa Uncensored extended their partnership to include the production of the Kenya’s first true crime docu-series; The Last Door. The production is another important milestone for Africa Uncensored to continue bringing untold stories to public television and to communities around Africa.
Calvin Rock on The Last Door Launch
In the true spirit of Africa Uncensored’s key pillars — investigate, expose and empower, John-Allan Namu embarks on a journey to bring you some of the most riveting true crime tales that have rocked the country. The Last Door is an eight-episode series that delves into what happened and how, while answering the questions tugging at the minds of the audience. We unravel a number of highly publicized crimes, from the decomposing bodies in River Yala to the death of an ‘African Heiress’.
What better way than to launch the series on the silver screen! The Last Door’s first episode “African Heiress” screened on January 5 at Westgate Cinema in a private screening that was graced by invited guests, media personalities and top level management of Multichoice Kenya — the sponsoring partner of the series. Also in attendance was the Kenya Film Commission CEO Mr. Timothy Owase, among other guests. Attendees got the coveted chance for a photo-op with the producers of the series which airs on Maisha Magic Plus every Sunday at 8:00 pm. In case you missed the screening, do not fret. Tune in to Maisha Magic Plus (channel 163) this and every Sunday at 8:00 pm to be a part of the unravelling of the mystery behind Kenya’s most infamous crimes!