Veteran investigative journalist John Allan Namu has released yet another detailed in-depth investigative that focuses on human-interest stories from Kenya.
He might have walked away from his famous investigative news segment Jicho Pevu/Inside Story that made him arguably Kenya’s top investigative journalist but he is not one to walk away from his calling of telling in-depth human-interest stories. The journalist has released Namu and his team of investigative journalists at Africa Uncensored are telling the Kenyan story like it’s never told before.
Helmed by Namu as the executive producer and narrated by Packson Ngugi, Maisha Mkanda is a 13-part investigative documentary series that examines different topics of interest. The series highlights the lives and experiences of different people across Kenya. Namu terms it as ‘more than just an investigative documentary.
“Maisha Mkanda is our attempt to humanize all of the subjects that people have thought of perhaps as taboo. It also deals with some difficult topics but looking at them more through the eyes and the journeys of the characters that we’ve spoken to,” Namu says.
The series premiered on Maisha Magic East in January and is currently streaming on Showmax. Each episode focuses on a different topic but they all tell a side of the story people rarely get to see.
Some episodes are inspirational like the episode Slum to the Sky which follows a group of young, disadvantaged girls from Mathare slums who defy all odds to represent Kenya in the Norway Cup tournament.
Other episodes are grim, showing you the ugliness that happens when the society becomes indifferent to serious issues that continue to dominate headlines in Kenya. In an episode, Namu shows how femicide is a real issue that needs to be addressed in the country.
Namu agrees that Kenya has a femicide problem, and hopes that the investigative series will be a wake-up call. One that will not only educate people but lead to more action around the issue that he says is closest to his heart.
“With issues like femicide, I’d be very happy if there was more action around that subject. We can’t keep on losing women who are being killed simply because they are women…we want people to see really what the pain is so that they can empathize and work towards solving these challenges in society,” he noted.
As the investigative piece takes a deeper look into societal issues that are familiar to many, it also sheds more light on topics like wife inheritance, that have long been seen as a taboo, and is still practiced in some parts of Kenya.
“People’s journeys and people’s choices are very easy to judge from the outside, like for instance with wife inheritance but you really don’t know what the context is until you walk a mile in a person’s shoes. We want people to see these stories and understand them from that point of view,” he remarked.