THE XYZ SHOW

Where
Kenya
When
2020
Who
Buni Media Limited
This measure was reported by civil society.
Describe the main features of the measure/initiative: 
The XYZ Show is a TV series that aims to address socio-political issues rooted in Buni Media's thematic areas which include: 1. Freedom of expression & open society 2. Participatory governance 3. Accountable society The show uses comedy and satire (portrayed through life-size latex puppets) to engage audiences and encourage conversations around the thematic areas, with a view to stimulating political awareness among audiences, ultimately promoting democracy and good governance. The show is structured in a 'skits' format, with topics being tackled through short sketches that average two to three minutes long. Overall, an episode of the show runs for approximately 24 minutes, accommodating six to eight skits. This allows a variety of issues to be addressed in a short time, and in a way that is catchy and entertaining, brief and to-the-point. To reach a broad audience, Buni Media Ltd partners with television broadcasters to distribute the show. The format of short skits also makes the content portable and easy to share through various avenues, including social media platforms. In 13 seasons, the show has tackled a wide variety of issues including corruption and impunity in government, business and society; tribalism; transparency in government; gender and sexuality. By presenting political players as regular people with mandate to carry out certain duties, and who must be held accountable to their mandate, the show promotes a culture of transparency and social tolerance, and encourages citizen participation in developing and protecting these qualities. The primary audience that the project targets is both rights-holders and duty-bearers aged 18 years and above and from across the gender divide. It is the intention of the project that Rights-holders are mobilized to participate in governance and civic processes while Duty-bearers are taken to task to uphold the tenets of leadership as expected by the citizenry. The show has gained popularity locally, and has been accessed by over 10 million people through television broadcasts, on the web, on transit buses in Nairobi, on community radio stations, as caller ring-back tones, and as part of related community outreach programs. The series has been noted to influence the way in which viewers approach governance, politics and social issue. Through the XYZ show, Buni Media Ltd has made debate, interrogation and commentary about governance and public accountability more accessible to citizens through the use of an easy, interesting and light media format. A live version of The XYZ Show, through participatory puppetry theatre (PPT), has also been performed in the Mukuru settlement, exploring issues around integrity in leadership. With this approach, scenarios are presented to an audience, followed by a question or challenge that is designed to draw those present to take part in the performance.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?: 
The following are some specific results achieved in the past four years: 1. Remind duty-bearers about their responsibilities, and put more pressure on them to be accountable. In recent seasons, The XYZ Show maintained critique that encouraged reform on the part of duty bearers. There are positve indications that the XYZ Show has grabbed the attention of duty-bearers. 2. Pass on important messages of civic education to the public. The XYZ Show shared message and raised awareness about various political and civic matters e.g. the responsibilities of duty-bearers, the importance of participation by rights-holders, and the detrimental effect of vices like corruption, intolerance and lack of accountability. Indeed, social media feedback indicates that viewers find the show informative, and for some, it keeps them updated on current socio-political affairs. The Show has presented political players as regular people with a mandate to carry out certain duties, and who must be held accountable to this mandate, thus promoting democracy, transparency, and good governance. 3. Engage viewers to build a strong and educated opinion on political and social issues. With a long-term view to strengthen democracy and transparency in Kenya, The XYZ Show encouraged citizen participation in Kenya's socio-political events by examining and commenting on the country's context through satire, and inviting viewers to reflect, engage and discuss issues that are deemed 'sensitive'. The XYZ Show's social media sites provided a platform for this type of engagement and discussion. 4. Improvement of the quality of media production in Kenya. Through Buni Media's internship program the measure aims to impart technical skills to a new generation of content producers, while sharing the passion for impactful message-driven content. In the past four years, over 20 young aspiring content producers were trained, and many of them are now working in various capacities in the media industry.
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Cinema/ Audiovisual Arts
Performing Arts