MS PRESIDENT: KENYA’S FIRST REALITY SHOW ON LEADERSHIP PREMIERES

The first ever of its kind reality series on leadership is set to begin showing on Kenyan screens this coming 30th January 2019. Ms President Reality TV show will see tens of women from across Kenya compete to win the ‘Presidency’.

Women with exemplary community projects and passionate about bringing social change applied to participate in the show after a call for participation was released in June 2018. After a thorough shortlisting based on the answers submitted in the application forms received from close to a 1000 women from all corners of the country, at least 375 were invited for auditions in five major towns in Kenya.

Ms President, a 26-episode reality television series, will captivate the national audience with 71 extraordinary women leaders going through a series of tasks and challenges designed to display their leadership capacity and ability.

The women representing the majority of counties across Kenya will have to survive through viewers’ votes and judges’ decisions, until the last one emerges as the “Ms President”. The winner and the 5 finalists will receive additional leadership mentorship opportunities.

Underrepresentation

During Kenya’s 2017 elections, of the 1450 Wards, women were only elected into 96. Of the 290 Constituencies in Kenya, women were elected in only 23 of those. Only 3 women were elected Senators from the 47 slots available, the same with Governors.

Ms President hopes to empower Kenyan women to build sustainable capacity for effective leadership especially in the areas of conflict management, peace building and crisis preparedness.

“Concerted efforts especially those targeting to alter attitudes, perceptions and stereotypes regarding women and leadership are a necessity. Ms President is one such effort,” said Harrison Manga, Programmes Manager, Media Focus on Africa, the organization producing the show.

MS PRESIDENT: SEASON 1

Ms President was an entertaining, educating and thought provoking Reality TV show that sough to portray to a national audience the capacity and ability of women to lead effectively. Through a series of tasks and challenges, contestants (all female) displayed their leadership capacity and ability on National TV. The series showcased intelligent and articulate women who are “Presidential” with the aim of increasing the chances of women in Kenya taking up leadership positions.

26 episodes of the Ms President TV show were produced and aired attracting average weekly viewership of 3.5 million. Episode 25 (the Presidential debate) attracted the highest viewership of 5,246,000 million and episode 26 (the finale) attracted the second highest viewership of 4,077, 000 million.

The President of Kenya H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta endorsed the programme. It also recorded commendation / endorsement from among other top government officials, Chief Administrative Secretary in the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Hon Ababu Namwamba who participated in episode 22 of the show. Others were Supreme Court Judge Hon Justice Njoki Ndungu, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service and Gender Hon Racheal Shebesh, the then Principal Secretary in charge of Gender at the ministry of Public Service and Gender Hon Safina Kwekwe, various Governors including the Governors of Nairobi and Garissa and several Members of the National Assembly and Senate plus other stellar leaders in the country.

The Ms President TV show attracted wide media coverage locally and internationally. There are at least 122 articles, news stories, features and OPEDs on Ms President on newspaper, TV and online platforms of leading local and international news organizations. Most of the coverage was balanced, fair and objective and did not perpetuate gender stereotypes often characterizing media coverage of women. Some good examples can be read below;

TV show proves women’s desire to vie for Presidency- Joan Thatiah Saturday Nation 10th August 2019

Of Ms President and the demand for emancipation- Prof Austin Bukenya Saturday Nation 17th August 2019

African Women are redefining leadership- Stephen Ndegwa People Daily August 8th 2019

The Ms President TV show was nominated under the best TV documentary/TV show/TV reality category of the 9th Edition of the Kalasha International Film and TV awards 2019.

All episodes of the TV show can be watched here.

ONE MINUTE PROJECT -WESTNILE

The One-minute aimed at empowering youths in refugee settlements as well as their counterparts in the host communities  with skills and knowledge in film production, media and communication.  The skills will  prepare refugee youths and  youths in host communities to be able to tell their own stories and stand out  beyond the narratives that are often presented in the media.

To enable this move, the youths were given resources to help with their learning and also produce their own films. These included Ipads configured with video editing software. With these, the youths can record and edit video and audio footage. These Ipads, among other resources, will be left available to the youths even after the project is over, such that they can carry on producing films to express themselves and tell their stories to the world.

