Shamba Shape Up is the third “edu-tainment” production created by Mediae, and the first of its kind in Kenya. Aimed at East Africa’s rapidly growing rural audience, the make over style TV show aims to give both farmer and audience the tools they need to improve productivity and income on their farms.
The Shape Up team visit a different farm each week in a different area of the country. The team involve the film crew and a number of experts from partner organisations who specialize in the topics to be covered in the episode.
The core of the series tackles issues surrounding livestock, poultry, crops and soil fertility. Other relevant topics such as financial planning, solar power and harvesting rainwater are also included depending on the needs of the farmer in the episode.
Typically the film crew spend 4 days with one household, allowing enough time to build any improvement structures and invite the experts in to advise. These experts include veterinarians, soil analysists and specific crop specialists from partnering companies in Kenya. At the end of each episode, viewers are encouraged to SMS their name’s and addresses in order to receive a free leaflet on the topics covered in the show, as well as follow updates and video clips on the Shamba Shape Up Facebook page.
Mediae is entirely research led and based, and invests a lot in monitoring the changes in knowledge, attitude and practice of viewers across all their productions. The company has a vital two-way relationship with viewers pioneered by the soap series “Makutano Junction.” Indeed Tonny Njuguna and Naomi Kamau, who present Shamba Shape Up, where two favourites from Makutano.
Shamba Shape Up’s estimated audience in the first series is around 7 million, with this number rising to 11 million by the end of series 3. If even just 10% of the viewers of series one adopt new practices as a result of the show, that’s 700,000 farmers who’s sustainable livelihoods have become more informed and productive.