Buni Media Ltd. is registered as a non-profit in Nairobi.
Co-founders Gado Mwampembwa and Marie Lora-Mungai use Buni Media as the production vehicle for the production of The XYZ Show, supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, the French Embassy and the Dutch Embassy.
French puppet sculptor Laurent Huet trains the first Buni Media puppet workshop team in the creation of foam latex puppets for The XYZ Show.
3The XYZ Show is featured on several platforms, including: Mail & Guardian, Zimbio.com, BBC, Design Indaba, Daily Nation, Variety Magazine, Reuters Africa, Global Post, The Guardian, and Ubuntu Film Festival.
Buni Media moves to a new office at The Godown Arts Centre in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, concentrating The XYZ Show’s various production offices (workshop, animation studio, sound recording studio, film studio and office) at one location.
Buni Media partners with Odios Creation, and is commissioned by The Ford Foundation to produce a documentary series titled Africanism 101.
The XYZ Show is nominated at the Kalasha Film & Television Awards in the category Best Television Comedy.
Season 2 of The XYZ Show is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, the French Embassy and the Swiss Embassy. It is aired on Citizen TV Kenya from 25th April 2010. The running time of The XYZ Show increases from 15 minutes to 20 minutes.
Additional sponsors boost the production of Season 3 of The XYZ Show: The Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, Freedom to Create, Omidyar Network and the Netherlands Embassy. Season 3 is aired on Citizen TV Kenya from 20th September 2010.
Audio clips of The XYZ Show are broadcast 3 times a week at first on the two community radio stations: Ghetto Radio and Pamoja Radio, Radio Nam Lolwe, Radio Mwanedu, Radio Hossana and Early Life radio, all members of the Well Told Story group, Radio Jambo.
The XYZ Show is featured on The Times, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, Africa Review.
The XYZ Show producer Gado meets with Kofi Anan, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization, and one of the main characters of The XYZ Show.
Buni Media partners with Senegalese musician and businessman Youssou N’Dour to consult on his idea for a “Senegalese XYZ”.
Buni Media pioneers an innovative new distribution platform for The XYZ Show through a partnership with Roma Media, a company that manages LCD screens in a fleet of 26 buses servicing the wider Nairobi area. Clips of The XYZ Show, and later full episodes, are screened in commuter buses within the capital city.
In its third year, The XYZ Show is supported by grants from The Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network and the Open Society Institute. It is aired on Kiss TV. The XYZ Show’s running time increases from 20 minutes to 24 minutes, placing The XYZ Show within the traditional half-hour television format.
After three seasons, The XYZ Show host changes from Jonah Lesit to Keff Joinange, an impersonation of the popular TV talk show host Jeff Koinange.
The XYZ Show website introduces free streaming of all past and current episodes of The XYZ Show.
For the second year in a row, The XYZ Show is nominated at the Kalasha Film & Television Awards in the category Best TV Entertainment.
Buni Media pilots its digital distribution platform, Buni TV (later denoted as Buni.tv), facilitated by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
Buni Media moves to a new office within The Godown Arts Centre in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, allowing for a post-production department with a dedicated, sound-proofed space.
Filming of documentary series Africanism 101 commences in Nairobi.
Buni Media, with journalist and activist Omoyele Sowore, share international-oriented clips of The XYZ Show on Nigerian anti-corruption news site Saharareporters.com in order to gauge the interest of their audience for a “Nigerian XYZ”. The Nigerian audience is interested and excited by the concept, but is yearning for some localized content.
- Buni Media organizes a 3-week writing workshop for its new children’s show, Once Upon A Time in Africa (later re-edited into the short film From Here To Timbuktu), during which three writers from across Africa – Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe – work on developing the show’s concept further. The pilot of the children’s show is structured.
Kenyan Member of Parliament and presidential candidate Martha Karua visits Buni Media offices and the set of The XYZ Show, and meets her puppet double. Kenya’s government spokesman Alfred Mutua visits his latex doppelganger on the set of The XYZ Show.
Buni Media launches its book publishing branch, Buni Publishing. Buni Publishing reaches final stages of the production of two satirical cartoon collections – ‘Crisis!… What Crisis?’ and ‘It’s a Madd, Madd World’ – from renowned artists Gado (Godfrey Mwampembwa) and Maddo (Paul Kelemba).
Buni Media works with Liberty Afrika, which operates on the Safaricom mobile network, to distribute ‘call-back ringtones’ inspired by characters from The XYZ Show. The service allows users to customize what plays when a caller dials their number.
Buni Media signs with online aggregator ReelAfrican to distribute The XYZ Show on American VOD platform Hulu.com
Season 6 of The XYZ Show is supported by grants from The Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network and the Open Society Institute. Through various distribution platforms (Kiss TV, Buni TV, YouTube, Hulu, buses and radio stations), The XYZ Show is estimated to reach about 8 million viewers a month.
Buni Media sets up a branch based in Los Angeles, USA.
