The digital migration process in Kenya has ushered a new age for content producers. There is a growing demand for new and fresh content among local television channels targeted at the local consumer. The Communication Authority of Kenya has also issued orders to new entrants to ensure 40% of their content is local with the number set to grow to 60% over a given period of time.
Even with this imminent demand there exists gaps yet to be filled by what is currently available. Most of the content on television sets is still foreign produced and features foreign stars. This has seen some of these stars become household names locally, which is an interesting fete. Earlier today, the 2015 version of the Beijing TV Dramas & Movies Broadcasting Exhibition launched in Nairobi aiming to showcase Chinese movies and dramas. The exhibition also featured stars of popular shows showcased on local channels, who happen to be popular locally.
The acting on these shows is done in Chinese with most of it dubbed into local languages such as Swahili and English to appeal to the local masses. Local digital television operator has been a carrier of this content and is set to unveil a dubbing studio in its Nairobi headquarters in 2016. The dubbing studio will see some of the content translated from Chinese to Swahili with the aim of appealing to the more than 150 million Swahili speakers in East and Central Africa. The dubbing studio is also part of technology transfer seeking to push the film industry further besides brand Kenya as a film destination.