Project One-minute is funded by Creative-Force-Swedish Institute, a Swedish agency engaging other countries in information, culture, public life among others, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government to reduce poverty in the world. Project One-minute is facilitated by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

MS PRESIDENT REALITY LEADERSHIP TV SHOW LAUNCHED

Media Focus on Africa has opened the application process for a leadership TV reality show “‘Ms. President’” a series which will inspire women and girls to become key players in leadership in all spheres of life. The TV show will also aim to change the attitude of Kenyans towards women and leadership.

The applications opened on the 5th June 2018 and can be downloaded online via https://www.mediafocusonafrica.org/project/ms-president. The launch of applications was presided over by His Excellency Stefano Dejak the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Kenya. The applications will close on July 27th 2018. Applicants can also express interest by accessing forms from the producing organization, Media Focus on Africa through mspresidentkenya@gmail.com.

In Kenya, as in most of Africa, women are usually not found in leadership positions. They are not generally perceived to have the skills, knowledge or social status needed to bring about meaningful change in post-conflict environments.

Kenya has the least representation of woman in the East Africa region despite the two thirds gender rule provision in the constitution of Kenya 2010.  Currently in the National Assembly female MPs make up only 22%, 31% in the Senate and only 6% of the Governors.  “Ms President” aims at building sustainable female leadership capacity in Kenya by showcasing articulate, intelligent, fair-minded women who are “presidential candidates”.The series will increase the possibility of women in Kenya being called upon to take on leadership positions.

“We are not looking for beauty queens we are looking for #women who are leaders. It’s not just putting women on TV but putting them though leadership training and mentorship” said Frenny Jowi, Project Office, Media Focus on Africa.

The inspiration to produce the “Ms President” reality series in Kenya originated from the Palestinian Ma’aan Television Network, highly popular program ‘The President’, which involved choosing a young Palestinian to be the next Palestinian President.

Kenya’s Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender representative was at launch.

“The women who make it into the programme must be the best version of us. We would like to work with all the women that will apply for the program as the Ministry of Gender” – Lydiah Mathia, advisor to CS Ministry of Gender Kenya.

The European Union that is funding the program by Media Focus on Africa was also present at the launch.

‘No human society is fully developed without women taking the central place. Women need to prepare for power .’ – EU Ambassador Stefano Dejak.

P♀WER 2017

A project combining Radio drama, radio talk shows, Training, community leader’s discussions and college debates on women leadership, with the goal of increasing women representation in elected posts in the 2017 General elections. The project whose official title was “Spotlights on Women Aspirant Leaders at County Level” was implemented together with FIDA Kenya. In particular the focus was Member of County Assembly (MCA) and Governor sit. The project targeted Mombasa, Kajiado, Narok, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Nyandarua and Kisumu Counties. The project incorporated three strategies: Strategy 1:  Motivating & building the capacity of women to run for the seat of Governor and MCA; Strategy 2:  Creating an enabling media environment for women leadership; and Strategy 3:  Raising awareness on the need for women leadership

Out of a target of 80 women in the counties MFA focused on, 10 were elected. 9 as MCAs and one as Deputy Governor.

MEDIA & COUNTY BUDGETS ACCOUNTABILITY

MFA partnered with The International Budget Partnerships (IBP) to implement a project that involved building the capacity of county based journalists to understand and report effectively on County budgets as well as report on local government spending so as to ensure it is transparent and improving the lives of County residents. Over the course of three years and covering seven counties namely Taita Taveta, Nyandarua, Busia, Kisumu, Narok, Kitui and Baringo, MFA also organized county roundtable discussions intended to bring together players from the county executive, county assembly, civil society organizations, the media and the public to discuss the roles of these players in the county budget process and how they can all work together for the success of the counties. The project was funded by FORD Foundation and The National Endowment for Democracy.

LEADERSHIP CAMPAIGN 2012

In preparation for the 2012 general elections, the 1st election under a new Kenyan Constitution, MFA conducted a Leadership campaign with special attention to Chapter 6 of the Constitution (Leadership and Integrity),  new leadership structures and devolved governments. National leaders, civil society representatives, traditional leaders, as well as ordinary citizens were invited to participate in radio and television programmes to discuss issues that were important to their counties and subsequently the type of leadership required to address these issues.