Members of Dhamira Communication from Tanzania visit Buni Media and meet the production team and crew members of The XYZ Show. Dhamira Communication is interested in developing a smaller version of The XYZ Show in Tanzania.
Buni Media loses a company director and creative advisor, Frank Odoi. Frank is killed in a road accident in Nairobi.
Buni TV (later denoted as Buni.tv), Buni Media’s new digital distribution platform, is launched at a press event at the iHub in Nairobi. Buni TV carries full seasons of The XYZ Show as well as a wide variety of short films, documentaries, animations and music videos from content producers representing most of the countries on the continent and the diaspora. Buni TV attracts 200,000 unique visitors in its first 6 months.
Buni Media’s visual effects branch Buni VisualFX is commissioned by a Nairobi-based NGO, A.C.T, to produce six public service announcements around the topic of Kenya’s general elections. Using the format of animation, the PSAs are to be based on the themes of National Unity, Corruption & Impunity, Leadership & Accountability, Peaceful Elections, National Cohesion and Devolution. The PSAs are aired on all major Kenyan television stations and in all 20th Century Fox cinema halls in Kenya.
Buni Publishing releases 1,500 copies of its first two books: ‘Crisis?… What Crisis?’ and ‘It’s a Madd Madd World’. These books are launched at an official function at The Swedish Embassy in Nairobi.
Buni Media releases 3,000 copies of The XYZ Show season 1 DVDs and 1,000 copies of season 2 DVDs, and engages Times Square Entertainment Ltd. to manage the sales through Kenya’s supermarket network. Buni Media also pilots online sale of The XYZ Show DVDs.
The XYZ Show wins an award for Top Payer, Mechanical Rights from the Music Copyright Society of Kenya.
Buni Media conducts an internal study on the impact of The XYZ Show in the region and beyond. The study is conducted on social media, polling viewers of the show and seeking to identify the mindsets and behavioral changes inspired by The XYZ Show. View the study.
Buni Media acquires the option to develop a screenplay based on the book It’s Our Turn To Eat by former BBC and Financial Times journalist Michela Wrong, with the view of producing a movie.
Filming of Once Upon A Time in Africa (later re-edited as the short film From here to Timbuktu), the children’s show developed by Buni Media, commences.
Documentary series Africanism 101 is completed.
The XYZ Show migrates from Kiss TV to NTV-Kenya, a national broadcaster; the reach of the show increases to about 10 million viewers a month. This is achieved through a variety of distribution channels including NTV-Kenya, Buni TV, buses and radio broadcasts.
The XYZ Show is supported by grants from The Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, Open Society Institute, Twaweza, Kenya Media Programme and Hivos People Unlimited.
Season 7 of The XYZ Show is aired on NTV Kenya, airing during the politically vibrant period of Kenya’s general election, with season 8 airing immediately after the elections.
Both The XYZ Show and Buni TV receive nominations in the first SOMAwards (Social Media Award) in Kenya. The XYZ Show is nominated in the categories TV Show of the Year and Facebook Fan Page of the Year, while Buni TV was nominated for Digital Channel of the Year, 2013.
The XYZ Show wins the award for Best TV Series at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards in Nigeria.
Infotrak Research & Consulting conducts a survey to ‘assess the impact of the XYZ Show among others on the fight against corruption, on people’s ability to make independent political and democratic choices and on people’s perception and behavioural change’. Click here to view the report.
The documentary series Africanism 101 is released. Episodes of Africanism 101 air on NTV Kenya in the days preceding and following Kenya’s general election.
Buni TV hits the 1 million views mark in 9 months, with 60% of this traffic originating in Africa and 22% from North America.
Buni TV and AfricaFilms.TV enter into a content acquisition partnership; the first marriage within the African Video-on-Demand space. This deal provides a platform to serve both English and French-speaking Africa; Buni TV and AfricaFilms.TV are able to distribute content throughout Africa.
Buni Media co-founders Gado Mwampembwa and Marie Lora-Mungai visit Lagos, Nigeria as guests of the Ford Foundation Nigeria and IIE. The objective of this visit is to interact with Nigerian media, political scene and market to assess the viability of a “Nigerian XYZ”, and to meet with potential partners of Buni TV.
Buni Media releases the first and second seasons of the Buni TV Comedy Series. 40 episodes of the improv sketch comedy series are presented exclusively on Buni TV.
Buni TV celebrates its one year anniversary with 500,000 unique visitors and 2 million views, and is represented by content editor Priscilla Djirackor at the New York African Film Festival.
Infotrak Research & Consulting releases its survey results, showing that The XYZ Show’s awareness is highest amongst youth 18-29 year-old (65%), but also evenly matched going up, with 46% for 30-39, and 43% for 50-59, suggesting that the younger people watch it with older individuals, and that The XYZ Show is actually a strong family brand and a subject of family conversation. Click here to view the report.
The Buni Media/XYZ team creates and produces a series of television commercials for Nigeria’s One Credit finance company.
