, 23 May, 2020 / 4:16 AM
Catholic Bishops in Kenya are soliciting funds from Catholics and other well-wishers across the globe to facilitate the operationalization of their television channel, Ukweli TV Kenya, that would enhance the evangelization mission of the Church in the East African nation.
“We are appealing to all the Catholics in Kenya, all the Catholics in the world, those who follow us in many ways to come to the aid and support this TV (station) so that the word of God can be enhanced through our own means of social communications,” the Chairman of Social Communication Commission of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Bishop Joseph Obanyi said in a video message shared Friday, May 22.
Officially launched on April 1 as an online channel that runs programs through YouTube and Facebook, Ukweli TV Kenya is yet to have regular content streamed on these online forums.
The funds being solicited are expected to help realize the Bishops’ TV initiative, which aims at having a television station with a nationwide coverage to serve the needs of Catholics in a country where many citizens cannot afford Internet for streaming online content.
According to Bishop Obanyi, the impact of Bishops in the secular media is restricted and thus “not able to impart catechesis and the teachings of the Church the way we always do when together.”
“That is why, in the wisdom of the Bishops of Kenya, they felt we need our own TV where we can impart these teachings, and that’s why Ukweli TV came into being,” Bishop Obanyi said in a video message shared on various social media forums.
“Since the beginning of the first case of coronavirus, we have had people not going to church; that’s why we are here trying to use the means of social communication to bring the word of God,” the 53-year-old Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Kakamega diocese explained in the 2.16-minute video.
Catholic Bishops in the 26-diocese country suspended the celebration of public Mass and Church gatherings on March 23, in line with the government directives to control the spread of COVID-19.
Since then, the Prelates have been presiding over televised Sunday Masses in turns, engaging the services of national broadcasters as well as the Nairobi-based Capuchin TV.
Speaking on the objectives of the TV station during its launch, Sr. Agnes Lucy Lando told ACI Africa that the channel “is a platform for the Bishops to reach Christians in general, but Catholics in particular in their homes and in their specific locations at the moment.”
Ukweli is a Swahili word that means “truth”. Ukweli TV Kenya has “strong in faith” as its slogan.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa