ZUKU & TDF: Who is Fooling Us?

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If you have been in the Kenyan Entertainment Industry long enough then the word “Bafu” is not new to you. For the purposes of the new comers, “Bafu” is not your normal understand of a Swahili translation for “Bathroom”… If you ever come across a group of artists talk of “Bafu”, do not flout, it means to be conned or taken for a ride.

If you thought that the error of “kupigwa Bafu” ended with the influx of various job opportunities in the film industry, then you need to think again… There is a new kid on the block that has decided to specialize in the act.

The Dream Factory Advertising commonly referred to as TDF Advertising is living up to be the new crown prince of “Bafu” in the Kenyan Film Industry.

The Kenindia House based advertising and PR firm is said to have decided to join the production world early last year to try and cash in on the demand for local content as Kenya plans the long awaited Digital TV Migration.

It is said that the company through its producer, George Muthemba, contacted a few individuals in the industry seeking help with the production a comedy drama series informing them that Wananchi Group, through their pay TV provision brand ZUKU had commissioned the project.

Not wanting to be left out of such opportunity, a crew and cast was quickly assembled and soon enough the shot began and ended… That marked the end of the story as neither Muthemba nor TDF management communicated to the crew and cast. Six months down the line. No pay, No nothing!

When the complains reached The Kenyan Artivist, we decided to unearth the underlying issues and in the course of our investigations, we found out hat TDF Advertising was never commissioned by Zuku to do any project for/or on behalf of the company. Infact, Zuku s unaware of the said project as none of the companies content buyers has come across such.

When we confronted Mr. Muthemba over the same,  the confusion was evident as he in the first instance informed us that it was Zuku that had delayed payments. After realizing that we had gotten in touch with Zuku he changed the story noting that they were working on the production with a hope of selling it to Zuku but they are stuck with it as there has been no word from Zuku.

When pressed on why the company had not honored it’s agreement to pay the crew and cast within thirty days after the shoot ends, Muthemba insisted that there was no such agreement.

“It is true we owe people money, just like all other companies world over, but the word out there that we have refused to pay is no true. We were waiting for Zuku to get back to us but they have failed to do so, that complicated matters,. We are however talking to our management to try and get some money to offset the balances” said Muthemba

Zuku on the other hand insists that they have never entered any agreement with the said TDF, begging the question, Who is fooling Who? Zuku seems to have done nothing to avert the impending taint on its corporate name by informing the public and the general film industry that they have never dealt any such agreement with TDF as well as taking stern action against the said company.

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