Jeff Koinage: Gets carried away by certain topics.

Jeff Koinange is expected to return on TV screen next week. The controversial talk show host has joined Citizen TV, owned by Royal Media Services, where he will revive the ‘Bench’ talk show. He debuts on March 1, 2017, under a cloud of skepticism from his viewers who feel let down by his freestyle interviews. 

For Koinange Citizen TV is a soft landing after Standard Group’s KTN suddenly halted his Jeff Koinange Live show in November following public outcry for letting a male guest spew sexist remarks against a female guest. He was hosting loose-tongue political strategist Miguna Miguna and abrasive businesswoman Esther Passaris, aspirants for the Nairobi governor seat, when the off-air personal attack was made.

Mr Miguna said “Esther is so beautiful everybody wants to rape her”.

“You are chasing men all over, nobody wants you,” he continued. “You think you’re beautiful, you are not. Esther is just colour. Without colour you are nothing.”

Ms Passaris then accused him of being a racist. The footage of the incident was shared online with many people criticising Koinange for failing to intervene. Kenya’s Gender Affairs minister Sicily Kariuki accused KTN of allowing guests on its show to engage in personal attacks and for the “trivialisation” of rape.

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Mr Koinange apologised for the 17th November incident, saying it was the show’s last episode on KTN, a signal that Standard management had finally decided to do away with it. The show appears to have been causing it more trouble than it was turning in the pretty penny.

 

A former aide of Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga, Mr Miguna has filed a complaint with the Media Council of Kenya saying that he was filmed “secretly” and portrayed as unfit for the position of governor in this year’s elections. Nothing has been heard of this case.

It seems while at KTN, Citizen TV was already talking to him since on his last JK Live show he indicated he would be joining another TV station. “JKL is not going anywhere it is just changing homes,” he said.

But even before the rape comment, Koinange had faced a backlash from viewers who accused him of failing to moderate the show, thus leaving some outspoken guests to make unsavory remarks live on TV.  The hastag boycott JK Live trended for days. He has also started ‘recycling’ controversial guests (Miguna was appearing for the umpteenth time).

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Koinange is an award-winning journalist who has worked for top broadcasters in the US including CNN where he was the Africa correspondent until 2007, when he was pushed out for fabricating a story in Nigeria. He started working for K24, a local TV station in 2009, before moving his popular show to KTN.

Even his announcement that he’s joining Citizen is being taken by a pinch of salt by viewers, who cautioning him to tread carefully.  He often throws journalistic ethics through the window on he’s shows, not only leaving guests to their own devices but also probing questions that border on invasion of privacy and vulgarity.

He’s is likely to get the same controversial figures on Citizen TV, the most-watched in Kenya with 49% market share, as Miguna is already rearing to appear on his show. Viewers will be watching to see if Citizen will rein him in or let him dance himself lame again! He will have to read the mood and act accordingly to appease his fans.

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