The pilot episode of Once Upon A Time In Africa (later re-edited as From Here to Timbuktu), the children’s show developed by The XYZ Show, is filmed in Nairobi. Post-production and editing begins.
Once Upon A Time in Africa wins the 2013 Series Pitch Competition at DISCOP, Africa’s biggest TV market.
Buni TV officially launches its Android App in partnership with Samsung. The app allows viewers to watch a wide range of free content.
Buni TV releases banned Cameroonian film The President. The film touches on one of Africa’s remaining political taboos: what does the failing health of the continent’s few remaining dictators-for-life mean for their country’s stability. The launch is a big success, driving 8,400 views in just 7 days, the equivalent of 42 cinema screenings. Click here to view the case study.
Buni Media welcomes and mentors members of Reefknot Communications Ltd. from Uganda, who go on to produce The Si Mimi Show, a Ugandan puppet show based on The XYZ Show.
Buni Media produces the first season of Ogas At The Top, the “Nigerian XYZ”. Ogas At The Top is released on Buni TV, and quickly gains popularity among Nigerian audiences in Africa and abroad.
Season 9 and 10 of The XYZ Show air on NTV-Kenya, supported by Ford Foundation, Open Society, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Twaweza, .
The growth and expansion of Buni TV is supported by the European Union.
Buni Media organizes and and host the Freedom and Security series of events to interrogate several issues surrounding insecurity and the effect is it having on Freedom of Expression in Kenya and beyond. Despite multiple terror attacks the country had suffered at the time, this was the first attempt to start an inclusive national dialogue interrogating the causes of and responses to the declining security situation.
Buni Media produces season 2 of Ogas at the Top and releases it on Buni.tv.
Buni Media takes steps towards organizational restructuring through an engagement with WYLDE International. There is also progress on Buni Media’s 5-Year Strategic Plan.
Buni Media ventures into translation and ADR projects: Translation to Swahili & ARD of Doc McStuffins (Walt Disney Company); and Translation to French & ADR of Nairobi Half Life (One Fine Day Films)
Season 11 of The XYZ Show is supported by Forum Syd (now Forum Civ), Open Society, and Ford Foundation. It is aired on KTN-Kenya, and runs for 6 months.
Buni.tv enters a partnership with Trace TV, to form Trace Play.
The Buni Media Content Workshop (now Buni Media Workshops) is supported by the Lambent Foundation. Through this program, Buni Media visits the set of Puppet Nation in South Africa, and the Great Indian Tamasha in India.
The working draft of Buni Media’s strategic plan is finalized.
Season 12 of The XYZ Show is aired on NTV-Kenya, once again lasting 6 months and supported by Forum Syd, Open Society, Ford Foundation, and Lambent Foundation.
Buni Media organizes and hosts the Nairobi Satire Festival with support from the Australian High Commission, Open Society Foundations – Journalism, and
The XYZ show wins ‘Best Animation Production’ at Kalasha Awards 2017
Buni Media forges new partnerships for the digital distribution of The XYZ Show: iFlix, Vuclip, Showmax,
Buni Media launches the Katiba project with the support of Rockefeller Foundation.
Buni Media implements Women in Politics (Phase 1) as a participatory puppetry theatre project in partnership with Alliance Francaise de Nairobi and Goethe Institute Nairobi.
The Buni Media Content Workshop holds several in-house sessions.
The Buni Media Capacity Team is formed to steer the organization’s activities in regards the implementation of our strategic plan.
The Buni Media Content Workshop holds several sessions. Buni Media partners with Pawa 254 for sessions o
Women in Politics
Buni Media contributes content to Magamba Network’s Africa Round-Up Show.
Buni Media develops a concept based on the use of media to provoke thinking and reflection, to generate conversations, and to inspire action around the extractive industry governance in Kenya.
The XYZ Show wins the award for Best Animation Production at the 2018 Kalasha Awards.
Buni Media enters an agreement with Royal Media’s Viusasa platform for the digital distribution of The XYZ Show.
Buni Media moves from The Godown Arts Centre to 24, Facory Street in Nairobi.
Season 13 of The XYZ Show is aired on NTV-Kenya.
Buni Media re-edits Once Upon A Time in Africa as a short film titled From Here to Timbuktu.
Katiba is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy NED. The online portal thekatiba.co.ke is launched.
Buni Media partners with Project HANDUP and the Kenya Institute of Puppetry Theatre KIPT to produce Ask Dr. Pamoja and Hiddo & Hirsi/Geedka Mooska (also with Poet Nation), in response to the covid-19 pandemic.
Ask Dr. Pamoja is aired on Citizen TV through a partnership with the National Business Compact on Coronavirus, working on behalf of the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus. It is also aired on Cape Town TV in South Africa and on the UNICEF web platform. Hiddo & Hirsi is aired on Somali TV.
Buni Media produces The Tempest, a contemporary dance short film.
Buni Media conducts a survey to assess the impact of The XYZ Show. Click here to read the report.
From Here to Timbuktu is released for online rental or purchase on Amazon UK and Vumicentral.