This campaign resulted in the production of 15 small documentaries with examples of good leadership, 15 community leadership dialogues, 16 talk shows for national television and 80 talk shows for radio.

The Television show dubbed ‘Michakato Majimboni’, a fancy way of saying ‘County Dialogues’ in Kiswahili can be watched here. The Leadership Examples Documentaries can be watched here. 

CROSS-GENERATIONAL DIALOGUES

Before the 2012 elections in Kenya, MFA and Search For Common Grounds (SFCG) organised a series of inter-generational (youth-elderly) and inter-ethnic dialogue sessions in 16 locations across the country. The social dynamics in most African cultures work in a way that the elders decide while the youth implement. But having empowered the youth in the past years, we found it necessary to include the elders in the dialogue sessions and in the process get them to support the youth as they take more direct decision making roles in the communities., more so pertaining to the upcoming elections.

UUNGWANA INITIATIVE CAMPAIGN

The Uungwana Initiave is a values, attitude and behavioral change campaign that is the brainchild of Ken Njiru. The Uungwana Initiative rests on three pillars namely, Jifahamu (or know yourself), Jiweze (take control of yourself) and Jitolee (give yourself to yourself first, then to the community and the world).

MFA assisted in the development of communication strategy for behavioral changes (morals and values) in collaboration with Ken Njiru at no cost. MFA prepared TV infomercials for the Uungwana initiative. Following this strategic imperative, MFA supported the development of messages aimed at encouraging good national norms and social values under the Uungwana Initiative. This initiative was seeking to promote mutual respect in Kenyan society and called on citizens to move from mediocrity. This support was rendered to Uungwana Resource Institute and included supplementing the production costs of Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) on uraia, utu, responsibility, politeness, trustworthiness, courage and justice. These PSAs aired on radio and television.

VOTER MOBILIZATION CAMPAIGN

‘’It’s Your Vote, Your Voice” Voter Mobilization Campaign: Together with Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) and supported by Deepening Democrary Programme (DDP), MFA implemented a national media campaign on voter mobilization and sensitization across Uganda, ahead of the country’s 2011 general elections. The project covered two phases of the electoral cycle –Voter Registration and Voter display period. MFA developed messaging during the voter registration period, as well as the voter display campaign periods.

MFA also organised training sessions for talk show hosts, media practitioners and CCEDU members and staff on media skills and influencing the media agenda setting. The media skills trainings were conducted by a team of Channel 4 media trainers and in specific targeting spokespersons of CCEDU member organisations (in specific Uganda Governance Monitoring Platform (UGMP) who were likely to engage with the media in
the months prior to the elections.

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The afternoon session is one that is not only important for a woman looking to get into the leadership and political space but for anyone looking to nurture a healthy relationship with oneself.

@AmisaRashid taking the women through Mental Wellness. #MsPresident https://t.co/7EhgzFIGMB
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Be authentic in your advocacy for inequality. If you are going to speak up about issues that affect a particular group of people, have them in the room. Create solutions together with them ~ @joannekuria

#MsPresident #MsPresidentAcademy #SheCanLead https://t.co/abJpUuLwdH
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To grasp the gravity of income disparity, a report by @Oxfam stated that if the two richest men sat on top of all their money stacked in 100 dollar bills, they would be in outer space. In comparison, the middle class would be at chair height and most people would be on the floor https://t.co/XoesPP8zVs Media_Focus photo
Here is why you should worry about debt and its impact on equality. Our government tends to increase indirect taxes to reduce the national debt. This primarily impacts low-income households which consist of women and youth.

#MsPresident #MsPresidentAcademy #SheCanLead https://t.co/tH9UKc9I6E
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Trivia question of the day: Out of the 193 countries worldwide, how many women are currently heads of state or government?

#MsPresident #MsPresidentAcademy #SheCanLead

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#Journalists, as you charge yourselves up to demand for #rights. Be ready to take on the responsibility that comes along with them! - @Akeda3 of @NationMediaGrp @DailyMonitor

#WorldPressFreedomDay2022 #WPFD #MediaMattersUG #journalism https://t.co/qIlvYCQv69
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