In Kenya today, young people are faced with many challenges and there are very few national platforms that exist, where they can talk about them and share with other young people from different parts of the country. The SPACE is one such platform. The SPACE is a weekly TV show on NTV which premiered on April 28th and so far nine episodes have aired. It is hosted by Singer, Kaz and Hiphop artist/Radio Host, Mwafrika. The show uses art and recognized artists to tackle social issues in an interesting and modern setting.
The show provides a unique platform for young people to tackle issues affecting them. Some of the topics of discussion have been: governance, entrepreneurship, crime, political parties, civic participation, identity, job opportunities, leadership, youth empowerment, the constitution and our system of government.
Each episode features several artists from various art disciplines who perform or display their art, a studio audience of 70 drawn from various parts of the country, a DJ and a new topic of discussion which everyone, including the artists, contributes to.
The idea to have artists participate in the topic of discussion is ingenious because they serve as conversation stirrers but also since they are role models, the youth are more likely to listen to and believe them. It also doesn’t hurt that the hosts are artists themselves.
The TV show aside, the SPACE is very active online with a blog, YouTube channel and a strong social media presence. They encourage the youth to engage them through these channels which ensures that the conversations they start on the show continue online and hopefully offline as well. This engagement is also rewarded. Every week a lucky person who sends in feedback to a question asked on the show via sms or social media wins a prize.
Overall, the show is good but its opening sequence is a bit long with unnecessary emphasis on the co-hosts. Something shorter and punchier would have been better in my opinion. Also, the graphics could have been a bit more modern.
Some of the artists that have featured on it are:
- Poets: Sitawa Namwalie, Ngwatilo, Dennis Inkwa, Michael Kwambo, Cindy Ogana
- Musicians: Eric Wainaina , Sauti Sol, Emmy Kosgei, Mejja , Muthoni The Drummer Queen, Nonini, Camp Mulla, Amani
- Comedians: Eric Omondi, JB.
- Dance groups: Sarakasi, Outsyders, Sisqo, Yawa Dancers, Titans.
The Space airs on NTV every Saturday 6-7pm. The following are some of the artists that will be featured in the upcoming episodes:
- Jua Cali
- Size Eight