Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

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Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
Type Terrestrial television and radio broadcast network
Country Kenya
Availability Kenya
Founded 1928
by the Government of Kenya
Slogan "Kenya's watching."
Broadcast area
Kenya
Owner Government of Kenya
Launch date
1928 (radio)
1962 (television)
Official website
www.kbc.co.ke

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is the state-run media organisation of Kenya. It broadcasts in English and Swahili, as well as in most local languages of Kenya. The corporation started its life in 1928 when Kenya was a British colony. In 1964, when Kenya became an independent country, the corporation's name was changed to Voice of Kenya. In 1989, the Kenyan parliament reverted the corporation's name from Voice of Kenya to Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

During the rule of president Daniel arap Moi, KBC became the mouthpiece of the government. Each broadcast opened with a piece on what the president had been doing that day. Under the current president, Mwai Kibaki KBC takes a more objective line. The corporation helped mould most of Kenya's notable journalists especially before the liberalisation of the airwaves in Kenya. One such journalist is Leonard Mambo Mbotela whose name has for a long time been synonymous with KBC radio's Idhaa ya Kiswahili (Swahili Service). Others before him included Job Isaac Mwamto, Amina Fakhii, Khadija Ali, and Stephen Kikumu, who was one of the pioneer broadcasters. In the English service broadcasters who pioneered the service were Hassan Mazoa, Sammy Lui, followed later by Peter Njoroge, Elizabeth Omolo and in the prime hey days of the service in the 70s were Abdulhaq and George Opiyo.

History of KBC[edit]

  • 1928 – English radio broadcasting began. The broadcasts targeted white settlers who monitored news from their home and other parts of the world.
  • The first radio broadcasts targeting Africans came during the 2nd World War to inform parents and relatives of African soldiers what was happening at the war front.
  • 1953 – the first broadcast service was created for Africans. African Broadcasting Services carried programmes in Kiswahili, Dholuo, Kikuyu, Kinandi, Kiluhya, Kikamba and Arabic.
  • 1954 – Kenya Broadcasting Services was established. Regional stations were set up in Mombasa (Sauti ya Mvita), Nyeri (Mount Kenya Station) and Kisumu (Lake Station).
  • 1961 – Kenya Broadcasting Corporation was formed to take over broadcasting services from the government controlled Kenya Broadcasting Services.
  • 1962 – television was introduced in Kenya. The first transmitting station was set on a farm house in Limuru and the station transmitted to a radius of 15 miles.
  • 1 July 1964 – Kenya Broadcasting Corporation was nationalised into Voice of Kenya through an Act of Parliament.
  • 1978 – Kenya television transitioned to color.
  • 1970 – a new television station opened in Mombasa to relay programmes and produce local dramas, music, cultural and other programmes
  • 1989 – the Voice of Kenya changed back to Kenya Broadcasting Corporation through an Act of Parliament.
  • 1989 – a contract was signed between KBC and Japan Telecommunications Engineering consultancy service (JETC) for improvement and expansion of the national medium wave frequency radio broadcasting network.
  • 1991 – KBC signed a contract with Marubeni Corporation of Tokyo, Japan for upgrading of medium wave transmitting stations and construction of new ones.
  • 1993 – KBC embarked on a major modernisation project to upgrade its transmitting station, construct new ones and improve on switching and rooting network.
  • 1996 – KBC commissioned Metro FM as a 90% music radio.
  • September 2000 – KBC commissioned Metro Television as a sports and entertainment channel.
  • December 2000 – KBC started Coro FM, transmitting in Kikuyu language to Nairobi and Mount Kenya Region.
  • 2001 – Pwani FM was started to cater to the Coast Region.

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