Citizen TV Cancels Shamba La Wanyama Show After One Episode

The show's cancellation sparked mixed reactions from Kenyans, with some claiming that the show had allegedly mocked the church.

Citizen TV Cancels Shamba La Wanyama Show After One Episode
Inside Citizen TV studios. /CITIZEN DIGITAL

Royal Media Services (RMS) TV station, Citizen TV has cancelled a highly-anticipated show named Shamba la Wanyama after its first episode aired on the station.

Viral Tea understands that the show was cancelled today after it premiered on Sunday, February 4 over alleged blasphemy as the main reason.

Blasphemy is the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things, also known as profane talk. Kenya criminalizes insult to religion under Sections 134 and 138 of the Penal Code, with such offences being punishable by a fine of up to two years in prison.

According to Section 134 “Insult to religion: Any person who destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship or any object which is held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, is guilty of a misdemeanour.”

A poster announcing the cancellation of Shamba La Wanyama a show on Citizen TV. /SERAH MWIHAKI

Whereas Section 138 talks of “Writing or uttering words with intent to wound religious feelings: Any person who, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any other person, writes any word, or any person who, with the like intention, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of any other person or makes any gesture or places any object in the sight of any other person, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.”

Serah Mwihaki, the show's scriptwriter, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), confirmed that the show was barred from airing on Citizen Television, but all its episodes were still made available on ViuSasa, Citizen TV’s Video On Demand Platform.

"Want to know why? Head on to Viusasa and watch it then make your own conclusions. I think it’s an important story.

"Some powerful people think it shouldn’t be told. I say follow the money, who’s likely to lose money if many people watch Shamba and question what’s happening?" Mwihaki posed, appearing to point an accusatory finger at the station's management.

The show's cancellation sparked mixed reactions from Kenyans, with some claiming that the show had allegedly mocked the church.

Citizen TV has yet to speak on the show's cancellation and has not announced anything on their same through their official communication channels, which include social media.

The show is an adaptation of George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm – a story coined in a manner that unearths betrayal, greed, and subterfuge in Church and society.

It narrates John Karanja alias Prophet Reverend Apostle King David (likened to Farmer Jones in Animal Farm) who is a charismatic prosperity gospel businessman in the business of selling hope to the hopeless.

“Every time the economy is on its knees, he has an influx of new congregants. This year his church – the Tumaini Tabernacle of Glory for The Oppressed – has opened five new branches. He’s a busy man.

"He has groomed his sons to take over in the future…but the future has arrived faster than he expected,” explained Sinema Focus while reviewing the show's plot.

The second-born son, Jacob, is the leading Youth Minister at the family-run church. An article published on Citizen Digital further describes the show as a silent, yet ruthless fight pitting Pastor Joshua and his son Pastor Elijah, something that is threatening to scatter the sheep.

"Meanwhile, Pastor Joshua has put his mistress in the family's way, and at the same time, is worried about his wife’s ‘health condition’; something they have to keep a secret, and away from a raucous congregation.

"One more thing! A video of semi-naked Pastor Joshua and his mistress finds its way onto the main church’s WhatsApp group," the article describes the plot further.

Serah Mwihaki is a multiple Award-winning Writer, who is one of three writers of Nairobi Half Life - which was not only Kenya’s first entry to the Oscars but was shown in more than 100 Theatres in the USA and around the world. The film has been touted as the most successful to come from Kenya to date.

Through a Career spanning nearly two decades, Serah Mwihaki has Created and Written 63 Episodes of the highly acclaimed drama Series ‘Changes’, plus more than 800 Episodes of Telenovelas – ‘Kona’ and ‘Selina’. She has also Created and Written high-end drama Series that are in Development.

Her earlier career was spent Acting in Films, like ‘Dangerous Affair’ and ‘Garden of Eden’, as well as the long-running Television series ‘Wingu La Moto’.

Photo of Serah Mwihaki, multiple Award-winning Writer. /SERAH MWIHAKI