Last Week, Ebru TV clinched a lucrative deal with the National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) to run a campaign for the National Census, which was due to start just a few days away.
Under the arrangement, KNBS requested to use some “celebrities and talents” at Ebru TV to push the agenda and picked comedians Chipukeezy and Kartelo, who are co-hosts of The Chipukeezy Show aired on the television station, but the latter did not meet his side of the bargain.
The Chipukeezy Show is a reality comedy talk-show with a strong online presence on YouTube, focusing on tapping new talent. The show’s main host is Chipukeezy, the seasoned comedian who is also a board member of NACADA (National Agency for Campaign Against Drug Abuse).
“Kartelo was one of the few people approached and was clearly told what to do as per the client’s brief and the initial down-payment was made,” Decker Ogada, a manager at Ebru TV says in a staff memo. “As per today which is Thursday 22/8/2019, he has not delivered any TVCs.”
Based on this, Ogada says, the “corporation feels that this is negligence of duty and contract not adhered (sic). We have not fully delivered to the client and given him (sic) value for their money.”
The management thus terminated “any appearances of Kartelo on Ebru TV and this includes Chipukeezy TV show effective immediately.”
It is not clear if KNBS cancelled payment, but the action points to issues having been raised by the client.
The move ran afoul Vincent Muasya Mutua, alias Chipukeezy, who responded in kind by offering to pull off his show from Ebru TV. In a letter to the Ebru TV management seen by Business Today, Muasya says opts to terminate his show in retaliation.
“I appreciate the opportunity your station has given to both Kartelo and I together with every talent that has been fortunate enough to be part of The Chipukeezy Show since inception,” he says. “It is however with deep regret that I wish to terminate my contract on the basis of the following isolated considerations.”
Muasya goes on to respond, point by point, to the management’s actions against Kartello.
Chipukeezy says in the letter Ebru TV’s decision amounts to censorship as it bars his co-host from having any of his professional works from being showcased on Ebru TV. “I have very strong views against censorship and would wish to distance myself from a move that victimises my fellow artist,” he adds.
The least the station could do is adjudicate the conflict in a fair manner.
He points out that due process was not followed in the events culminating in the decision reached by Ebru TV. He noted that this was summary dismissal for Kartelo, which is not protected by law. “Particularly, and having struggled in my life at one point or the other, I have valid objections to the idea of putting an individual out of work without any notice or forum to defend their case,” he says.
He lamented that Ebru TV, despite knowing that he is an interested party to the matter, did not involve him in the discussions.
“Kartelo has been part of The Chipukeezy Show at no financial cost to Ebru TV,” he says. “I have personally been handling his welfare despite the fact that the gross benefit of his appearance on the show is enjoyed by both the show and the station. The least the station could do is adjudicate the conflict in a fair manner.”
On social media, Chipukeezy had claimed Kartelo was kicked out because of his ‘ghetto character’, but communication between the two parties shows a fallout over the census campaign.
“Finally, and in specific reference to my contract with the station as pertains section 8 clause IV relating to contract termination, I hereby issue Ebru TV one month notice beginning today 24th August 2019 to effect my transition out of the station,” he writes. “However, should the station decide to effect the termination earlier, I am open and accepting of the idea.”